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How To Make Stollen Cake

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Dating back to the 15th Century, Stollen is a dense, spicy bread-like German cake crammed with the flavours of the festive season.
What you'll need: 
3 cups strong white flour
200ml milk
1 beaten egg
50-60g unsalted butter
2 tsp dried active yeast
75ml aged rum
175g marzipan + zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp white sugar + icing sugar to dust
1/4 cup raisins + 1/4 cup candied citrus peel + 2/3 cup almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1 tsp ground nutmeg
1: 
Warm 175ml of milk before placing it in a small clean bowl. Add the dried yeast, stir thoroughly and allow to sit for 5 minutes to activate.
2: 
Add the butter to a large, clean bowl before pouring the milk and yeast mixture into the bowl. Add the beaten egg, a pinch of salt, 2/3 of the flour, 2 tbsp of sugar and 1 teaspoon of both cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly before adding the remaining flour and mixing again. Ensure no lumps of unmixed flour remain.
3: 
Spread the dough evenly on a clean, floured surface. Evenly distribute the lemon zest, raisins, citrus peel and half of the almonds. Knead vigorously for 5-6 minutes to mix the ingredients and increase the elasticity of the dough.
4: 
Return the dough to the bowl before pouring over 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Coat the dough evenly with oil to prevent sticking. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and place in a dry, warm place for 45 mins-1 hour. The dough should have doubled in size.
5: 
Place the dough on a floured surface before deflating it and spreading it evenly. Roll the marzipan into a log the same length as the dough. Fold the dough over the marzipan and squeeze tightly to seal.
6: 
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4/180 C. Place the dough on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper and place in the oven for 10 minutes before turning the oven down slightly.
7: 
Allow the Stollen to cook for another 25 minutes before removing briefly to sprinkle the remaining almonds on top. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the outside is golden-brown.
8: 
Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Mix 1/2 a tsp of cinnamon and nutmeg with the caster sugar before coating the Stollen evenly with the mixture.
9: 
Serve in thick slices with or without butter.
Conclusion: 
Stollen is the perfect spicy, substantial accompaniment for the cold festive season.
Tips: 
Watch the Stollen in the last few minutes of baking to ensure the almonds don't burn.

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