Place the dried cherries and Amaretto liquor in a small bowl and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the water, eggs, egg yolks, both the lemon and orange zests, honey and the vanilla extract then set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer stir together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
Fit the hook attachment to your mixer.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and knead until you see the dough forming.
Add the softened butter to the dough and continue kneading for about 7 minutes while stopping to scrap the flour from the bottom of the bowl.
You'll note that the batter will be very soft and sticky.
Lightly grease a large bowl.
With a rubber spatula scrape down the dough into the greased bowl.
Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set in a warm draft free area to rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare your cake pan if using.
Grease the bottom and sides of your cake pan.
Use parchment paper to make a collar and place along the insides of the pan and firmly press the paper against the sides of the pan. Also grease the joining ends of the parchment paper. My pan was 3 1/2 inches high and so I trimmed the top to surpass the rim by one extra inch.
If you're using a panettone paper mold there is no prepping.
After the dough has risen for 1 hour and 1/2 fold in the boozy cherries and chopped chocolate with a rubber spatula.
Gently scrape the dough into your prepared cake pan and let it rise again uncovered for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes.
When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Lightly beat some of the reserved egg whites and gently brush the top of the panettone with the beaten egg whites.
Sprinkle the top with sugar granules.
Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.
When ready the panettone will have a deep golden brown colour and when poked with a wooden skewer it should come out clean.
Carefully release from the cake pan and insert 12 inch wooden skewers into the bottom of the panettone and then invert it upside down into a large stock pot allowing the skewers to rest over the rim of the stock pot.
This helps the panettone from collapsing while cooling off and also aids in retaining those pretty air pockets throughout the sweet bread.
Allow it to cool completely upside down if not serving right away. Then store in an airtight container.
We love it while still slightly warm, soft and fluffy.