It's truly a can't-miss seasonal favorite item.
At the Allrecipes office, we're lucky enough to get to sample a lot of different products (I know—major brag). But when the holiday season rolls around each year, we seem to get one thing more than any other: cake. Between the different teams in the office, there seems to be a different rotating cake on the communal table at all times from November until January. And hey—I'm not complaining. But, of all the cakes, the one that impressed me the most so far this season was the one I least suspected. Why? Because it wasn't from a fancy bakery—no, it was a $6 find from none other than Aldi.
I Tried the Aldi Winternacht Traditional Panettone
If you're not an Aldi superfan like pretty much everyone on our team, you may not have known that Aldi is a European company, specifically a German one. That's why you are likely to find a lot of traditional Christmas desserts from Germany and other neighboring countries in Aldi stores this time of year, like Stollen and Lebkuchen. But one dessert stood out the most to me: the panettone.
The Aldi panettone is made by its in-house brand Winternacht (meaning night market, a nod to the famous Christmas markets in Europe) and comes in two flavors: traditional or chocolate chip. The traditional is made with dried fruit—raisins and candied orange peel, in Aldi's case. And the Winternacht Panettone is made in Italy, so you know it's the real deal.
What Is Panettone?
If I lost you at panettone—come back! You're going to want to try it if you've never had it. Panettone is a traditional sweet Italian bread that's typically served on holidays, especially Christmas and Easter. It's usually made with dried fruit but mix-ins can also include chocolate, sweet spreads like Nutella, nuts, and other citrus peel.
Now, before you set off to add panettone to your to-bake list this holiday season, you should know it's one of the most finicky and technically difficult things to bake. Just know that it is a multi-day process that involves a sourdough-like starter, an extremely long proof time, and requires skewering to cool it upside down once baked so it stays super fluffy. So yeah, it's a cake best left to the professionals (although Chef John has a simplified recipe if you're looking for a challenge!).
Aldi Winternacht Traditional Panettone Review
That painstaking process is why panettone will typically cost a pretty penny. However, the Aldi one costs just $5.99. Needless to say, I didn't know what to expect with a price tag that low. But I was very pleasantly surprised.
We have received many, many panettone this holiday season so far, with some costing as much as $60 and even $75 a cake. To say the $6 Aldi version stands up to those would be an understatement. It's plush and soft, with a light-as-air texture that melts in your mouth. The fruit inside is perfectly distributed and adds perfect pops of sweetness, especially the candied orange peel.
This would be ideal alongside a cup of coffee or a glass of Gluehwein (traditional German mulled wine), but I also can't stop thinking about how good it would be in bread pudding or made into French toast. When it comes to bang for your buck this holiday season, I don't think you'll find a better product than this.
Read the original article on All Recipes.