Skall Christmas Card No. 3

Chiara Barla – Christmas preparations

Once Christmas is near, our dear friend Chiara Barla, chef at our favourite eatery Apotek 57, will make her favourite Christmas cake Pandolce. A traditional Italian sweet bread with candied fruit inside and powdered sugar on the top that almost looks like snow.

“The cake, which is inspired by the Italian panettone genovese, reminds me of Christmas. When you open it, it has all these little surprises inside,” she says.

The Pandolce has always been a tradition in Chiara’s Italian family:

“My aunt used to make her Pandolce in a woodfire oven. I loved the smell and the sweet taste, and my mother soon started making it,” she says.

The cake used to be for Christmas only but today many Italians start eating it early December to prolong the Christmas spirit or even all year round. However, Chiara prefers to stick to the traditions:

“In my family the Pandolce is made for Christmas, and I like to keep it that way and as something special. It is rich in butter and candied fruit – and in terms of this meant for celebration.”

In Italy where Chiara grew up, Christmas is all about gathering around the table with friends and family:

“In my childhood we were always around 20 people for Christmas, and it was such a magical time as everyone was gathered and I could play with all my cousins, be spoiled by my grandparents and of course have a beautiful Christmas feast with all my favourite food.”

This Christmas Chiara will visit her family in Italy where she will help her mother in the kitchen, run through several cookbooks and try out new recipes – and as always, make her favorite Pandolce…

Recipe for Pandolce

200 gr butter

200 gr brown sugar

3 eggs

230 flour

6 gr baking powder

2 gr cinnamon

zest of 1 lemon

zest of 1 orange

80 gr candied fruit 

50 gr raisins

10 gr pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 170*

Mix tempered butter and brown sugar until it gets pale and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at
the time, and then the flour and baking powder.

With a spatula add the mix of fruits, spice and nuts.

Line a cake tin with parchment paper and pour in the cake batter.

Bake for 60 min or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake will come out clean.

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