Preview of SIGEP: Christmas trends in Italian baking from top pastry chefs
December 6, 2022 By Colleen Cross
This Christmas will see a return to basics in terms of desserts, more intimate festivities with a reduction in consumption but compensated by an orientation towards quality products. This is the trend that emerges from the Christmas report by SIGEP Observatory, where master pastry chefs Iginio Massari, Roberto Rinaldini, Sal De Riso, pastry queen Sonia Balacchi and Alessandro Dalmasso work together.
These talented chefs have always been linked to Italian Exhibition Group’s international event dedicated to artisan gelato, pastry, chocolate, bakery and coffee, scheduled to take place Jan. 21-25, 2023, at Rimini Expo Centre in Italy.
Organizers have shared holiday trends and ideas from top European pastry chefs.
IGINIO MASSARI: PANETTONE, THE CAKE THAT REPRESENTS SERENITY
“People care about experiencing Christmas with its symbols and rituals,” says the great Iginio Massari. A trend that the president of APEI, Pastry Ambassadors of Italian Excellence, can also be seen on the purchase front: despite the mouth-watering pistachio and chocolate proposals available in his stores, 70 per cent of customers choose the simplicity and serenity of the classic recipe.
ROBERTO RINALDINI: PANETTONI WITH STARS AND SOLIDARITY
Roberto Rinaldini, a member of Relais Dessert International, is counting on collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Enrico Bartolini to turn one of his most famous desserts into panettone form. In addition to taste, Rinaldini has also rediscovered kindness of heart with the Rise Together Foundation and his solidarity panettone to help children and young people in need of treatment or therapy.
SALVATORE DE RISO: LET’S INNOVATE TRADITION
For Salvatore De Riso, President of AMPI, the Italian Master Pastry Chef Academy – Christmas is the holiday of traditions par excellence. That is why Campania’s specialities are still an absolute must: struffoli, roccocò, and mostaccioli. Of course, there is no shortage of the most famous leavened goods with no less than sixteen different panettone cakes. The most precious? The one rolled in gold. The best loved? The limoncello version with all the citrus flavours of the Amalfi Coast.
ALESSANDRO DALMASSO: LET’S LEARN FROM OUR GRANDMOTHERS AND DELIGHT THE CHILDREN
Alessandro Dalmasso, President of Club Coupe Du Monde de la Pâtisserie, reminds us that Christmas is the time to gather around the family favourites preserved in our grandmothers’ recipes. That’s why his new panettone proposals speak of the typicality of his land with Pangianduja and Panettone Piemontese. Alongside these leavened products, he also offers a rich assortment of Christmas-themed mignons, beautiful to see and taste and designed to enchant the little ones.
SONIA BALACCHI: CLASSIC, NATURAL, SUSTAINABLE AND… CHRISTMAS ICE
According to Sonia Balacchi, the first Pastry Queen in 2012, there is no Christmas table without panettone: classic, chocolate, with citrus aromas, spices and seasonal fruit. And for this festive season, Balacchi is offering the mouth-watering Christmas Ice panettone. The pastry queen explains that she prefers natural raw materials to produce something that is unique, just as unique as sharing it at home with those we love.
CHOCOLATE ON THE FESTIVE TABLE: TRADITION AS WELL AS GOURMET ENCOUNTERS
The Christmas tradition also includes a leading role for chocolate. Iginio Massari is offering variations between dark, milk, triple-chocolate, pistachio and coffee creams, and pistachio, hazelnut and almond pralines. Roberto Rinaldini suggests gianduia nougat with hazelnuts and candied orange peel, or honey nougat with almonds, pistachios and cranberries and also offers a hint of savoury gourmet with salted chocolates with microspheres of gorgonzola, pecorino, stracchino and basil or goat’s cheese and pistachio. Still on the subject of evergreens, for Sonia Balacchi the most popular include three-dimensional reinterpretations of chocolate Christmas trees. Last but not least, Salvatore De Riso is proposing chocolate horns, coral red as per tradition, available in two sizes: a small and large version for a centrepiece of good wishes.
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