A truly luxurious dessert perfect for Christmas Day, this pannetone chocolate pudding is rich and creamy with a sharp hit of dark chocolate.


Serves 6-8 

  • 350 – 400g panetonne 
  • Custard  
  • 400ml milk 
  • 1/3 of a vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
  • 4 egg yolks 
  • 35g caster sugar 
  • 80g chocolate 62% cocoa solids 


  1. Bring the milk almost to the boil with the vanilla pod. Remove from the heat allowing the vanilla pod to infuse the milk. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and light. 
  2. If you are adding vanilla extract, add it in now. Pour in the hot milk gradually, whisking all of the time. Replace in a clean saucepan with the vanilla pod and cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly with a flat bottomed wooden spoon. The custard must not boil, so keep a close eye on what is happening in the saucepan and the heat under it as well.Be patient and eventually the custard will thicken slightly, not dramatically though, and just enough to leave a light trail along the back of the wooden spoon when a finger is drawn through it. Remember this sauce is served with a thin consistency and also remember that it thickens a little as it cools, though here we are using it while still hot. Immediately remove from the heat.  
  3. To maximize the flavour and appearance of the vanilla in the sauce, cut the vanilla pod in half and squeeze the oily looking seeds into the sauce. When whisked this thick black liquid disperses into thousands of tiny little flecks of vanilla. 
  4. Chop the chocolate into coarse grit sized pieces. 
  5.  Heat a heavy cast-iron grill pan or sauté pan and slice the panetonne into 1 ½ cm thick slices. Grill the panatonne on the dry pan until well coloured and turn and repeat with the other sides. I like some of the panatonne to become richly coloured and this greatly enhances the flavour of the finished dish. 
  6. Drizzle a little of the custard on the bottom of the dish. Cover with enough of the hot panatonne to hide the custard and sprinkle on half of the chocolate. Spoon over about half of the remaining custard and repeat the process again with the rest of the panatonne and chocolate finishing with the remaining custard being careful that there are no bits of dry panatonne visible. 
  7. Allow the pudding to sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.  
  8. Serve with softly whipped cream.