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Christmas cakes showcased from the most famous Italian confectioners

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RIMINI — In preparation for Christmas Eve 2018, the Sigep Observatory of Italian Exhibition Group, linked to the International Trade Show of Artisan Pastry and Baking (in Italy, at Rimini Expo Centre from 19th to 23rd January 2019), interviewed some of the most famous Italian confectioners who have ordained artisan-made panettone as the King of Christmas together with some extremely imaginative cakes.

“I am a traditionalist innovator,” says the “Master of pastry Masters,” Iginio Massari from Brescia near Milan. “I respect tradition in its deepest essence but I give my panettone an innovative touch every year. I use exemplary raw materials: a panettone made properly is always a good panettone.”

Two kilos of sweetness with the fragrance of marron glacè (the chestnuts come from Piedmont) and apricots (from Naples) uphold the panettone (which takes shape after over 60 hours of slow leavening) offered by multi-awarded maestro Roberto Rinaldini from Rimini with pastry shops on the Adriatic Riviera and in Milan, Florence and Japan.

According to the President of the National Italian Confectioners’ Confederation, Federico Anzellotti, “Panettone will be enhanced by sublime combinations like lemons from Sorrento, hazelnuts from Piedmont and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine.”

A eulogy for Christmas afternoons while watching a film comes from the world’s first Pastry Queen (SIGEP 2014): master confectioner, Sonia Balacchi has devised the ‘Torta Movie’ for the Christmas holidays that recalls popcorn, the “co-star” of cinema halls, used as a caramelized decoration on toffee and vanilla icing on a red fruit and mascarpone cheese cake covered with a dark chocolate mousse.

Christmas becomes pink with Silvia Federica Boldetti from Turin, a member of the Italian Academy of Master Confectioners: standing out among her creations is the lucky Christmas trio: Father Christmas, a Wise Man and an elf with pink cocoa beans.

A delicious tribute to Christmas from pastry chefs who have recently been training for the Italian Senior Confectioners’ Championship at the next SIGEP: Sicilian Charles Di Vita delights the palates of Italy with ‘Fiore dell’Etna’ (an almond pastry filled with a light coffee-flavoured cream and crunchy insert), while Gianluca Cavallo, also Sicilian, from Ragusa, is proposing his ‘Torta Regina’ for the Christmas festivities (5 alternating layers of strawberry and wood berry cream).

The young but famous pastry chef, Ilaria Cirillo, is presenting her Föhn for the 2018 Festivities, a soft cake with marrons glacé, apricot jelly and peanut ganache inspired by the name of the warm wind that engulfs the Susa Valley in Piedmont where she was born and bred.

Focus on Sigep 2019

Dates: 19 – 23 January 2019; Organizers: Italian Exhibition Group SpA; edition: 40th SIGEP; frequency: annual; classification: international; admittance: trade members only; hours: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm, last day 9:30 am – 3:00 pm (3:00 – 5:00 pm only with online tickets); Group Brand manager: Flavia Morelli; Brand managers: Gabriella de Girolamo and Giorgia Maioli; visitor  info: +39 0541 744111; Web site: – #Sigep2019

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