An incredible recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone, with a light, open and authentic crumb. Tall and majestic, this chocolate version of the most famous of yeasted Italian Christmas Cakes is moist and buttery and dotted with little bites of chocolate. Exactly as it should be… No one will EVER know that it’s gluten free.
NOTE: This Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone is my second Panettone recipe post. You will find the recipe at the bottom. However, to get the best from the recipe, it is really important to understand why the ingredients and process are as they are. So… I urge you to look through the post itself, but also to read my previous Fruit Panettone Post, as this contains really important information to getting it right.
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Don’t Lose This Recipe… Pin it for Later
We’ve done fruit… now here’s my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone Recipe
Introducing my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone recipe. Yes really! Two Panettone recipes in Two weeks? You Bet!
Having cracked the gluten free traditional Italian Fruit Panettone, creating a Chocolate Chip version HAD to be done. Although I would personally go for a good fruit Panettone given a choice, I know there are many out there who would definitely put a hand up if offered a chocolate version. So, this tall and very authentically-textured bake is especially for you! Because NO-ONE should ever have to miss out…
Is Italian Panettone cake or bread?
Panettone (whether, fruit, chocolate chip or some other version) is a very popular, traditional Italian Christmas cake… Or is it Christmas bread?
Actually, if you have ever tasted the genuine article, it can easily be considered as both. But as a yeasted cake… it doesn’t (and should never) have the tight interior of a sponge cake. It should be light, with an open crumb and irregular air-pockets… With a texture that is more bread than cake and is neither too wet nor too dry. Genuine Panettone is ALL about the crumb.
When it comes to flavour, Panettone is definitely more ‘bread’… It should not be too sweet, but should show-case its ‘add-ins’ with each and every slice… From bottom to top. And so it is with my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone. Seriously… No-one would ever know it’s gluten free.
Can anyone make a Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone?
I honestly believe that my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone is within everyone’s reach. Sure, it requires some baking skill, but compared to the genuine traditional wheat version (which takes 3 days to make), it is actually relatively straight forward. Sometimes, being Coeliac or gluten-intolerant has advantages!
So, why do I think making this Panettone is within any baker’s reach? Well… It is because it has a number of clearly defined stages, none of which in themselves is particularly complex. If you read the recipe as stages and break them down in your head as distinct blocks of a process, it will seem a lot more ‘doable’. If you can weigh… use a spoon and a mixer… spoon batter into a baking case… check on dough as it rises… and bake until a skewer comes out clean, then you’ve pretty much got this! You just need the confidence to go for it, and a little creativity to work out how you can best suspend the Panettone upside down in your kitchen to cool… (Probably the trickiest bit).
How to make a Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone – Tips you need to read
When I wrote my previous Traditional Panettone post for the fruit version, I carefully set out a number of facts about both the ingredients and the process that were essential to understand in making the recipe. I am not going to repeat myself again here, but I ABSOLUTELY recommend that you read the previous post BEFORE setting out to make my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone. Only that way will you fully understand the what, why and how.
Any recipe is the baker’s guide to making it right. When things go wrong, the most common reason is because the recipe was not followed. My Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone is a carefully curated recipe. Change the ingredients or the method and the result will NOT be the same.
What’s covered in the previous Panettone post?
So, what do you need to be clear about when making my gluten free Panettone recipe? The previous post covers the following key bits of information…
- The Flour Blend – Yes. The gluten free flours you use REALLY matters. This blend is formulated specifically for my Panettone recipes.
- Psyllium Husk – The why and how.
- Why there’s Ginger in the recipe.
- The importance of using Full Fat Milk and Milk Powder.
- Yeast – which yeast to use, why and how.
- Egg Size – Why it’s important (you can also check out my International Guide to Egg Size and Weight).
- The use of Honey in the Panettone recipe.
- Why Glycerine is needed.
Process for making Panettone
The previous post covers…
- Psyllium Hydration.
- Yeast Activation.
- Hand Mixer vs Stand Mixer (you’ll need a dough hook).
- Proofing the dough… TWICE.
- The Panettone Mould and Panettone Tin… REALLY IMPORTANT! (This recipe is for a 750g Panettone… and YES… You absolutely need a Panettone paper mould to make it).
Hanging the Panettone upside down to cool
This is NOT an optional part of the process. Hanging your Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone upside down to cool is essential to ensuring the characteristic open and airy structure of the final bake. It’s necessary for any good Panettone… gluten free or not… And is an authentic part of Italian Panettone process.
It is also important that the turning and hanging happens immediately after the bake is removed from the oven… No waiting allowed (unless you wish to watch your beautifully crafted Panettone collapse like a soufflé… Trust me… I’ve watched and it is really demoralising).
The ‘how’ to turn and suspend your Panettone is a dilemma that needs to be considered BEFORE you start to bake. And it will be dependent on what equipment and options you have in your own kitchen. However, PLEASE head over to the previous post, where I have outlined in greater detail, the information that might help you.
Links to key ingredients and equipment used to make my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone…
- Glutinous Rice Flour (aka Mochiko; Asian or sticky rice flour)
- Whole Psyllium Husks (be sure to grind in the blender at home)
- Dried Active Yeast (NOT instant yeast)
- A food thermometer
- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- 750g Panettone Cases (I bought mine in a quantity of 10 from Bakery Bits) but there are alternative options on Amazon. (also Amazon).
- Tall Springform 750g Panettone baking tin
The Chocolate Chips in my Gluten Free Panettone and other possible add-ins
Technically, my Panettone is a Hazelnut and Chocolate Chip Panettone, as in addition to the chocolate chips, it contains some chopped roasted hazelnuts and a little Fratello (hazelnut liqueur)… However, the hazelnuts and the liqueur are optional.
The chocolate chips I used are standard baking chocolate chips, although being Christmas, I used Food Thoughts 70% Cacao Luxury Dark Chocolate Chips combined with some Luxury White Chocolate Chips from the same company. I found them in Sainsbury’s (in 200g tubs), and worth every penny. However, use whatever you can get hold of… dark, milk or white is fine.
Flavour it up….
If you don’t fancy chocolate chip panettone however, I feel sure that now I’ve cracked the base yeasted Panettone bread, the recipe will take any number of additions. Just be sure you don’t over-load it. Less is more for flavour, appearance and to ensure the whole thing doesn’t collapse. But you could try adding…
- Various chopped nuts… I’m really tempted to add slivered pistachios as I think they’d look incredible.
- Spicing – a good dose of cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cardamom, etc.
- Chopped crystallised ginger.
- Amaretti and almond extract.
- Orange, lemon or other citrus zest and extracts/oils. (Actually… I now have a separate recipe for Gluten Free Lemon Panettone too!)
- Glacé cherries and almonds (Bakewell-style).
- Candied citrus.
- Lemon and poppyseed.
- Dried apple and cinnamon.
If using any form of standard dried fruit, pleased be certain to soak it first and use the previous Traditional Fruit Panettone recipe as it was formulated specifically to incorporate dried fruit.
Adding a little extra liquid…
Please note that my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone recipe has slightly adjusted liquid levels to take account of the fact that it does not include soaked dried fruit. I used Italian Fratello (hazelnut liqueur) primarily to pair with the chopped hazelnuts I added. But using Amaretti, Cointreau or any other liqueur of choice is fine. And if you would rather avoid alcohol altogether (although the alcohol will evaporate as part of the cooking process), feel free to sub with additional milk.
Is this Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone safe for Coeliacs?
In fact, EVERY recipe that you find on Gluten Free Alchemist is safe for Coeliacs. Why not check out our amazing Gluten Free Recipe Index?
Can I also make Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone dairy free?
The honest answer is that I haven’t tried. However, it should work fine… providing the dairy ingredients (butter, milk and chocolate chips) are carefully substituted for good-quality comparable alternatives. If you do wish to try it, I would advise…
- Milk – choose a dairy free milk with a higher fat content. Standard full fat (whole) dairy milk has a fat content of 3.5%, which is what you are trying to replicate.
- Milk Powder – Several dairy free milk powders are now available. Choose one that is good for you.
- Butter – substitute with good, dairy free alternative baking BLOCK. I recommend Stork or Flora unsalted baking blocks.
How to eat Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone
My Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone is incredible fresh and served just as it is. Seriously… THIS is the ultimate way to enjoy it. No need to toast. It is perfect just the way it is… In large, tall, indulgent wedge-shaped slices with coffee, hot chocolate or a sweet wine.
It should stay fresh enough to eat this way for at least 3 days stored correctly (and NOT in the fridge).
But like any bread (gluten free or not), if it hasn’t been devoured within a couple of days, you may choose to eat it toasted (and slathered with butter); Made into Panettone French Toast; Warmed and served with homemade chocolate sauce and custard; Or turned into the ultimate Chocolate Bread Pudding… or Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding.
How to store your Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone
Providing it hasn’t been over-baked, this Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone has a pretty good shelf-life and should stay fresh and soft for at least 3 days (although like all good breads, it is best eaten as fresh as possible). Beyond happy softness, see above for suggestions on how to eat.
To store… Allow it to cool completely, before wrapping in clingfilm (or similar) and store airtight and at room temperature. Do NOT keep in the fridge.
Although I have not tried freezing home-baked gluten free Panettone, there is no reason you can’t do so… (although it is likely to require re-heating/toasting after freezing).
Have you made my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone?
I hope you love my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone recipe and that you have the confidence to try making it. If you do make it, please let me know. Leave a comment, rate the recipe and tag me on social media with your Panettone photos. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. (@glutenfreealchemist) #glutenfreealchemist Don’t forget to tag me in so I can find you.
And if you are looking for more gluten free Christmas inspiration, head over to our dedicated Gluten Free Christmas Recipe Index. It’s the perfect place to start.
Shared with my Christmas love
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** © 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist.**
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Panettone
- Springform/loose-bottomed Panettone tin or deep cake tin of appropriate size (for 750g Panettone)
- 750g Panettone paper case to fit the size and shape of the chosen tin
- large, deep tin to 'suspend' the Panettone upside down to cool
- 2 to 3 long skewers
- cling film
Psyllium Husk Hydration
- 14 g ground psyllium husk
- 190 ml/g warm (Full Fat/Whole) milk
- 15 g dried active yeast NOT instant yeast
- 30 g runny honey
- 60 ml/g hand warm milk (Full Fat/Whole milk) optimum temperature 38 C/100F
Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 90 g glutinous rice flour also known as Mochiko, sticky Asian rice flour and sweet rice flour (available in Asian supermarkets and online)
- 90 g oat flour or sorghum flour if oats cannot be eaten
- 30 g potato STARCH
- 90 g tapioca STARCH
- 75 g corn STARCH fine white powder, known in the UK as cornflour
- 3 g fine sea salt = approx ½ teaspoon
- 1½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1½ tsp baking powder gluten free
- 45 g caster sugar
- ½ tsp ground ginger powder
- 3 tbsp milk powder
Additional base-dough ingredients
- 150 g unsalted hard block butter cold and cubed
- 3 large eggs At room temperature – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’) – approx. weight out of shell 171 to 177g
- 2¼ tsp glycerine
- 2½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Fratello (hazelnut) or Amaretti (almond) liqueur or alternatively milk
- 100 g dark chocolate chips
- 60 g white chocolate chips
- 30 g chopped roasted hazelnuts optional
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- ½ tbsp Demerara sugar crystals (approx. amount to sprinkle)
- chopped roasted hazelnuts
Psyllium Husk Hydration
- Weigh the ground psyllium husk into a small bowl and add the 190g portion of warm milk
- Stir well and leave to stand for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes to hydrate.
- Weigh the yeast and honey into a small bowl.
- Add the 60g warm milk being very careful to check the temperature is hand warm (38 C/100 F).
- Lightly whisk the mixture to blend and to help the yeast dissolve.
- Set aside to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes. The mix should become frothy and develop a ‘head’. If it doesn’t, the room may be too cold or the yeast may be ‘dead’. To test again, stir through and set the bowl over a mug of steaming water. Leave for a further 10 minutes. If the mix still doesn’t froth, the yeast is no good (the milk was too hot or the yeast too old). Throw it away and start the yeast activation stage again.
Gluten Free Flour Blend
- Weigh all the flour blend ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir well until evenly combined. (If using a stand mixer, weigh directly into the mixer bowl).
Making the Panettone Dough and Proof 1
- Rub the cold, cubed butter into the flour blend with finger tips, until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Break the eggs into a bowl (weigh if possible, to check they are in weight range) and beat lightly with a fork.
- Add the egg to the flour bowl along with the hydrated psyllium and activated yeast.
- Also add the glycerine, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
- Using an electric mixer (hand or stand) with dough hooks attached, beat the mixture well until it becomes a stiff batter.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a firm spatula and re-mix for a further 4 to 5 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, pulling the dough-batter into the centre of the bowl in a rounded pile (so that any batter stuck to the sides doesn’t dry out).
- Set the mixer aside… you will need it again later!
- Cover the bowl with a plate or some clingfilm (not touching the batter) and set aside in a warm place for an hour +, until the dough has doubled in size. This is the first proof.
Preparing the Panettone tin and ‘suspension’ tin
- While proof 1 is taking place, prepare the Panettone tin, by lining with a Panettone paper case (for a 750g Panettone). I use a spring-form (or loose-bottom) Panettone tin (as you will need to be able to release, remove and invert the baked Panettone quickly without squashing) – size diameter 6” (15 cm) x height 5” (12.5 cm). The paper Panettone case is essential. Do not make the bake without this.But the important thing re size, is that the case is for 750g and you have a supportive cake tin to place it in.
- You will also need to have ready a second tin/vessel/saucepan/or alternative mechanism to invert the Panettone as soon as it comes out of the oven. The vessel needs to be taller and wider than the baked Panettone itself. Bear in mind and calculate that the Panettone will rise above the case in height. The Panettone will need to be cooled upside down and suspended so that its inverted ‘top’ is not touching anything. I use a second tin that is 7” (18 cm) diameter x 7” (18 cm) tall, but your choice will need to work with your own Panettone size and shape.
- Also have ready 2 to 3 long skewers (metal or wood) with sharp points, that will fit through and beyond the Panettone sides.
Adding the chocolate and nuts to the dough and Second Proof
- Once the dough has doubled in size, ‘knock it back’ by beating again thoroughly with the mixer and dough hooks.
- Add the chocolate chips and chopped nuts to the dough along with the additional liqueur.
- Beat the chocolate, nuts and liqueur into the dough with the mixer and dough hooks until the dough is even in consistency and the chocolate chips evenly distributed. If the chocolate has ‘bunched’ and not distributed well, use a firm spoon or spatula to give the dough a final mix by hand, to ensure it is even.
- Transfer the dough to the Panettone case (it should reach almost two-thirds of the height of the case), and smooth the top with the back of a spoon, or spatula. (Make sure there are no large air-pockets, by pushing down well as you fill the case).
- Cover the top of the Panettone tin and case lightly with clingfilm and place in a warmish room to proof for approximately 1½ hours (dependent on air temperature).
- The Panettone will be risen enough when the dough reaches almost the top of the case. Keep an eye on it.
Baking the Panettone
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 when the dough has nearly finished its second proof.
- When ready to bake, gently glaze the top of the dough with beaten egg-wash using a pastry brush.
- Sprinkle the top with Demerara sugar and some chopped, roasted hazelnuts.
- Gently place in the oven on a baking tray (for base-heat protection).
- Bake at 180 C for 25 minutes and then turn the oven down to 150 C/300 F/Gas 2 (do NOT open the oven door).
- Bake for a further approx. 40 to 45 minutes. The Panettone will be well risen, golden and firm on the top and a skewer inserted will come out clean.
Inverting, Suspending and Cooling the Panettone
- BEFORE removing the Panettone from the oven, be sure to have everything you need ready to invert the cake.
- Remove the Panettone from the oven and immediately but gently remove the cake from the side-panel of the external metal tin (leaving the base and cake in place on the baking tray).
- Then immediately insert the skewers parallel through the sides of the cake paper wrapper, pushing through to the other side, as low as possible to the base of the cake (about 2 cm up from the bottom). Use two skewers placed towards either side of the cake for stability. A third is probably unnecessary.
- Working as quickly as possible, the Panettone needs to be inverted and suspended, so that it hangs from the skewers over the prepared cooling ‘vessel’. Although this can be done by hand, the cake is hot and still very soft, so any pressure will compress it. To overcome this, I have found the easiest way is to place the cooling vessel over the upright cake, so that it sits on the skewers. Then using the support of the baking tray and holding both baking tray and ‘vessel’ in place, quickly flip the whole thing over (it may help to have a second pair of hands available).
- Remove the baking tray (now on the top) and the metal base of any baking tin that was in place.
- Leave the Panettone to cool completely suspended upside down, before turning back upright.
- Store in an airtight container or well-wrapped.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist