Spelt is a favourite and so I was regulary asked if my Stollen can be baked with spelt flour, too. I answered “theoretically yes” and decided to bake a Stollen with spelt flour instead of wheat, too. I like to have a practical background for those answers.
The dough contains only minimal changes to the regular recipe: I used a mixture of sultanas and currants instead of raisins and I reduced the amount of yeast, too. And I replaced the wheat flour with spelt flour, of course.
After three long weeks of resting time we cut the spelt stollen for the first Advent. And it was as moist and mellow as a good stollen has to be. Maybe it is a bit more mellow then the normal recipe, but that was the only difference I recognize. The different spices are stronger then the slight spelt flavour and I doubt that I could tell the spelt and wheat stollen apart when blind testing. And so I can tell now with own experience: Yes, you can bake a spelt stollen!
My second contribution for the pumpkin buffet was a pumpkin ice cream. I used the recipe for gorgeous Marzipan ice cream which I served last Christmas as blue print. And like this ice cream the pumpkin ice cream is very creamy and keeps this creaminess even in the fridge. It is the Invert syrup, which makes it is soft. To balance the sweetness of the pumkin, I added a little bit of buttermilk. The mixture of spices is similar to pumpkin pie spice, but with some tonka bean to add a touch of special. The ice cream fits well into the Christmas time with its flavour of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Its bright yellow brings a bit of sunshine into the dark, grey days!
Last year I saw a Christstollen with Sourdough which “Ofenkante” published on his blog. This stirred my brain and I started to think about Stollen made with sweet starter. But as I was already done with Stollen baking at this time point, I stored the idea in the back of my mind. After one year of thinking about it I decided to bake directly two stollen for this Christmas: a traditional and a experimental one.
In the experimental stollen with sweet starter I kept the same ratio of ingredients then in my traditional one (never change a winning team) but build the the sweet starter over several steps to get a enough strength for rising. It is always amazing to see how strong the sweet starter gets when fed three times in a row! But as the feeding is time consuming, this recipe needs a day until it is done.
After four weeks of ripening I brought the stollen from the cold attic back to the warm kitchen and sliced it. The crumb was perfect, firm but moist and the different flavours had fused to a harmonic consonance. Compared to the traditional stollen there are subtle differences in flavour nuances, but it is hard to pin them down. After all, both of them taste terrific and I can not name a favourite.
I can not tell how I learn about the Reformationsbrötchen (reformation rolls). But the idea somehow stuck in mind and so I had to bake them just in time for the 31. October (Reformation day).
This rolls originate from the area around Leipzig and are baked in Saxony, Thüringen and Saxony-Anhalt. It is made from a buttery yeast dough enriched with a lot of raisins, candid orange and lemon peel and almonds. The square form with the red jam in the middle is said to symbolize either the Luther rose, the seal of Martin Luther, or a bishops hat.
My variant is made with a biga preferment for a complex flavour and is rich with raisins and almonds. The candid orange and lemon peel I added in a smaller amount. The crumb is soft and moist due to cream and butter and the tart cherry jam is a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the dough and fruits. A great pastry for the last day of October.
Sablé is French and means “Sand” and as tender and friable is this cookie inspired by the French original. With cacao, cardamom and cinnamon the cookies are very aromatic and the little salt crystals of the fleur de sel are the perfect contrast to the sweet cookie.
When making the dough you have to take care of two things: Butter and egg white should both have room temperature, to ensure a soft dough perfect for piping and you should just fold the flour under to ensure a tender cookie. But then they are easily made and a perfect treat for Christmas time!
When August changes into September it marks the beginning of autumn for me.
Now I start to search for my scarfs for the already cool, misty mornings and in the evening I will lit the first candles when the light goes down. Saying goodbye to the summer is not so hard for me, especially when between the cool morning and early evening lies a sunny, golden day. And when I can spent the light filled afternoon with a cup of hot tea together with a pieces of streusel cake filled with the autumn flavours of plum sauce and hazelnuts, then I will welcome autumn light-hearted!
It’s berry season! After we spent the last weeks with cooking red currant, raspberry and strawberry jam we turned our attention to the blueberries. Beside of cooking jam I set some aside to use them for a little weekend treat. Together with some quark I baked quark blueberry pastries.
For the dough I used my sweet starter which was just freshly feed. But like for this Sonntagszopf you can use Lievito madre or a biga instead. What ever you choose as a preferment, it will be delicious!
Melanie from Mangoseele invited us to celebrate the first birthday of her blog with a blog event that fits to her blog Name: Mango.
Sadly Mangos come directly after strawberries on my personal allergy list. And so I had to do what I always do: I left out the mango from the recipe to prevent red dots and problems with breathing. But what I made is delicious without mangos, too: Sweet lassi.
Lassi is a indian yoghurt drink which can be salty or sweet or made with fruits (and then preferably with mangos). It is a very refreshing drink and I order it at my favourite indian restuarant always together with hot curry dishes to ease the burn of the hot pepper.
Who still needs a present for Christmas has to hurry up now. A delicious last minute present for people with a sweet tooth is this Chai Syrup. And with a flask of Chai Syrup the next Chai Latte is just a question of warm (maybe frothed) milk.
For the syrup you just need some black tea, some spices, water and sugar and ten minutes time. And then you can fill your syrup into glasses or flasks and wrap them up for Christmas. Or you keep a flask for your one…
Stollenkonfekt – this is Christstollen baked as little bits. I saw it often in the last weeks in the supermarket. And I thought “I can do some of this delicious bits by my own!” This was the beginning of this recipe. I made some adjustments in my favourite Christstollen recipe, increasing the amount of water roux to prevent drying out in the oven and cutting the marzipan into the small cubes. I halve the recipe so it will yield one tray of Stollenkonfekt.
And because the Stollenkonfekt is so small, no one will recognise when you taste one or two still oven warm. They then already delicious, moist and fluffy. That makes it even harder to wait the one or two weeks of rest a stollen needs so the different flavours can infuse and melt together. But the taste is worth the patience. The crumb gets denser during that time and stays incredible moist. A perfect little bit of stollen in a size which fits on every christmas cookie plate.