Cherry and Chocolate Stollen Spirals

Cherry & Chocolate Stollen Spirals << http://underthebluegumtree.comI’m going to stick my neck out here and say these stollen spirals are the standout dish of my festive baking endeavours so far. Soft, springy buns crammed full of rum-soaked cherries, chunks of rich, dark chocolate, crunchy almonds and squidgy marzipan all topped off with a drizzle of rum icing.

This Christmas baking recipe is heavily adapted from BBC Good Food. The concept and dough recipe is theirs; the flavour combination my own. I chose the recipe as the nominated letter for this month’s Alphabakes challenge (co-hosted by Ros from “The More Than Occasional Baker” and Caroline from “Caroline Makes”) is “S” so I figured these festive stollen spirals would fit right in.

A twist on the traditional German stollen, these sweet little buns are surprisingly easy to make, especially if you have a stand or hand mixer fitted with dough hooks. By all means substitute the glacé cherries with cranberries or use natural coloured ones if you prefer. However, for me nothing screams Christmas like a cheery, bright red glacé cherry. If you make nothing else this Christmas, give these stollen spirals a go.

Cherry and Chocolate Stollen Spirals 

Makes 6-8 buns

  • 100g glacé cherries, quartered
  • 2tbsp rum plus 1tsp
  • 250g white bread flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 45g caster sugar
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 125ml warm milk
  • 45g butter at room temperature, diced
  • 150g marzipan
  • 50g dark chocolate, cut into small chunks
  • 15g flaked almonds, toasted

For the icing:

  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 tbsp water
  • icing sugar

1.  Mix the cherries with 2tbsp of rum and set aside, stirring every so often.

2.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar and spices. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and milk. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.

3.  Using a mixer fitted with dough hooks or your hands, knead the dough whilst gradually incorporating the diced butter. Keep kneading the dough until it is smooth and shiny and (if using a mixer) comes away easily from the side of the bowl. Add a little more flour if the dough seems too wet. Place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with clingfilm and leave to rise for about an hour until doubled in size.

4.  Line a 20cmx20cm tin (or similar) with baking paper. Lightly roll (or pat with your hands) the dough into a rectangle approximately 35cm x 18cm. Squidge the remaining 1tsp of rum into the marzipan (if your marzipan is very crumbly, warm it with the rum in a microwave for 10 seconds then mash it all together with a fork). Roll the marzipan out on a surface dusted with icing sugar to a rectangle slightly smaller than that of your dough.

5.  Place the marzipan rectangle on top of your rolled dough then scatter the cherries (plus any juice), the chocolate and almonds along the top. Working from the longest side of the dough, roll the dough up into a spiral. You want to do this quite tightly so the filling stays put. Trim the ends then slice the remaining dough into 6 (for big buns!) or 8 (for smaller buns). Place cut side up in the baking tin, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for another hour.

6.  Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan and bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin.

7.  For the icing, mix 1tbsp of rum with 1tbsp of water and enough icing sugar to make a smooth glace icing. Drizzle over the buns. The buns are best eaten on the day of baking but will last for a day or two in a tin.

11 comments

  1. They look fabulous. I love the combination of chocolate and cherries and could quite happily just leave the marzipan out! I love the way you’ve managed to get such a good golden brown on the bread – I always seem to burn my sweet doughs but yours look perfect.

    • I must admit I am quite proud of these babies! You know what, I’m not a big fan of marzipan either (and I was lazy and bought shop bought too which is usually the worst kind) but it worked for me in these and in the panettone. I think because it is quite a small amount it doesn’t overpower the other flavours. I haven’t bought marzipan in years but I was surprised by the quality of the stuff I bought (shh! it was from Spar!) Maybe South African marzipan is generally superior ;-)

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