Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

12 Days of Christmas – Stollen

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On the second day of Christmas, Bake Good gave to me…Stollen!  Yeah, not exactly how the song goes but you get the picture.  Don’t worry, I won’t make that joke for all twelve posts, I don’t think anyway.

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My mum had requested I make stollen when I’m back home for Christmas, so I thought I better get a practice run in beforehand to avoid disappointment.  As usual, I brought this in to work to save eating the whole loaf myself, which could have happened because it tastes amazing!  To my surprise, although it went down well, almost nobody had actually heard of stollen before.  I assumed everyone had this in their cupboards at Christmas but perhaps it was just my family!  Basically it is a dense, sweet fruit bread filled with marzipan.  According to my sources (read: Wikipedia) it is originally from Germany.

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There were various recipes, some using plain flour and some with bread flour, different levels of spice, different fruits, with and without nuts.  Complicated.  So I went with one of my kitchen idols Delia….and then went ahead and changed it to suit the ingredients I’d bought!  As per a Nigel Slated recipe, I added cardamom  which was a really nice touch of soft fragrant spice that seemed to pair very well with the sultanas, cranberry and apricot.  This loaf is a little lighter than the shop bought alternative, which is a good thing in my opinion, and is further enhanced by a light toasted before serving.

If you’ve never had stollen before I hope you give it a try and an alternative baked treat this Christmas! (more…)

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Orange and Nectarine Cupcakes

Summer is here!  Finally.

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Who knows for how long so it must be enjoyed as much as possible!  This weekend was the perfectly summery, filled with visiting friends and going to the beach, my cousins wedding and watching tennis.

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I have to start by talking about Andy Murray.  He’s not my very favourite player and it took me a while to really get behind him but he has really grown on my over the past two years.  I’m so, so delighted that he won Wimbledon!  It was such a deserved victory after all this time and to take the victory over Djokovic the way he did (even though it was still painfully close in parts) was really a brilliant effort.  Well done Andy!  However, the next big tournament is the US Open where I will be well and truly back to my ‘¡Vamos Rafa!’ ways.

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I watched the Wimbledon final with some friends in Aberdeen.  It was a gorgeous day and as we’d be spending the majority of it indoors we went to the beach in the morning.  It was even warm enough for a paddle in the sea and some delicious ice cream.  I had white chocolate and pistachio and rhubarb sorbet, which was amazing and I will definitely have to try to recreate.

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The main reason for my being up in Aberdeen was to go to my cousins wedding.  It was a great day and the whole family were there for the celebration, a big party and BBQ in my aunts back garden.   They both looked lovely and I wish them lots of love and happiness for the future.

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Anyways, enough about my life.  On to the cakes!  I made these cupcakes for the wedding.  They are a perfect combination of summer flavours, with the fragrant orange and sweet bites of nectarine.  When baked the tartness of the nectarine is softened and the sweetness enhanced, delicious.  I topped these with a whipped cream icing which is much lighter than a buttercream and I think really compliments the flavour combination.

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