Celebrate the holidays at Riad 72 in Marrakech

Celebrate the holidays at Riad 72 in Marrakech

Dec 19 - 2015

19 Dec Celebrate the holidays at Riad 72 in Marrakech

At Riad Living the excitement is building as we prepare to celebrate one of most magical times of the year in one of the most magical cities. After all, Marrakech is a city that stimulates all senses and here at Riad Living we’re emulating that feeling.

Red rose petals fill the fountain in banana-treed courtyard, adding some festive colour as the entire Riad Living team is getting involved to ensure a warm festive welcome for guests staying at Riad 72 and Riad Due this holiday season.

Visiting Italian chef Marco Chiacchiaretta and Mustapha El Bachna, resident chef at La Table du Riad, have spent a week at Riad 72 creating a special holiday menu for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Together the chefs have sourced the freshest seasonal ingredients by selected local farmers, transforming traditional Moroccan flavours into contemporary creations.

Though rarely found in Morocco, owner Giovanna has finally found the perfect white orchids for the holiday season. When only the best in floral decor will do, we seek out the best florist in town – at the majestic La Mamounia. It is after all, the most wonderful time of the year.

We’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of manager Stefania’s sister in Marrakech with festive holly berry in her bags. We can’t help but think it will provide the finishing touches on the perfect tablescape. In the meantime, our go-to man Aziz is busy finalizing new designs with local craftsman to be used within the riads. In the kitchen, the delicious smell of homemade panettone with pear, dark chocolate ganache, chocolate drops and ice cream is in the air. After all, what would Christmas be without a traditional panettone?

When it’s time to tuck in to bed on Christmas Eve, manager Stefania is sure to have some holiday surprises up her sleeve before waking up on Christmas morning. Guests will enjoy an intimate breakfast either in their room or on our sunny terrace with views of the Atlas Mountains in the background. With warm sunny days and average daytime temperatures around +25′C, we expect some guests may spend their holidays sunbathing on the rooftop terrace.

Fast-forward to party time

When it comes time to ring in 2016, we’ll be celebrating in style.

For more information about our Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus, please visit our Web site: La Table du Riad at Riad 72.

We’re so excited about tucking in to a fresh panettone this holiday season, we have decided to share our traditional recipe with readers.


1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons light rum
2 tablespoons hot water
3¾ all-purpose flour
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
½ vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3 eggs, at room temperature
⅔ cup tepid water
1 tablespoon honey
10½ tablespoons unsalted butter, well softened
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled
⅔ cup candied citron or candied orange peel in ¼-inch pieces


1. In a small bowl, combine the raisins with the rum and 2 tablespoons of hot water. Allow to soak at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the raisins are plump and most of the liquid has been absorbed, at least 8 hours or overnight.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, lemon zest and vanilla bean on low speed until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, tepid water and honey. With the mixer on low speed, pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Add the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding more. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

3. Drain the raisins, discard the soaking liquid, and stir together with the candied citron and 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Stir this mixture into the dough with a wooden spoon.

4. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a cold oven with the door closed until it has nearly tripled in volume, 12 to 15 hours.

5. Locate and discard the vanilla bean, then sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and scrape out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a bit more flour onto the dough, then fold the edges of the dough in towards the center, forming a loose ball, and place, seam-side down, into the panettone mold. Cover with a damp kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until the dough is just above the top of the mold, 3 to 5 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F.

7. Place the dough-filled panettone mold on a baking sheet. Use a very sharp serrated knife to score an “X” across the entire surface of the dough. Place the 1 tablespoon chilled butter in the center of the X and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out slightly moist but not wet, 60 to 75 minutes (the panettone will be very dark).

8. Remove from the oven and pierce 12-inch metal or wooden skewers all the way through the panettone (including the paper) 4 inches apart and 1 inch from the bottom so the skewers are parallel. Hang the panettone upside down over a large stockpot and cool completely before cutting.

To celebrate the holidays at Riad 72, Riad Due or La Table du Riad at Riad 72, contact us today!

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