5 Authentic Italian desserts for your Holidays table
Holiday season is coming for the joy of all the gourmands: from the unmissable appetizer to scrumptious main dishes, the Month will be plenty of occasion to satisfy every craving - including sweet tooth. And if you are looking for new ideas for the lunch happily-ever-after, here's a list of five authentic Italian desserts that will definitely bring your lunch or dinner to the next level.
Panettone: the iconic cake from Milan
Panettone is an Italian Christmas dessert born in Milan at the beginning of 1900 and it has probably become the most iconic Italian staple for the holiday season. It's a dome-shaped, bread-like cake studded with raisin and candied fruits - but nowadays you can find lots of variation on the theme with chocolate, pistachio, nuts and other delicacies. Panettone has a long preparation since the dough leavens for a long time - at least three whole days - hung upside down on a rack. The result is an incredibly soft dough that is delicious alone and even better if paired with cream, marmalade or spreads.
Pandoro, the star of the table
One of the eternal battle that splits the Italian country in two opposing camps: the Panettone lovers vs Pandoro supporters. The rich flavor against the fluffiest, vanilla-flavored dough. Pandoro is another traditional Italian dessert for the Holidays. It is made with only a few ingredients - flour, butter and eggs - and baked in a eight-pointed star-shaped pan that gives it its unmistakable shape. The flavor is simple but its soft and fragrant dough has conquered thousands of hearts - and votes in the eternal Christmas dilemma. As it happens for the Panettone, it is nowadays easy to find variations from the original recipe such as Pandoro stuffed with chocolate, custard, jam, lemon cream and so on. Because of its simple recipe, it is also often used as starting point for home-made Christmas desserts: just fill it with mascarpone cream, fruit, chocolate or whatever your creativity suggest. The result is an effortless Christmas dessert that will amaze everybody!
Struffoli, delicious honey balls
Struffoli is one of the best Italian dessert from the South of Italy eaten during the festive periods all over the year: carnival, Easter and- needless to say - Christmas. This iconic dessert consists in small, deep-fried, crunchy balls that are shaped as a ring, covered with melted honey and sprinkled with colorful sprinkle. Do we need to say that it is kids' most loved Italian Christmas dessert?
Torrone: last but not least
Torrone is an authentic Italian dessert enjoyed around Christmas. Basically, it is a soft nougat made with honey, egg whites, almonds and hazelnuts. It can be "duro" that is hard and crunchy or "morbido" - soft and a bit chewy. This Christmas delicacy is usually served as a kind of last dessert. It is indeed pretty common in Italy to end the Christmas lunch with a proper dessert followed by other sweet treats such as praline, dates, dried fruits, nuts and, of course, Torrone.
Pastiera: from Naples with Love
Pastiera is a flavorful traditional recipe from Naples. It is a pie crust filled with wheat berries, ricotta cheese, candied citrus and a mix of spices that gives it an incredible taste and scents. If you would like to do it home, consider that the preparation is a bit long (the tradition says you need three days to prepare a perfect Pastiera), but don't be scared: preparing this authentic Italian dessert is actually way easier than you think!