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A Very German Christmas Cake: Stollen

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September 21, 2014 / Cake / By
Nicola

'Christmas Stollen' by looopeeelisa via Flickr

 

With only three months to go until Christmas (yes, I mentioned the C word in September), it's time to start looking ahead to food for the big day. Anyone who's catered for the whole family on Christmas Day will know that a huge amount of work and preparation goes into it, so it's best to start thinking about it well in advance. This saves time, effort and stress in the long run!

One of the classic dishes which is eaten at this time of year is a Christmas fruit cake. This isn't just the case for Great Britain: the same tradition is carried out in many countries around the world. The German variety is called Stollen, and you can get hold of it very easily in many supermarkets.

However, there's nothing quite like making your own. One huge advantage of this German Stollen is that it freezes very well, so you can make it a week or two in advance, and defrost it on Christmas Eve.

Ingredients:

250g dried fruits - this should be made up of a variety of fruits, such as raisins, glacé cherries, dried cranberries, dried apricots, dried pineapple, candied peel, or whatever else takes your fancy

350g strong white flour

2 teaspoons dried yeast

50g caster sugar

175ml milk

90g softened butter

200g marzipan

1 tsp salt

1 lightly beaten egg

Method:

1. Warm the milk slightly - until it is just warm to the touch - then pour in the yeast. Leave it to stand for a few minutes while you prepare some of the other ingredients.

2. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl, then make a well in the centre. Into this, pour the aforementioned milk-yeast mix and stir.

3. Next, add the butter and the egg and stir it all very thoroughly.

4. Throw in all the dried fruits and candied peel, then turn everything out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the mixture for about five to ten minutes, until it appears to be slightly stretchy.

5. Lightly oil a bowl, into which you should place the kneaded dough mixture. Cover with a tea towel or some cling film, and leave it to rise for a minimum of one hour. Only continue once it has doubled in size.

6. Once it is ready, remove the dough from the bowl and knock it back. Roll it out into a rectangle with a size of roughly 25 cm x 30 cm.

7. Using your hands, roll the marzipan into a long sausage, just shorter than the longest side of your rectangle. Place this sausage onto the centre of your dough, then fold the dough over so that the marzipan sausage is hidden. Seal the ends; the marzipan should be completely invisible at this point.

8. Lightly grease a baking tray and place the dough onto it, with the seam on the underside. Again, cover it with a tea towel and leave it to rise for another 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F or Gas Mark 5).

9. As soon as the loaf has doubled in size, uncover it and place it in the warm oven. Leave it to cook for half an hour before removing it. Allow it to rest on the baking tray for a few minutes, after which you should transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

There are numerous ways in which you can decorate Stollen. A simple glacé icing works beautifully, but on the other hand just scattering some icing sugar over the top can give a very striking effect. Whichever method you choose, slice the Stollen into pieces to serve it.

As you can see, this is a more bread-like cake than the traditional English Christmas cake. Nevertheless, it is still a delightful variation to try, which will add a little touch of Germany to your celebrations!

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Country: Germany

Province/State: Berlin

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Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
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$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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