I have a policy of not preparing anything for Christmas until the start of December. I'm not being miserable, I absolutely love Christmas, it's just that if I started any earlier I'd have got bored of it by Christmas day!
Once December comes around I really get into it! It just wouldn't be Christmas without mulled wine, mince pies or Christmas cake, so much to make, so little time! As it stands I have already made a tray of mince pies, a Christmas pudding and this Stollen.Stollen is a German yeasted Christmas cake, loaded with fruits, nuts and spices it has a marzipan centre and is one of my favourite Christmas treats.
It is especially good toasted although I should warn you, use an electric toaster at your peril, I'm still cleaning bits of charred marzipan out of mine...
What do you make for Christmas?
The recipe I used is by Simon Rimmer, it turned out really well although next time I will add more fruit.
Original recipe by Simon Rimmer here.
100ml/3½fl oz warm milk
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp ground mixed spice
200g/7oz mixed dried fruit (including glacé cherries)
25g/1oz flaked almonds
50g/2oz unsalted butter
1 free-range egg, beaten
25g/1oz butter, melted
50g/2oz icing sugar
1. Place the milk and yeast into a bowl and mix well. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sift the salt, sugar, flour and mixed spice into a large bowl.
3. Add the dried fruit, almonds and butter and mix well.
4. Add the yeast and milk mixture and mix well.
5. Add the egg and stir well to make a dough.
6. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, then cover and leave to prove for 20 minutes.
7. Uncover the dough and turn out onto a clean, floured work surface. Using your hands knock the dough back to reduce the volume, then knead the dough for 3-4 minutes.
8. Push and roll the dough out by hand into a flat oval shape about 23cm x 18cm/9in x 7in.
9. Roll the marzipan into a piece about 18cm x 5cm/7in x 2in. Place the marzipan into the centre of the dough, then fold over the sides of the dough to seal in the marzipan.
10. Place the stollen seal-side down onto a greased baking tray. Cover and place somewhere warm to prove for one hour.
11. Preheat the oven to 180C/365F/Gas 4.
12. Place the stollen on the baking tray into the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
13. To finish, remove the stollen from the oven, brush with the melted butter and dust with icing sugar immediately.
14. Allow the stollen to cool, then serve in slices