Christmas breakfast item #2: Homemade Christmas Stollen

While i'm writing this, i'm still dusting off my desk, computer, cats and other office items. I can't help it. When i'm in the same room with powder sugar, I need to sprinkle. I need to sieve it on things. And while I was doing that, all that sugar whirling down gave me that snowie, wintery feeling and that's when things got really bad.

I had so much fun.

But hey, I made Christmas Stollen! For the first time ever and boy how they turned out great and deliciously! I didn't had any doubts because the recipe came from chef. He gave (maybe borrowed) me his years old recipe book (The Book) filled with traditional, Dutch recipes for cookies, cakes and breads. Which is great because i'd like to try each and every one of them. 

Christmas Stollen for me is the one thing I can't live without on Christmas days. It's an absolute must. From since I was a little girl my mom bought this for our family at one of our more fancier bakeries in town. We would eat only 1 or at the most, if you where lucky, 2 slices every morning so we could enjoy it longer, 1 or 2 days after Christmas (we are with only 3 in our family, me, my mom and my dad). A nice layer (read: a huge amount) of butter would go on top and that was a piece of heaven right there.  Because we ate this only on Christmas days, Christmas Stollen was a real special treat.

I never made Christmas Stollen myself but while I was making it, I was surprised how relatively easy it was. I was also surprised about the huge amount of raisins that go in the recipe (don't worry, it all makes sense once you taste it). But then again, this recipe is good for making 3 Christmas Stollen. It might be a lot, so you can always divide the recipe in 3 and just make one. I made 3 and kept 1, because the other 2 stollen make a great Christmas gift!


Homemade Christmas Stollen

recipe from chef

makes 3 stollen, each around 700 grams
 

Dough

650 gr all purpose flour
65 gr fresh yeast
13 gr salt
40 gr milk powder
40 gr caster sugar
130 gr butter
65 gr egg
260 gr water
13 gr lemon zest
3 gr cardamom

Filling

650 gr raisins
40 gr candied peel
30 gr chopped ginger
30 gr orange peel
50 gr chopped bigarreaux
15 gr chopped almonds

200 gr almond paste, divided into 3 even pieces of 66,6 gr

1 egg or leftover egg wash to brush the stollen
around 100 gr melted butter to spread on the stollen after baking


Making the dough

Pre-heat your oven at 200°C.

Now The Book tells us to start mixing up a couple of dough ingredients only and kneed it into a ball and after that add the rest of the dough ingredients. I'm talking about starting mixing this first:
- 325 gr flour
- 65 yeast
- 20 gr caster sugar
- 65 egg
- 260 gr water
After this, when you're done kneading, add the rest of the dough ingredients: 325 gr flour, salt, milk powder, 20 gr caster sugar, butter, lemon zest and cardamom.
(Off course I tried to add everything in one time and it worked. You are warned though. You now know the official way to go that is listed above).

After mixing and kneading the dough ingredients, let is rest for 20 minutes in a warm room, covered with a clean, damp cloth. 

Adding the filling

When the 20 minutes have past knead the dough again, just to squeeze out the air. Now add the filling by 'pinching' and squeezing the filling into the dough. This takes a little muscle power. Make sure the filling is added evenly. If not, the filling of your stollen will be on one side only, which will make it look and even worse: taste bad.

Once you added the filling, immediately divide the dough into 3 evenly pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and let them rest for 15 minutes, in a warm room, covered with a clean damp cloth.

After the second rise period reshape the balls into ovals. Let it rise again for 5 minutes.

To add the almond paste 

Now it's time to add the almond paste in each stoll. Roll each piece of almond paste (3 pieces of 66, 6 gr) so that the long side approximately matches the width of the dough. Place on top of the dough in the middle. Roll the dough up to enclose the marzipan. Make sure the upper side is shorter than the bottom side. Proceed by doing the same with the other 2 stollen. 

Using a brush, cover the stollen with egg wash.

Let them rest for 20 minutes (in a warm room, covered with a clean damp cloth) or until risen and doubled in size.

Baking

Bake the stollen (in an oven at 200°C) for around 15/20 minutes. Actually it depends on your oven, so keep an eye on your stollen at all times! If they turn golden brown, it's time to take them out.

Immediately after baking, cover the stollen with melted butter, using a brush. After the stollen are cooled down, you can start sieving the powder sugar :))))) !!!

And that's the way to make some very tasty stollen. If you're thinking to make this recipe, I thought it would be fun to share your stollen picture on Instagram by tagging me along (@wolvestable). I can't wait to see how your Christmas Stollen turned out!

Enjoy!


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Christmas breakfast item #1: Japanese Hotcake with seasonal fruit

It's that time of year again. That time we (I?) stress about what to eat during the best days of the year (or at least I consider them the best; food, food, spending time with people, pets, candles, movies, Christmas sweaters and more food). So while I was thinking about what to eat I thought this could be the first year I plan the entire day filled with meals to eat. I'm talking breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's a lot of work though, so me telling you this keeps the pressure up. 

The first item for our Christmas breakfast will be this Japanese Hotcake (or Hottokeki, as the Japanese would say). You could say this hotcake is a very fluffy and sweet pancake. Hot cakes are a popular breakfast treat in Japan and often prepared using a packaged hot cake mix. But there's no need for a hot cake mix here, they are super easy to make. I added lemon zest and a very ripe banana to the batter that gives the hotcake a little more fluffiness and some more kick. And I topped it with seasonal fruits. You might be thinking (if you're not from Taiwan): 'Seasonal?! Strawberries are not in season in December!' But in Taiwan they are in season right NOW!! Awesome right?! So I thought we should eat as much strawberries as we can. Combined with heavy cream, honey and some nuts, this hotcake is super filling but really good! And you know, breakfasts are the most important meals of the day, so by eating this, you're doing yourself good in so many ways...


Japanese Hotcakes with seasonal fruits

recipe is adapted from La Fuji Mama, slightly edited by me

makes 3 large hotcakes or 5/6 medium sized ones

 

Ingredients

2 large eggs
200 ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 very ripe banana
200 gr all-purpose flour
8 gr baking powder
40 gr granulated sugar 
butter or oil for frying

around 6 large strawberries, cut in half (or whatever type of fruit you prefer or can get your hands on)
1 cup blueberries
walnuts, almonds and/or pumpkin seeds (or any type you like)
heavy cream or clotted cream
honey or maple syrup

How to

Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract together until foamy for about 3 minutes.

Blend the banana until it's completely mashed. 

Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, mashed banana and lemon zest together. Gently and quickly mix the dry ingredients mix, into the egg mixture. Then let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes. (The batter will thicken slightly.)

Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the griddle or frying pan, using butter or oil. Ladle the batter onto the griddle (amount depending if you want large or medium sized hotcakes). If you like you can add some blueberries in the batter that's now frying in the pan. Cook on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, about 2 minutes. Then turn the pancakes and cook the other side until brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn over only once. 

Cover the hotcake with fruit, nuts and a dot of heavy cream. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup. Serve immediately.

ボナペティ!!!


Two weeks in Australia ~ 2nd week: A road trip along Great Ocean Road

Looking at my photos of our road trip along the Great Ocean Road makes me feel like this trip happened years ago. It's weird how time flies by so quickly. The other thing that struck me is that none of these photos I took of the striking beautiful nature in Victoria, has a living soul in them! Not one person casually hanging around in the background or passing by. Not a face that turned at the same moment I snapped the photo. Ok, except for the herd of wild kangaroos we saw in a forrest close to the ocean (amazing!). But that's exactly how it was and how I remembered it. All these amazing beaches we went to, all these narrow forrest paths we walked; we hardly came across fellow travelers or locals who where out for a walk or just on their way home. 

The wild and rough nature we found during our trip was absolutely breath taking. I never saw so many beaches in one week and each and every one of them had a different kind of beauty. Some of them seemed so out of place, a little unearthly even, like we where on a different planet. And the ocean, it looked so aggressively wild. As if it would eat you alive once you would come too close. 

The highlight or our trip was the helicopter flight we took over the Twelve Apostles, the collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park. It made me feel like I was reliving the opening scene of a Jurassic Park or a Lord Of The Rings movie. 

I hope you enjoy these photos of our road trip along the coast. It's a lot of sea, a lot of sand and other landscape scenes but that, next to the food in Melbourne, is something I really enjoyed during our trip in Victoria. What a beautiful state it is.

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