Saturday, 12 December 2015

Christmas Stollen Cake

I wanted to try Stollen, since I have never eaten it.  So I had a look around and found a Delia Smith recipe for Waitrose which seemed quite easy.  It was different to other recipes, in that it didn't seem to need any kneading of the dough.  I also watched the video and everything seemed to work out quite well.  So that is what I opted to try.  

I think I will also try another recipe to see how the result actually differs. But this one worked well enough for me and I must say it is nice and light and tastes delicious.   With lots of fruit, some almonds and marzipan it is a very nice alternative to the traditional British christmas cake.

I did make one change to the recipe.  Since the other recipes I saw all seemed to brush melted butter over the baked stollen and then sift icing sugar on top of that I decided that it was probably more traditional than the icing that Delia's recipe suggested.  So I omitted the icing and went with butter and icing sugar instead.

I hope to try panettone as well in the next week or so, just to see how that differs too.

In the meantime this is a good recipe and very easy to follow.
Christmas Stollen Cake


Christmas Stollen Cake - Video
Ingredients:
  • 350g strong white flour
  • a pinch of fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons easy bake yeast
  • 40g currants (I like pinhead)
  • 25g whole candied peel, finely chopped
  • 50g sultanas
  • 40g no-soak apricots, chopped
  • 40g natural glace cherries, quartered
  • 25g almonds, chopped (skin on)
  • the grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 40g golden caster sugar
  • 110g spreadable butter
  • 110ml hand-hot milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 175g white almond icing (marzipan). See related recipe below
  • 50g melted butter
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
Method:
  1. First put 300g of the flour, together with the salt and yeast, into a mixing bowl and give it a quick mix. 
  2. Sprinkle in the currants, candied peel, sultanas, apricots, glace cherries, chopped almonds, lemon zest and caster sugar and give it all a stir before making a well in the centre. 
  3. Then add the butter and pour over the hand-hot milk. Add the beaten egg and mix everything together with a spatula– until the mixture is well blended. 
  4. Now sprinkle 25g flour on to a board (you’ll need this because the mixture is very sticky), and pile the mixture on top. Then turn the dough over in the flour and knead lightly to form a ball.
  5. Now return the dough to its bowl and place it in a polythene bag closed with a clip and leave it at room temperature until it has doubled in size (the time this takes can vary depending on the temperature – it could take up to 2 hours). 
  6. After that, turn the risen dough out on to a board floured with the remaining 25g of flour. Punch the air out of it and knead it back into a smooth ball and then shape the dough out to an oblong about 15 x 20 cm with a floured rolling pin. 
  7. Using your hands, roll out the marzipan to form a sausage shape about 14cm long and place width ways in the centre of the dough, finishing just short of the edges. Simply bring one side over the marzipan, followed by the other. 
  8. Then carefully turn it over, so that the seam is underneath, and place it diagonally on the baking sheet, allowing plenty of room for expansion. 
  9. Put the whole thing in one, or you may need two, lightly oiled polythene bags and leave it to prove in a warm place until it has doubled in size again. (This will take about an hour).
  10. Pre-heat the oven to180°C gas mark 4.
  11. Remove the bag and bake for 40 minutes in the centre of the oven. 
  12. As soon as it is out of the oven brush all over the tops and sides with melted butter.
  13. Sift icing sugar over the top.
  14. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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