There are nearly no good sides of being ill. But the flu that put me out of order beginning of December let me discover this terrific recipe and that is definitively a good thing. As I was dozing on the sofa the TV show “hier und heute” was running on TV. And with amusement – and bit of envy – I saw how the moderator nibbled one after the other of the beautiful cinnamon stars. His delighted face told more than hundreds of words how delicious they were- And so I put the recipe directly on my mental “to bake” list for Christmas. The recipe from Marcel Seeger was already downloaded and saved.
This weekend I was finally fit enough for baking cookies. And this recipe was on position one for testing. And after I eat the first cookie I knew why the moderator was so delighted. They are gorgeous, a new keep for my favourite list!
An ugly flu hit me and so my baking plans (Lusekatter, Kletzenbrot and rye flat bread) are nothing more then dreams at the moment. My stock of unposted bread recipes ran dry as well. Only a nice marzipan recipe – which fits well with Christmas – is left.
During the autumn holidays I was shopping in the “Stuttgarter Markthallen” and bought a small parcel of bitter apricot kernels. Bitter apricot kernels and bitter almonds contain hydrocyanic acid and just a few can endanger very small kids – so please store them out of children reach and not together with sweet almonds! The dangerous dosage are one bitter almond per kilogram body weight. So two for 200g Marzipan is no problem at all but if you feel unwell with using them you can use bitter almond extract instead, too.
The marzipan is easy to make with a food processor and so a good last minute Christmas present.
On the first christmas day we met with my family at my sisters place. To reduce the work for her (and because I like to do it) I offered to make dessert. For a long time I was lacking a good idea. But when I was decorating our flat with my Christmas apples I knew what to cook: Mini baked apples with ice cream. In our childhood my mum always bought marzipan ice cream (shaped as christmas tree) for us. And so I knew the flavour for the ice cream as well: Marzipan! Inspired by Michas cream cheese ice cream I created a new recipe and it is perfect for christmas time because you can make it in advance, freeze it and serve it directly from the fridge. Due to the high amount of invertsirup and cream cheese it will be soft and perfect to eat!
And the combination of cold ice cream, hot apples and crunchy almonds was the perfect end of a delicious Christmas meal!
I do not make an changes on the recipe of my Christstollen, but some members of our family do not like raisins, and so they do not like Stollen as well. So an alternative was needed! Years ago I already baked a Almondstollen for them, but Almondstollen always has the tendency to get very dry. And that is not so surprising when you take out the ingredients that keeps it moist like raisins for example! But nevertheless I take the challange once again and baked a Marzipan Almond Stollen this year.
The basis for the recipe is the proofed and true recipe of my Christstollen, of course without the raisins and with more almonds. For moisture I use a water roux and added grated Marzipan as well, which adds a nice flavour, too. The fine almond flavour get enhanced from some Tonka bean, and for the classical stollen flavour I grounded candid orange peel in the food processor as fine as possible.
After two weeks of ripening we tested the stollen, and it was still moist. Not as moist as Christstollen, but so much better then every Almond stollen I ever baked before! And it taste very good, too! Maybe I have to bake to different kinds of stollen from now on…
There are two reasons for this braid. A colleague of mine cleaned up her pantry and found about 1 kilogramm Marzipan, a left over from the christmas baking. She had no Idea what to do with such an amount of Marzipan which was near its shelf life. And so she gave it to me. The second reason for the cake is the fact, that I promised to bring a cake when my experiment on which I worked for over a year would finally succeed.
Last week I did the third successful repetition (a experiment has to give the same result more then once) and so I baked the promised cake. And to bake a marzipan braid was an easy choice.
The dough I used is a little bit sweetened variation of the dough from the soft and fluffy swiss butter braid with a creamy sweet marzipan filling. It is a delicious cake and I liked it even more then my last Marzipan braid or the marzipan rolls.
During Christmastime I always have a wide variety of baking ingredients in my storage cupboard. And so every January I have to face the fact that I have a lot of leftovers which have to be used in the next time. A good example is the Marzipan I had left from baking Stollen. And what would be a better treat for a chilly weekend in January then lukewarm Marzipan Snails with a cup of hot coffee?
The dough was quickly made in the morning – a big batch of preferment was already waiting in fridge. The handling of the dough is easy, it is a soft but not sticky dough. When cutting the Snails they kept their form very well.
For the filling I kneaded Marzipan with butter – a very greasy work – before I added sugar and egg and creamed it with a handheld mixer. If anyone has a better idea to mix the ingredients to a smooth filling, please tell me!
The Marzipan Snails taste delicious with their soft and fluffy crumb and the delicious taste of marzipan.
When I bake cake to celebrate with my colleagues (e.g. at my birthday) it is some kind of tradition to include a nut filled braid. But sometimes I need to break out of the routine and so I decided to bring a marzipan braid this year, too.
I make a dough with sourdough, which kept the braid fresh for 2 days (well, the small left over of it at least). But if anyone don’t like sourdough in a sweet pastry, the 1.5 amount of dough from the nut filled braid would go nicely with the filling, too.
The filling contains beside marzipan grounded almonds, some bread crumbs and egg white. The mixture is lovely, the taste of marzipan is dominant without overpowering the aroma from the dough.
It is a recipe for Marzipan lovers – and you can find a lot of some among my colleagues. And so everyone was very happy with this new recipe!
After a week with experiments which seemed to fail one after another and long evenings spend in lab to figure out what went wrong, I was not in Christmas mood last weekend. Friday night I leave the lab happy because of one experiment worked at least, but I was so exhausted that even baking seemed to much work on this weekend.
But then I realized that if I want to have a stollen for Christmas that rested at least two weeks (four weeks would be better) I had to bake it now. I had all ingredients on hand, only a recipe was missing. Looking through my bookmarks I found that I bookmarked two different recipe for this year: Dan Lepards recipe for a extra moist Stollen and the recipe for Thüringer Stollen from Bäcker Süpke.