A vegan Christmas ‘stollen’

This year I decided to make a vegan Christmas stollen.  According to Wikipedia, a stollen is “a fruit cake containing dried fruit and often marzipan and covered with sugar, powdered sugar or icing sugar.  The cake is usually made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices.  Stollen is a traditional German cake, usually eaten during the Christmas season”.

I lived in Amsterdam for a few years and my sister in law was living in Berlin.  We went to visit her near Christmas time once, and I think I may have eaten too much of the stollen she had.  Years later I made my own, which involed three 250g blocks of butter and lots of multiple bakes with butter basting.

So this was the year I decided to make a vegan version.  My friend sent me the link to this recipe: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/breads/christmas-stollen/  It looked easy enough so I decided to go ahead with it.

All I had was the half the amount of chocolate chips listed, and white chocolate at that.  I also ran out of sliced almonds so I had to chop some by hand.  Everything else was done following the recipe.

I did run in to some trouble when I was confused about where to add the yeast mixture.  There is a part of the recipe that says to add in the liquids, I took this to mean the yeast mix.  So if you are making this recipe, be sure to read through it a few times, noting where to add the ingredients.

Okay, so I prepared the dough before bedtime then left in the fridge overnight.  It had doubled in size:

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The dough gets rolled out then I sprinkled it with the nuts-choc mixture:

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Rolled it up:

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Then made a circle with it, joining the ends together, and snipped all the way around.  Yes, it’s slightly bigger on one side:

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Left it to rise again for a couple of hours.  The ‘slightly bigger on one side’ is more noticeable:

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Then the baking is done!

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The second coating with icing sugar and it’s ready to serve.   Let’s ignore the fact that it’s bigger on one side:

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Ta-da!

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Next time I will add lots more dried fruit and nuts in the correct fashion.  I don’t think the chocolate chips are necessary.

This is definitely more a sweet bread than a stollen. The stollens I’ve had are all firmer and not ‘light’ and they’re heavier on the dried fruit and nuts.  Still, this was a lovely recipe and the stale leftovers would make a great french toast or bread and vegan-butter pudding.  When I make it again, I will increase the amount of cranberries and add a selection of chopped nuts and fruit.  I’ll also divide the dough in half to make two to give as gifts.

I’ll be making them again tomorrow.  I’ll google marizpan recipes now to see if I can add a strip of marzipan through the centre.

Nom!

Mulled wine on Happy-25th-of-December

Newton Santa

 The weather was fantastic yesterday (Christmas Day)– sunny but not hot and still ‘cool’ enough for the hot beverages.  I saw a cousin I haven’t seen since she was 12.  She’s now a towering 18 year old and it made me think just how quickly time does fly and how we need to just slow down and smell the roses more often.

I did plan on making pancakes and waffles for Christmas breakfast based on family requests, but instead decided to serve the stollen I made.  I made fairy bread and fresh juice in the blender and we had some shortbread on the table as a special Christmas treat.  Dumb idea.  Do you think they (Husband included) touched any of the healthy fruits or the stollen?

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Because we’re geeks:

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Lunch was at my mum and dad’s house.  I’m the only vegan in the family and mum had lots of vegan options.  It’s funny because she always makes these dishes, regardless of a vegan being present.  She made stuffed vine leaves (dolmades), fried eggplant and a marinated fried zucchini.  For my sister, who is cutting out meat, mum made some eggplant rolls which I was told were delicious (they contained egg and feta).  Mum and I will work together to veganise this recipe:

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On my plate I added some roast potatoes and sweet potato.  I also brought along some leftover plain basmati rice with a mock meat rendang with green beans and potato.  It’s the first time I’ve had a curry at Christmas as our foods are always Greek or Greek influenced:

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I took along strawberries and a chocolate cashew cream for dessert but forgot to take a photo.  I did however photograph the mulled wine!

We used three bottles of a vegan red wine, about 5 oranges juiced, zest of 1 orange, 3 cinnamon sticks, a tablespoon of cloves, half a box of sugar cubes and over proof rum:

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First we put the cloves in a bit of vodka and let it sit about an hour.  We forgot to bring the star anise, if we did that would have gone in to the vodka too.  This was the first year Husband decided to add vodka:

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In the pot we put the wine, orange juice and zest, cinnamon quills and the vodka-cloves combination.  Turn the heat to low.  [Be careful not to let it boil or even simmer too much]. Then on top of the pot we put a special metal plate (the name escapes me… but it’s a long German name) designed for making gluhwein.  We stacked sugar cubes on the metal plate.  When we lived in Europe we’d buy sugar in a large cone shape but in Australia all I have found are cubes:

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You pour rum over the sugar cubes then set the cubes alight.  As the sugar melts and caramelises, it drips down in to the pot.  You can see the flames in the photo below:

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Serve!
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We had a great day and it’s always good to see my relatives who come down from Queensland.  The biggest hit in terms of gifts was DeeW’s karaoke CD player.  My uncle was channeling his inner Sinatra meets Johnny Cash.

Next year we are going to set a challenge when it comes to present buying for eachother.  The gift you give must either be handmade, or come from a secondhand store.  Now that’s a challenge I love!

I’m off to stuff myself on leftovers now, mum gave me a big pile of dolmades and they’re calling meee.  See you again soon  🙂