Final Pan Am post! Aren’t you excited? I know I sure am! (well…I’m actually most excited about getting back all my lost “can’t drive in the 3+HOV lane” time). Don’t be sad about this being the final post though, I don’t want to cause a Pan-demic! (yes, I literally only included that sentence for the horrible pun opportunity. I’m sure you’d already come up with that pun all by yourself before I even said it. To which I say kudos to you my fellow kindred spirit).
Although I recognize that my supposedly “international” month has been pretty heavily European (which is actually ridiculous when you think about it. Despite me saying that it’s a PanAm inspired month, I opted not to make any dishes from any nation that would actually participate in said games. It wasn’t completely on purpose, although I suppose it’s entirely possible that my PanAm prejudice/ dislike was showing, so I was unconsciously shunning all those places. Or maybe it’s just because the Europeans really know their desserts?)
Either way, this week I present to you the German Stollen (aka what is essentially German fruitcake). Now I know what you’re thinking – “Amber, that is wrong on so many levels. #1 – Nobody likes fruitcake (that’s not true! I like it…when it’s done right. If you’ve only ever had fruitcake that can double as either siding for your house or as a tsunami stopping barricade, then I completely understand where you’re coming from. But things don’ t have to be that way!). #2 – Fruitcake is known the world over as being a Christmas dessert, and we are smack dab in the middle of the year – almost literally as far away from Christmas on both sides as you could possibly be (ok, you may have a point there, but I am posting this pretty close to the 25th of July, does that count for something? No? Well…in that case I got nothin’). #3 …well there is no #3, but I just felt like if I was going to make a list, it needed a minimum of 3 items, so I guess #3 Amber, your list making skills are terrible!” 🙂
Unlike last week, this turned out fantastically, and I truly did feel like a child at Christmas while taste testing every stage of this delicious endeavour. There are apparently a few riffs on Stollen that you can make, but I opted to do the marzipan-filled variety. Partly because my cupboard already contained the requisite amount of marzipan, and also…marzipan – is any more of an explanation really needed? When I saw that any marizpan version of this recipe involved rolling your marzipan into a log and wrapping it up like a Christmas present in delicious cakey dough (wherein the “wrapping paper” is almost as good as the present. This is one of those situations where – unlike when an infant gets a present and prefers the box/ wrapping paper to the gift -you don’t need to be irked, because both parts are the gift!), I was hooked and instantly wanted to make it.
I have to admit, this actually didn’t taste the way I was expecting it to, since it’s typically described as being a German fruit cake. The flavour to me was more a cross between fruitcake and hot cross buns (ha! a “cross” get it? *forehead most definitely slapped in embarrassment*). This flavour desciption is not at all a complaint on my part, quite the opposite actually, I’d been expecting a much denser/ heavier (wintery-er?) taste, but the Stollen turned out surprisingly light and drool-inducing.
Now I did end up not wrapping the dough quite as thoroughly as I should have around the marzipan. At first when my Stollen came out of the oven and I saw baked on bits of melted marzipan on the pan which had leaked out of the centre of the bread, I was a little sad. But not for long, because then I proceeded to eat all the marzipan bits and realized that if I make this again, I might just have to “accidentally” not wrap it tightly enough agian 😉 . It was like that joy you get from eating the burnt/ crispy bits of cheese when you homemake pizza, or the crispy edges of a brownie (aka to die for. Or…to Die Hard for, and then you also have yourself a movie franchise).
I shamelessly stole/borrowed this recipe completely from here. Usually I make a bunch of changes to things when I find online recipes, but this one just seemed very Mary Poppins (aka “practically perfect in every way”) in it’s execution, so I didn’t really make many alterations. Probably my biggest “change” is that, if a recipe calls for any sort of dried fruit, I very rarely just use what they say. Instead, I keep a big jar of mixed dried fruit soaking in rum in my cupboard, and I pretty much always use that. It has never steered me wrong, and never fails to make everything just that little bit more delicious 🙂 .
The other upside to me shamelessly using someone else’s recipe with essentially zero changes is that this week, I don’t have to type out a recipe! Huzzah!
Yield: 3 small loaves
Used recipe from Seitan is my Motor – only changes I made were, as I said replacing the raisins with a mix of rum soaked dried fruit (figs, cherries, raisins, cranberries, apricots), and I used lemon zest instead of lemon oil.