• Sweet olives, rinsed to remove most of their brine and then dipped in a sweet glucose solution, are the hottest new product to hit deli shelves. Their more-ish affinity to chocolate makes them irresistible in this loaf. Dates make an equally delicious alternative if you can’t find sweet olives.

    Sweet olive and chocolate panetone

    Serves: 1 panettone
    Cooking Time: 1 hour plus 2 hours to rise


    • 2 egg yolks
    • 180ml tepid milk
    • 5ml vanilla extract
    • 720g cake flour
    • 10g instant yeast
    • 60g castor sugar
    • 2ml sea salt
    • 500ml tepid water
    • oil, for smoothing over the dough
    • zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, finely chopped
    • 100g butter, softened
    • 125g sweet olives or 150g dates, roughly chopped
    • 150g good-quality dark chocolate
    • egg wash, made with 1 egg yolk and beaten with water
    • icing sugar, to dredge, optional



    Grease a 15cm x 20cm round cake tin. Line the base and sides with baking paper so that the paper extends 10cm over the top of the tin. Wrap 2 sheets of brown paper around the outside of the tin, securing them with string, for additional support during rising.


    Whisk together the egg yolks, milk and vanilla extract.


    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and add the milk mixture together with a little water to make a dough (do not add all the water at once). Add the liquid slowly as the flour absorbs it, and then drop by drop, until your dough is the required consistency, soft but not sticky. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. The dough must be soft.


    Place the dough in a bowl and oil the surface. Wrap the bowl in a large packet and place it in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Knock back and rest for 10 minutes. Knead in the zest and butter until thoroughly combined. Add the sweet olives and chocolate and knead by hand until evenly distributed.


    Shape the dough in a round and place in the prepared tin. Oil the surface of the dough. Cover and prove until double in size, about 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 180°C.


    Brush the surface with the egg wash and bake until a metal skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from the mould and leave to cool.


    Dredge with icing sugar and serve.


    If you don’t have an appropriate baking tin, a saucepan with a heat-proof handle will make a good alternative. You can make the dough using a machine. However, the sweet olives and chocolate must still be incorporated by hand.