- 1 cup candied orange peel, diced
- 1/2 cup candied lemon peel, diced
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup dried figs, roughly chopped
- 1 cup unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons dry yeast
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
- 6 cups all purpose flour, or more if needed
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 6 ounces good quality marzipan
- Confectioners sugar
Combine candied fruit peel, dried fruit and nuts in a small bowl. Add brandy and let stand for several hours - overnight ideal.
Combine 1 1/2 cups milk with 1/2 cup sugar, salt and butter in a small sauce pan. Set over high heat. Scald. Remove from heat and set aside. Measure out about 2 tablespoons of hot milk mixture into small bowl and combine with remaining quarter cup milk so to cool to luke warm. Stir in remaining tablespoon sugar and yeast. Let stand until yeast bubbles into a thick satisfying foam.
Whisk up eggs in large mixing bowl. Temper eggs with a bit of hot milk. Whisk in remaining milk, about 3 cups flour, ground cardamom and finally (making sure that the dough is not too hot first) stir in the foamy yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon so to form a shaggy sponge. Cover dough with a damp clothe and let stand until doubled in bulk, it should look quite bubbly and lively. Lightly flour hand and punch down dough. Stir in dried fruit mixture and remaining 3 cups flour and knead just enough to form a slightly shaggy soft dough. If mixture is too wet (sticky and difficult to manage) sprinkle in more flour until problem is solved. Transfer dough to a clean, buttered, mixing bowl. Cover with a damp clothe and let rise a second time - again dough should more or less double in bulk - budget another hour and a half or so.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut dough into quarters. Working one quarter at a time - stretch, pull or roll dough into a 6" x 8" rectangle. Divide marzipan into 4 equal parts. Half each portion of marzipan. Crumble one half down the center of rectangle. Fold over one side of dough in order to cover marzipan. Crumble remaining marzipan over doubled over dough and then fold over remaining side - essentially folding dough into thirds with two layers of enclosed marzipan. Repeat this process with remaining dough and marzipan.
Heat oven to 400. Transfer stollens to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover one last time with clothe and let rise a final time - about 45 minutes (if your kitchen is nice and warm). Place in oven and back until tops are golden brown and stollens sound hollow when thumped - about 45 minutes. If stollen tops go too brown - shield from heat with foil and reduce heat to 350 for remaining of baking time.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar. Cool completely. Dust again and wrap tightly in plastic and foil. Place stollens somewhere that no one will go looking and let ripen for several weeks. Remove from hiding and serve - thickly sliced and toasted - with sweet butter.