Along the Grapevine

Easter Stollen and Maple Hemp Marzipan

44 Comments

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Christmas stollen – ‘cuit’

I usually make stollen for Christmas, and did this past year, but the result was a little ‘cuit’, which in French does not sound so bad, but I thought might be seen as burned by English speakers. So I made another batch, and this one will be for Easter, and to share with everyone at the Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday this week. I will also give some my ideas for marzipan alternatives.

For my spring stollen, I made a slightly less rich version than the Christmas one by omitting the liquor in which I usually soak the raisins and currants. I did not use the usual dried fruits, but used instead some dried crab apples which give this stollen a distinctive and local flavour and colour.

I have tried many versions of this recipe, and finally settled on one which has the flavour and texture I wanted. Some are too light and brioche-like, most are too sweet. If there are no ground nuts in the recipe, it is impossible to achieve the density that I wanted. A generous amount of butter is also important. This recipe uses mostly the sweetness of the fruit, but if you want it sweeter, just add more honey.

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There is no need to be intimidated by making a yeast bread. Just let it rise until lots of air bubbles appear in the dough when you check the interior. In this cool weather, it can take a few hours. I allow it to rise at least three times, and if I am busy, I stir down the first mixture (the sponge without rising inhibitors like fat and salt) until I am ready to use it. I think this extra time maybe improves it, and certainly doesn’t hurt it. As for kneading, I just to it until I don’t feel like doing it any more. As long as it is holding together, it works. Also, amounts of flour vary depending on the type of flour, the size of eggs, etc. Just keep adding flour when you knead it until it is not sticky and not able to absorb any more. Therefore note that the second addition of flour in this recipe is approximate. Just add a little at a time until it feels right.

Stollen

1 cup warm milk (I used almond)

2 heaping Tbsp honey

3 tsp yeast granules

1. Dissolve the honey and yeast, and allow to sit about 10 minutes, or until the yeast is all bubbly.

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup currants

1/4 cup water, juice, brandy or rum

2. Pour the liquid over the dried fruit and allow to stand at least 1/2 hour. If you can do this earlier, even the day before, that is even better, especially if you are using liquor.

1 cup of flour

3. Add the flour to the yeast mixture and stir well. Let sit until it becomes bubbly. This is the sponge method, and at this point you can just stir it down. let rise and repeat until you are ready for the next stage.

1/2 cup dried fruit (I used crab apples)

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup nuts (I used hazelnuts)

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp mace

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp salt

4 cups of flour (approximately). I used red fife, which, along with the unblanched almonds, gives it a darkish colour.

4. Mix all the ingredients one by one into the sponge, ending with the flour which should be added about 1 cup at a time. When all the liquid is absorbed, turn it out onto a floured surface and continue adding flour while kneading until it is no longer sticky. Continue to knead for a few more minutes, until the dough is nice and elastic.

5. Grease the ball of dough with a little oil, place in a bowl in a warm place and cover with a tea towel. The warmer the place, the faster it will rise. This stage can take from one hour to several hours. It will not quite double, because of the weight of the fruit and nuts, but it will be very spongy when you check the interior.

6. Punch it down and knead a few more times, making sure to get rid of all the air bubbles. If you want  a plain loaf, shape it into 2 loaves and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet an cover with a towel to rise again. This stage will be much faster, will not double but reach about 50% again of its original size. If you want a traditional stollen, divide the dough in two and roll each into a rectangle of about 12 inches x 6 inches. Place a strip of marzipan down the middle, fold one side over the marzipan and then the other side over that. Seal the edges so it doesn’t open when baked.

7. When the loaves plumpen up, place them in a 325 degrees F oven for 1 hour, or until the entire loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

8. Brush a little butter on the hot loaves. Allow to cool and then sprinkle some powdered sugar on top if you want.

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To make marzipan, mix some blanched almonds in the food processor until they start to become a paste. Add enough honey to hold the paste together when processed a few seconds longer and a few drops of almond essence. Form into a ball and cover until ready to use.

Or use the maple walnut marzipan recipe from my previous post.

When I posted the recipe for walnut marzipan, some readers pointed out they cannot eat nuts, so I also tried a seed and maple syrup paste. I chose hemp hearts because of their superior nutritional qualities and nutty flavour.

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Apart from the strange green colour, I consider it a real success, and will use it for my future stollens, be they for Christmas, Easter, cuit or not. However, I since discovered that hemp hearts are difficult to find in the U.S., so for those who can’t eat nuts and live in the U.S., I will continue to experiment with other seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin. This is the only part of the recipe that is nutless since the stollen is full of nuts. But I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce the idea of nutless marzipan.

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For a nut-free marzipan, here is my hemp hearts and maple syrup mixture. Just blend maple syrup with the hemp hearts in a food processor until it is the right consistency.

This same mixture can be thinned a little by adding more maple syrup to be used as an icing or cake filling. I covered an unsugared stollen with it. I like the idea of making an icing without using any refined sugar.

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Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

44 thoughts on “Easter Stollen and Maple Hemp Marzipan

  1. Wow, this bread is loaded with good stuff. I have not seen hemp seeds in my area, that’s true, it is not easy to get. But I will get it online, since it is supposed to be so nutritious.

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  2. Looks delicious! Love the “lightened” up version for Spring… it sounds perfect to grace the Easter table. Have a wonderful weekend Hilda🙂

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  3. YUM!!! This is going on my pinterest board so I can make it later.

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  4. Wow Hilda….this looks super good! I have never had “Stollen”….at least that I know of.🙂 I am pretty sure I would have remembered having something so yummy though!

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  5. I love stollen and have wanted to make it for a long time now. This looks so good and thanks for including a non alcoholic sub, since we don’t drink. Beautiful cake/ bread. I always buy one at Christmas, though I know I can make one, but laziness I think🙂
    I have a packet of those very same hemp nuts sitting on my counter! I believe Whole Foods in the US has them.
    Thanks for sharing this Hilda!

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  6. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #11 | The Novice Gardener

  7. I’ve never heard of hemp seeds (always learning something new when I visit you, Hilda. Btw, I finally found ground sumac!). This bread looks delicious. I love how you say you just knead the bread until you don’t feel like it anymore. I am trying to branch out to yeast breads, but am still learning. I love the sound of all those nuts and spices and raisins in this stollen, though. Thanks for sharing your recipe and happy Friday!

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  8. looks delicious!!!! good weekend!
    Simi

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  9. I’ve been hearing about hemp seeds, but haven’t tried baking with them yet. Your bread looks so warm and comforting, Hilda. I could use a few slices right now!

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  10. Wow ! This bread looks awesome!!

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  11. Hilda…this looks so wonderful.. I’ve never had stollen, but I think it is high time I do!! Great post!

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  12. Wow, I just love this and especially the creativity with the marzipan . . . hemp hearts, who knew???

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  13. What a recipe! We have been so fortunate to be the recipient of my husband’s German Omi’s stollen. At Christmas time she bakes stollen and it’s wonderful. I have never tried to make it, always seems so difficult. Your’s looks fantastic. I love it. And, we love Hemp Hearts! We buy the same ones. I love them sprinkled on salad.

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  14. Hilda, you recipe look so inviting and so delicious with all these ingredients! Have a great weekend.

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  15. Your stollen looks very nice! I love almond, but your walnuts maple marzipan also sounds yummy. Amazed with your experiment with hemp hearts, I’ll take a look if it is sold here next time I am go around shops.

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  16. Very interesting and delicious looking stollen! I’ve never tried to make it. Is marzipan sometimes used traditionally or is that your version? Nice idea.

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    • Thanks Gerard. Marzipan is the traditional filling for Christmas stollen, although some commercial types don’t use it because it is expensive. I always make my own because in this part of the world, commercial marzipan is pretty disgusting. But as a variation, I rather like other nuts or seeds with maple, so will maybe use that in the future sometimes.

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  17. Hilda, it sounds like our methods for making sweet dough are very similar, I also knead by hand until I don’t feel like kneading anymore, and have done things like put the dough in the fridge while I go out for a long lunch with friends. As Long as it works, right?🙂
    Your stollen looks great! Stollen is on my to-learn list as Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas unless I’ve had stollen, so I’ll bookmark your recipe!

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  18. I am sure I have had Stollen every Christmas since I have been a child, but I have to admit I have never made any myself – what a fabulous recipe!

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  19. The Easter stollen looks wonderful Hilda and its loaded with the good stuff. Thanks for the recipe!

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  20. I have made stollen for Christmas but never Easter – great idea and looks like a good recipe🙂

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  21. You are amazing, Hilda! I love the idea of a spring stollen! And I can’t believe you have all of these alternatives for marzipan! I love the traditional marzipan myself, but for those who don’t, you are a wonderful resource!

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  22. What a great recipe and a great idea to make an Easter stollen! I hope my crab apples produce this year. They’re the strangest things; seem to bear fruits only every other year! Last year they had lots of flowers but the fruits all fell while still small. Go figure. My local grocery store sells the same hemp hearts. We’ve been using them pretty much like nuts in baked goods, and sprinkling on yogurt, etc.

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    • It seems the information I got about them not being available in the US is out of date. Hope your crab apples do better this year. I am thinking of planting some new ones for a little variety. Also planting a wild cherry. Fruit trees are always iffy, so better to have a few extra! Otherwise, scout out some wild ones – I was invited to pick the ones at a church in a nearby village, by the pastor no less so I didn’t feel I was stealing.

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  23. I never had Stollen for Easter (in Germany, it’s very closely connected with Christmas), but I love the idea a lot! And I also love your maple-walnut marzipan twist – I started to do home-made marzipan only a while ago, too, and I will surely try your recipe, soon🙂.

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  24. Thanks, Claudia. I know stollen is really a Christmas thing, but I made some recently because my Christmas batch was not a 100% success, so since it is near Easter, I took the liberty of calling it Easter stollen. Why not?

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  25. Hilda Hilda Hilda
    I have never tried stollen but looks like I am soon going to. A perfect warm slice with an ever ing cup of coffee.

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  26. The Easter stollen looks very delicious. I don’t know if i can get hemp here. but it’s probably just sitting on a supermarket shelf, since I’ve never really tried to find it. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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    • Thanks. I know Costco in Canada carries it, and maybe in the Bulk Barn, which is where I get a lot of my grains etc. I hope you try it – in any form – sprinkled on salads, soups, in baked things.

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