Not made a stollen before, but it’s one of the few fruity Xmas cakes I like* so thought I’d give it a whirl, after seeing one being made on the Hairy Bakers. Those chaps are much derided by snobbier baking types, but you know what, their shtick might be irritating, but they still part of a movement to popularise home baking, and help people to not feel intimidated about trying to make their own baked goodies rather than just buy factory-made crud from supermarkets.

Anyway, I used the recipe from Leith’s Book of Baking (¬© 1993). The basic recipe called for glace cherries in the middle, but as they’re the devil’s droppings, I went with her alternative suggestion of a marzipan filling. There seems to be an ongoing argument about whether stollen should even have a filling, but in my experience of bought ones over the years, and from the German baker making one on Hairy Bakers, marzipan in the centre is pretty normal. I used a marzipan recipe from the same Leith book. Felt quite heavy when it came out of the oven, and I was worried it was undercooked, but it turned out hunky-dory.

* Really don’t like traditional British heavy-duty Xmas fruit cake, or Xmas pud. Though that said, I’ve not tried them since childhood, so maybe I should brave a taste at some stage.

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