So Christmas is just around the corner and I am overwhelmed as to how quickly this year has galloped along!! I remember my mother telling me that “the older you get the quicker time flies”, and I believe this to be truer every year………..
So I must be getting on in years!! #sigh
Last week I was the guest chef at the Country Christmas Fair and I demonstrated a variety of yummy traditional Christmas treats, but with a coastal twist, as our Xmas is normally around the swimming pool in a more informal setting, due to our climate.
Stollen is a famous fruitcake that is very traditional during the festive season, and as my paternal grandmother was of German decent this substitute Christmas cake has always been a favourite around my family.
Its made from a rich yeast dough mixed with candied fruit and almonds and the loaves are folded to symbolize baby Jesus in swaddling clothes.
The traditional way is to place a roll of marzipan (almond paste) in the center of the dough, but I prefer to add chunks of it when I mix the candied fruit and nuts as the thought of biting into the marzipan is not appealing to me.
The dough is not very sweet but is perfectly balanced by the richness of the fruit and nuts. Once baked they are generously brushed with butter, topped with icing sugar and keep for at least 2 weeks before eating.
Candied Citrus Peel:
1 lemon zest removed
1 orange zest removed
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Dough: Makes 1 large or 2 med loaves
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup cranberries
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup mixed nuts
1 pkt (10g) dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water ( not hot or the yeast will not activate)
5 cups flour
1 cup milk
3 med eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond essence (optional)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
Marichino cherries for decorating
1/2 cup melted butter for glazing
1 cup of castor sugar – 1/2 for dusting & 1/2 to be mixed with a little water to drizzle over loaves
- Place raisins, citrus peels and sugar in a pan and cover with a little water
- Bring to the boil and then simmer over low heat until liquid has caramalised
- Once cooled, fold cinnamon and nutmeg into the candied citrus #heavenly
- Place yeast in warm water for 10 min
- Add 1 cup of the flour and 1/2 cup of milk to yeast, mix into a smooth paste, cover with clingwrap and allow to set for about 20 min
- Add the remaining flour and milk, butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the mixture is elastic ( add extra flour if the consistency is too wet, but the end result is fairly sticky ).
- Place dough back into the bowl and brush surface with a little melted butter, cover and allow to proof for 1 hr
- After the resting time, add citrus peel, raisins, cranberries, almonds, nuts and marzipan and knead them into the dough so that they are evenly distributed
- Roll dough into rectangle and fold the sides into the middle
- Decorate the top of the loaf with maraschino cherries and flaked almonds
- Bake for 45 minutes on 190C until the loaves are golden brown
- Immediately brush each loaf with melted butter until its all used up.
- Mix 1/2 the icing sugar with water and drizzle over loaf
- Sieve the icing sugar over Stollen
Store in an air-tight container or freeze for later use.
Enjoy with some iced Eggnog!!!!