This delicious mix of berries and spice will impress your friends and family this Christmas.
Place the yeast, just 2 teaspoons of the sugar in a small bowl. Warm the milk slightly and mix into the yeast mixture and stir to dissolve before setting it aside to activate.
While this is happening, place the flour, remaining sugar, salt, grated nutmeg, cloves and orange peel in a mixing bowl and stir to mix. Mix in the butter before adding the yeast mixture and egg. Tip out onto a lightly dusted work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and set aside in the warming draw to double in size.
While the mix is doubling in size, chop the figs and place in a small mixing bowl with the rum, set aside so the figs can soak up lots of the booze. Now make the marzipan.
To make the marzipan, bring a medium sized saucepan of water to the boil and then remove from the heat. Instantly throw in the almonds and let it sit for about a minute. Drain the almonds and then, as soon as humanly possible, peel the almonds from their skins, holding onto the blanched almonds and discarding their skins.
Blend the almonds in the small bowl of a food processor until a fine crumb forms. Add in the icing sugar and blend until all mixed together. In a medium sized bowl place the egg white and almond extract. Add a little of almond mix and stir. Once incorporated, slowly add more almond mix until you have used up all the mix and a dough-like consistency forms. You will have to finish this process by hand, almost kneading the marzipan.
Once the dough mix has doubled in size, knock back and knead into it the dried fruit and chopped walnuts. Roll out dough into a large rectangular shape. Roll out 300g of the marzipan and then place onto the dough rectangle. Roll up into an even log shape and form into a ring shape, using a buttered 12cm cake tin as the centre hole guide.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to double in size in the warming draw.
Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
Once the stollen has doubled in size, brush lightly with egg wash and then bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes. While it is baking prepare the royal icing by slowly adding the icing sugar to the egg white until the desired consistency forms. Squeeze in lemon juice to achieve a soft flowing texture. While the stollen is cooking, use the remaining marzipan to make decorative leaves and berries. To do this, divide the marzipan in half and knead into one half green food colour, and red into the other half. Roll out the green marzipan and cut out leaf shapes. With the red marzipan roll small balls and thread them onto piece of wire to resemble strings of berries.
Once cooked and cool, decorate with royal icing, the marzipan leaves and berries as well as some extra walnuts and barberries.
The Great Australian Bake Off Companion cookbook is published by Hachette Australia, RRP $39.99.
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