Pistachio Chocottone sweet breads are the ideal Christmas gift that you can make yourself. It might take few trials, but once you get the hang of it, you won’t be able to stop baking!! Happy Holidays:))
I have been working on this recipe for few years already (well December each year) and there was always something that I needed to tweak so I never published this recipe until now. This adds to my Panettone collection of recipes:
Pistachios love Chocolate
If you have been to any Mediterranean country, you’ll see so many combinations of pistachios with chocolate. We love this flavor combination and both home cooks and chefs include it in their favorite recipes as often as possible.
Only another combination of nuts and chocolate might be more famous, hazelnuts and chocolate:).
Ingredients for this Medium size Chocottone
Ingredients for starter dough are very simple and few of them. You’ll need lukewarm milk, a tablespoon of sugar, half a cup of all purpose flour and a packet of active yeast (about 7 grams).
I have used instant yeast too successfully for this recipe. Even though instant didn’t need to be activated, I still made starter dough with it just to keep the process similar.
Once you prepare the starter dough, cover it and set it aside so it can start bubbling and growing.
Then start preparing the regular dough. Here’s a high level view of what you’ll need.
- 4 eggs and 4 eggs yolks
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 stick of butter (113 grams which is about 8 tbsps)
- 1 navel orange
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup pistachios (shelled)
- ⅔ cup good quality cocoa
- 1-2 ozs orange liqueur
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Adding the liqueur is optional, but in my opinion it adds such depth of flavor to this recipe. Alcohol evaporates so you won’t feel it on the baked sweet bread.
If you’d like the chocottone to be a bit sweeter, increase the sugar quantity slightly. I seem to want my desserts not overly sweet lately so 1 cup seems to be perfect for me.
How to make Chocottone at home?
Professional Panettone makers take days to make a great panettone. The process is really mesmerizing. However, if you’re a homecook you don’t have few days for one sweet bread so we have to compromise a little. My secret to making homemade chocottone or panettone is active yeast and instant yeast.
Yes, I know that this amazing sweet Christmas bread will taste better with sourdough and days of leavening but my kids are not that patient:)). So that’s why I use store bought yeast to make panettone at home.
As most homemade panettone recipes, this recipe requires some important steps:
- starter dough
- panettone dough
- first dough rise
- add additional fruits, nuts or chocolate chips
- pour into mold
- second dough rise
- hang panettone upside down so it doesn’t collapse (not applicable to mini and medium size panettones)
Additional Tips and Notes
I prefer using eggs and butter at room temperature.
My biggest cooking tip when making panettone, not just this specific one but any airy bread like panettone or chocottone is to give it time to rise. You need to let the dough rise twice and you have to be patient. In some kitchens the second dough rise might take 2 hours but in others, it can be 3-4 hours even longer. This wide range is dependant on temperature and humidity of the kitchen. So someone living in Florida might have totally different results in December than someone in Vermont.
My tip to balance things out is to keep the kitchen as warm as possible (during winter – I don’t mean hot) when living in a cold climate.
Also when filling the panettone molds with dough, don’t fill them more than half. It looks like you’re not adding enough initially, but the dough will double in size so leave room for that otherwise it will spill when baking.
Size of Panettone
In my previous panettone recipes, I have used a full size mold to make those Christmas breads. Below two links are from my Amazon affiliate account.
- Full size panettone mold (this is the one I have from Amazon but if you check there are more options)
This recipe is made with medium size panettone molds, initially I thought they were minis but no they look full size tall, however smaller so one of these panettones can be split in half when serving.
- Medium size panettone mold – again this is what I use but there are so many options so pick your favorite.
So if you’re looking at a large size or full size panettone, that’s about 14-15 ozs. The medium size panettone can be around the 8 ozs range and the minis can go down to 3-4 ozs.
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 packet active yeast 7 grams
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter 113 grams or 8 tbsps
- 1 oz orange liqueur can go up to 2 ozs for a more pronounced taste
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- zest of one orange
- ⅔ cup cocoa
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup pistachios
- Add 1 tbsp sugar to 1 cup of lukewarm milk. Then add 1 packet of active yeast (about 7 grams). Mix to dissolve. Finally add half a cup of all purpose flour, mix well and cover to let the starter dough bubble. Make sure it has room to grow.
- Get a glass mixing bowl, add 4 eggs, 4 egg yolks and start mixing with the hand held mixer. Add 1 cup of sugar and continue mixing until the cream starts to whiten a little bit. Add butter while still mixing. Butter is supposed to be soft and in room temperature. Then add the starter dough in. See video in how it's supposed to look.
- Then add both the liqueur and the vanilla extract and continue mixing. Add zest of 1 orange. Then add cocoa and mix slowly so you don't make it fly everywhere. Once cocoa is incorporated, then start adding the flour in slowly. Once it gets difficult to mix with the hand held mixer, switch to a spatula.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen for about 1-1.5 hours.
- While the dough is rising, get the pistachios and add them to a ziplock bag. Use a kitchen hammer to chop them up inside the bag. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle to break the pistachios up.
- Once dough is done rising, add the pistachios in, mix with a spatula. Then use slowly add the dough to panettone molds. Add enough until half of the mold.
- Place the molds in a baking tray and leave them in a warm place for 2-3 hours until dough has risen over the edge of the mold and looks like a dome.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes (make sure oven is pre-heated first).
- Garnish the top with more pistachios if desired. Let the chocottones cool down before slicing them open. Enjoy and happy holidays.
- Technically this recipe yields 3 medium size panettones with chocolate and pistachios, which is about 6 full servings. However, you can stretch it to 8 when you have kids.
- In more traditional fashion, you can add a layer of pistachio cream over the panettone and even infuse the cream into air pockets inside the bread.
Chocotone is the chocolate version of the traditional Italian Christmas sweet bread. The traditional version is made with dried fruits and candied fruits.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you have any questions. Feel free to tag me in social media with your version of this recipe:)). Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog!!
I have more dessert recipes that are not Panettone:)). Here are some of them.