Christstollen is the German version of Christmas cake and has well deservedly been adopted by many other cultures. The traditional recipe for Stollen uses a yeast dough which can be rather complicated and time consuming. This recipe is based on a recipe I got from my step Dad’s mother, who was a superb baker and cook. I have been baking it every year since I was 13… it is easy and seriously rewarding.
|This is the recipe my Mom copied for us from step Granny – as you can see it’s been well used!
250g cake fruit mix
2 large eggs
100g ground almonds
250g smooth cream cheese
1 tsp of lemon zest, finely grated
3 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup castor sugar
1 ½ tsp of vanilla essence
1 ½ tsp of rum or brandy essence
3 cups of cake flour
3 tsp of baking powder½ tsp of salt
4 tsp mixed spice
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger spice
100g marzipan (optional)
50g butter, melted
Lots of icing sugar for dusting
Put your cake fruit mix and currants in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. I often add some brandy or rum essence to the water to add flavour. Soak the fruit for a few hours or if you don’t have the time, put them in the microwave for about 5 minutes to speed up the absorption process. Before using the fruit you need to drain it thoroughly and even pat it dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. The extra moisture can cause the cake mixture to be too runny and not hold it’s shape.
Get all your ingredients laid out and read for use. Keep your butter, cream cheese, eggs and lemon in the fridge until just before using.
Get your oven preheated to 160°C, place the rack in the middle of the oven.
In a mixing bowl and working quickly cut the butter into chunks, add the cream cheese, eggs, rind and juice of the lemon, add the essences and the castor sugar and blend with an electric beater until light and fluffy.
Sift your dry ingredients in three parts stopping to blend in between. The mixture will be very stiff. This will help the cake to keep it’s shape. Add the soaked fruit and mix together with a wooden spoon.
This recipe can make two small loaves or one big loaf.
For a traditional look, shape the dough into an oval loaf shape with floured hands on a baking tray. For an easy fix bake it in a bread tin.
If you are adding marzipan, roll it into a sausage just shorter than your loaf. Scoop out two thirds of your mixture onto the baking tray, lay the marzipan sausage in the middle and cover with the remaining mixture. Then shape it with floured hands ensuring the marzipan is well covered.
Bake at 160°C for 45 – 60 minutes. If you are making the two small loves bake, check them at 45 mins to see if they are ready. If not bake for a further 10 minutes and check again. The large loaf should take the full 60 minutes but I always check it at about 50 minutes.
When baked leave the Stollen to cool completely before brushing it generously with melted butter and dust a thick layer of icing sugar all over it.
Stollen can be sliced and eaten just like that or spread with salted butter. I always add butter to mine…