December 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' December 2010 Challenge - Stollen

Christmas is over and it's time for the monthly Daring Bakers' Challenge.

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.

In Switzerland, Stollen (or Christstollen, as it's usually called here) is pretty common in December and it's among my favourite Christmas food, even though I usually try to find a variation without candied fruit peel (I'm just not very fond of that stuff). I don't remember if I've made Stollen myself before. If I have, it must have been years ago, but I certainly didn't realise / remember that it was such a simple procedure. And the result was amazing. I loved this recipe so much, that I decided to make a second Stollen and give it away as Christmas gifts. Also the fact that I cut up the first one quite quickly and started to eat it before I could take a picture may have had something to do with it...

Anyway, the recipe can be found here. I used fresh yeast (about 30g) instead of the dried yeast and I substituted dried raisins with dried cranberries and the candied fruit peel and cherries with roughly chopped dried apricot (which, in my opinion, give a nice counterbalance to the sweet dough and sugar coating). Also, I reduced the vanilla extract to 1 tsp. and the lemon extract to 0.5 tsp. Following Audax' recommendation I added a few strings of marzipan (storebought, due to lack of time).

Thanks for a great recipe, Penny, I will certainly add it to my repertoire of homemade Christmas goodies!

December 15, 2010


For the last few weeks it has been pretty cold, wet and dark in Zurich. There's only one good thing about this weather: it's Fondue-time!

Ingredients per person

1 tbsp of corn starch
5 cl of Kirsch
1 clove of garlic
1 dl of dry white whine
1 dash of lemon juice
200g grated cheese (e.g. half Gruyère, half Vacherin Fribourgeois)
freshly ground black pepper
200g white bread, cut in dices (I like it with a lot of crust, e.g. Baguette)

Dissolve the corn starch in the Kirsch. Put the mix aside for the moment.

Cut the garlic clove in half and rub down the Caquelon (Fondue pan) with it. Bring the white wine to a boil together with the garlic and the lemon juice. Add the grated cheese and let it melt, stirring constantly in a figure 8.

As soon as all the cheese is melted, add the corn starch-Kirsch-mix and bring everything to the boil until the cheese and the wine have combined. Keep stirring all the time. Season with black pepper.

Keep the Fondue warm over a Rechaud (small burner) and dip the bread cubes in the cheese.

E Guete!