The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.
Stollen is one of the regular Christmas goodies that we have in our house year after year for more than 20 years. This is the second year I have not bought them from the store since discovering homebaked is much much better.
For this challenge, we were given a choice of shaping it into a wreath. I baked a small batch of stollen a few days before the challenge was announced and they have been shaped into the usual rectangular cakes. I wanted to try this recipe and the wreath shape so I baked just half of the recipe. To view the complete recipe and instructions click here. A few changes I made: I used 2 tablespoons of sugar instead of half a cup, omitted the cinnamon and orange and lemon extracts, used almond flour instead of flaked, and added 1 more cup of dried fruits and candied peels. These are the fruits I used: golden and dark raisins, dried cranberries, dried tart cherries, and candied citron, lemon, and orange peels. I also used vanilla infused powdered sugar for the coating because I love the extra vanilla flavor. The fruit cake is very yummy and I can't wait for it to age for 1 week which is how I like stollen. And I always leave some slices on the kitchen counter for weeks until they are very very dry and crunchy, sort of like biscotti without baking them a second time. The crunchy stollen slices are very good for dunking on my morning coffee.