Here’s a fanastic dessert that’s all show and fun to make. You can make it with a delicious Panettone from Emporia Rulli in Larkspur or one that you find in an Italian deli. It’s the perfect holiday dessert!
With a serrated knife, remove the top of the panettone, cutting horizontally about 1 inch down. With the same knife, cut 1/2 inch in from the rim, and 1/2 inch from the bottom, making a circular tube to remove. To loosen it from the bottom, use a long, thin knife, make a single hole 1/2 inch from the bottom in the cake and cut in a circular way to loosen the tube from the bottom. Remove the center of the cake. Cut 2 even slices, then save the remaining cake for another use.
With an wooden spoon, mix together the ricotta, mascarpone, and sugar. Stir in the chocolate and the orange peel with a wooden spoon. Taste the filling and add sugar to taste.
In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water over low heat until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, and add the orange liqueur.
To assemble, brush the interior of the panettone with the orange flavored syrup. Spread over the bottom one third of the ricotta mixture. Place a layer of panettone, brush with syrup, and spread with another third of the ricotta mixture. Do the same with the next layer of cake and filling. Place the top on top.
Whip the cream with a whisk or electric beater until firm but not dry. Add sugar to taste. Mound the top of the panettone with the whipped cream, decorate with orange peels and pecans. Serve within 3 to 4 hours.