Finally, I managed to try panattone, as I found a nice, small (100g) packet in the supermarket. Compared to a 1 kg packet, I saw all the time.
As I heard from my Milanese colleague, pandoro is the traditional Christmas pastry for Verona, but panattone is from Milan.
Panattone is – for me – the combination of Bundt cake and spice-cake as if they put as much raisins as in a spice-cake into a Bundt cake. :))) I do not really like raisins, so if I have to choose between the two, I definitely choose pandoro. It seems like others as well, as pandoro is the 2nd most popular post. Sorry Milan! Viva Verona!
In the second round, the custards were up. I heard that they eat panattone usually with zabaglione, which is a special, wine custard. Its specialty comes from a sweet, dessert wine from the Marsala region in Sicily. What does a Sicilian wine do in a Milanese traditional Christmas pastry? I will ask my colleague on Monday [Update on 27 December 2011: “I have no idea, but we eat panattone by grilling it a little bit over flames and sprinkle it with some cognac.”]
Note: Marsala wine is very sweet and dark-coloured. Some of the recipes say that you can use other sweet white wine, but then you should increase the amount of sugar. I think it is perfect with Marsala, as you have this concentrated raising taste. So that is why it is so good with panattone, both has a raisin taste. :))))
Making a zabaglione is very easy and fast. I watched this 1 min 40 sec video, where an Italian chef (maybe even from Milan?!:)))) prepares it. During 1 minutes 40 seconds he even has time to separately introduce all ingredients and appliances :)))
Above boiling water whisk the egg yolks, the sugar and the wine continuously until it doubles its size. This will take max. 10 minutes. Ready to serve.
I cannot introduce to you the winner, because I liked both custards. :)))