Family recipe for a traditional German cake served at Christmas time. It is a sweet and spicy bread with dried fruits and a marzipan heart. It should be prepared at least 1 week in advance so that the aromas can infuse, and can be kept at least 2 weeks longer in a cool place. It is delicious when it is served with a hot drink (tea, coffee and chocolate).
For the dough:
- 375 g wheat flour T65,
- 175 g soft butter,
- 100 ml milk,
- 2 medium eggs,
- 70 g blond cane sugar to be ground into icing sugar (about 45 seconds in a blender/chopper),
- 50 g blond cane caster sugar,
- 20 g fresh yeast or 8 g of dry yeast,
- 2 g (1 teaspoon) powdered cinnamon,
- 1 g (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla or tonka bean powder or 10 g (1 sachet) vanilla sugar (subtract this amount from the 50 g of sugar in the dough),
- 1 g (1/2 teaspoon) ground cloves,
- 1 g salt (a large pinch).
For the flavour:
- 120 g white and black raisins,
- 80 ml brown rum,
- 50 g candied orange peel,
- 50 g candied lemon peel,
- 50 g dried apricots (soak for 30 minutes in warm water),
- 80 g dried figs (soak for 30 minutes in warm water),
- 100 g almond powder.
If too much fruit is added, it will be difficult to give the stollen its traditional shape. You will have to be satisfied with a simple bread shape.
Optional: add up to 50 g of seeds or up to 100 g of nuts, whole almonds, hazelnuts.
- 200 g powdered almonds,
- 60 g blond cane sugar to be ground into icing sugar (about 45 seconds in a blender/chopper),
- 15 to 20 ml (a large tablespoon) of flavoured liquid. By tradition, a mixture of rose water and 5 to 10 drops of bitter almond flavouring, or amaretto and 5 to 10 drops of rose essential oil. If the almond is dry, add 20 ml of liquid, no more is needed.
Course of the recipe:
Pour the powdered almond and icing sugar into a large bowl and mix evenly with a whisk. Then pour in the aromatic liquids and mix with a whisk for about 1 minute until the icing sugar is evenly wetted. With your hand, press the dough to densify it and form a 30 cm long pudding sausage roll. Wrap in plastic film and keep in a cool place for at least one day.
Preparation of dried fruits:
Pour the raisins into a bowl with rum and leave to soak overnight.
Soak the other dried fruits for 30 minutes in warm water to make them soft.
In a large bowl, knead with a hook mixer. Pour in flour, sugar, salt and spices, mix 30 seconds. Add soft butter, eggs and crumbled fresh yeast, then pour in milk while mixing. Knead at low/medium speed for 8-10 minutes (depending on the machine and hook). Stop kneading as soon as the dough has a homogenous texture, firm but soft and smooth, peeling away from the edge of the bowl without tearing. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic film and allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for one hour. The dough should loosen but not rise.
Meanwhile, dice the candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, moistened apricots and figs, drop them into a salad bowl with the rum-soaked raisins and powdered almond and mix to separate each fruit.
After the dough has rested, flour the worktop and roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a 40 × 30 cm rectangle, then spread the fruit over the entire dough surface. Roll the dough out, knead a little to incorporate everything and make a ball. Shape the dough into a rectangle about 20 × 10 cm. Store the dough in a box closed with a lid or covered with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, shape the dough into a stollen. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 30 × 25 cm. Roll out the dough on the longest side (image 1), making a 30 × 12 cm piece of dough.
Use the rolling pin to make a hollow in the lengthwise direction (image 2). Place the marzipan in the hollow of the dough (image 3). Fold the right side and cover the left side at 2/3. Shape the middle part with your hands lengthwise to form a bulge and a groove like a sea shell (image 4). If the dough is too difficult to shape according to picture 4, giving it a simple bread shape will be sufficient.
Cover the baking tray with baking paper and place the stollen on it. Allow it to leaven in a warm place (approx. 24°) until its volume is visibly increased (for 1 to 2 hours).
Preheat the oven to 250° convection or 230° fan-assisted oven for at least 10 minutes. Place the baking tray in the lower third of the oven. Close the oven door and reduce the temperature.
Baking in a convection oven: 160° or with a fan-assisted oven at 140°.
Baking time: about 50 minutes depending on the thickness of the cake.
Once cooled well, wrap the stollen in a foil and let it age for at least a week in a cool place (e.g. a cellar at 10 to 15°). This step is important to develop the flavours. It can easily be stored for 2 more weeks (a total of 3 weeks) in the same conditions, avoiding it to dry out.
To decorate the stollen as if it were covered with snow (it brings sugar without being very useful):
Melt 35 g of butter. Brush the stollen with butter immediately after cooking and let cool down. Wait until the cake has cooled completely. Then, through a sieve, sprinkle the stollen with a mixture of 3/4 icing sugar (9 g) and 1/4 corn or potato starch (3 g). The melted butter allows the icing sugar to stick. If there is too much butter, the sugar will get wet and become greasy.
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