23 October 2011

Stollen

I didn't post this on Friday as I had intended, because it was still in the oven when the last of the natural light disappeared for the evening. Stollen is already difficult enough to see under its trademark layer of powdered sugar; photographing the loaf under horrendous indoor lighting would only add to the visual distress. I needed to wait for the bread to cool before slicing it anyway, not that an explanation is necessary or remotely interesting.
I've neither tasted nor made stollen until this attempt, but have grown increasingly curious about them over the last few years. Following Peter Reinhart's recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice, I made the necessary vegan substitutions (i.e., replacements for eggs and butter), as well as a few other adjustments. Rather than using candied fruit soaked in brandy, I soaked dark raisins, dried cranberries, and dried, chopped apricots in spiced rum. Finely chopped, candied orange peel replaced orange zest. The filling itself was a combination of additional dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and a thick ribbon of homemade almond paste. The end result is one massive, dense, sweet crescent that is loaded with fruit and nuts. Each bite has hints of citrus and rum bitterness. Stollen is certainly a colorful, wintry-looking creation--appropriately so, for something traditionally eaten during the winter holiday season. It's a bittersweet reminder that with Halloween around the corner and Thanksgiving a month away, the full-fledged holiday baking frenzy will be upon us soon enough.
*UPDATE 12/02/11: This post is heading for the special holiday edition of YeastSpotting.

8 comments:

  1. This looks so beautiful! Even the top shot captures the little nuanced nooks and mounds in shadow. Nice inside picture as well, that almond paste sounds awesome. Love the substitutions too - spiced rum! Candied orange peel! Great job.

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  2. the first word that came to mind upon seeing your stollen was "breathtaking"! it really is absolutely beautiful and i love that you used spiced rum and candied orange peel. it looks amazing and sounds just as delicious as it looks! well done, Tiffany!

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  3. I used to make stollen every holiday and now I will start again. This vegan version looks awesome! I awarded you a Liebster Blog Award and linked your blog on one of my posts. Hope you don't mind I used your picture along with it.

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  4. Gorgeous stollen, gorgeous photography!

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  5. Whoa. So glad you waited to photograph this! I am positively drooling over your photos. I love love love dried fruit (even with its terrible reputation in fruitcakes), but that homemade almond paste puts it over the top. Awesome job!

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  6. Beautiful! I made that one last year for Christmas. I always buy almond paste but you've definitely inspired me to make some.

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  7. What a beautiful peice of food!! Gorgeous,,,AND I can tell it tastes just as good as it looks,,Yum!

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)