EXCLUSIVE! Top telly chef Aldo Zilli talks Christmas and shares a fabulous stuffed Panettino recipe!

by Lynn Connolly

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We have a real Christmas treat for you today as top TV chef Aldo Zilli has prepared a very special dessert recipe that will impress even the fussiest of guests at your festive table!

But first, we asked him to tell us all about his plans for Christmas and how he and his family celebrate the big day.

He said, “After I had my children my Christmas routine is pretty much based around them…

“They usually come to my room very early in the morning very excited to open up their presents.

“We all get our Christmas hats on and head down to the living room. I just love to see the look on their faces when they see the tree with stacks of presents all piled up!

“After they have opened their presents, we enjoy cooking Christmas lunch together…

“Everyone gets involved and we make a right mess!”

Wow, kids in the kitchen on Christmas Day?! I need total isolation and several soothing – and medicinal you understand – glasses of just about anything to get me through it!

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But as promised, here’s Aldo’s gorgeous recipe for stuffed Panettino with blueberry pastry cream and raspberries…

Pastry cream – 500ml milk 3 egg yolks 125g sugar 1 vanilla pod (seeds) 45g “00” flour.

Blueberry coulis -100g blueberries 25ml vin santo 40g sugar 20ml water

1 Panettino
Raspberry for garnish
Icing sugar

For the cream, heat the milk and vanilla to a boil, separately whisk the sugar and eggs until smooth and creamy, then mix in the flour. When the milk is boiling, take off the heat and pour a small amount into the egg mix, mix it in and then pour the whole egg mix into the milk. Whisk continuously. Put back on the heat and stir until it boils again and thickens.

For the coulis, in a hot frying pan add the sugar and water, when it starts to caramelise, add the blueberries and vin santo, cook on a high heat for 5 minutes and set aside to rest. When chilled slightly, lightly blend with a hand blender, but leave some lumps for texture.

Cut the top and centre out of the Panettino to create a well. Mix 2tbsp of coulis with 4tbsp pastry cream. Spoon the mix into the centre of the Panettino. Place the top back on, propped up by 3 raspberries. On the plate spoon on some pastry cream for decoration. Sprinkle with icing sugar and colour with a blow torch. Garnish with fresh mint.

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That sounds and looks amazing! Will you be trying it out?

Here’s a look at what else Aldo recommends for your Christmas table, but for even more hints and tips, click here to go to his website…


Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.