Marzipan, cherry and pistachio stollen

Marzipan, cherry and pistachio stollen

The Sugar Hit!
1 loaf
Chris Middleton

Since many of our modern Christmas traditions come from Germany via Queen Victoria in the 1800s, it seems only fair to include a traditional German Christmas loaf in this chapter. OK, the real reason is that it’s completely delicious – especially this cherry and pistachio version. But isn’t it interesting that Christmas trees became popular because of Queen Victoria’s German heritage and German husband? I just want you to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth on the Christmas facts here.


Quantity Ingredient
110g dried cherries
60ml brandy
25g butter
125g milk
375g strong flour
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
55g caster sugar
pinch salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
150g raw, unsalted pistachio nuts
150g marzipan

To decorate

Quantity Ingredient
25g butter, melted
icing sugar


  1. Put the cherries and brandy in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil then cook for about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then turn off the heat and add the milk. Cool.
  3. Put the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, egg, spices and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the cool butter and milk and work the mixture on low speed, until everything comes together. Knead for about 7–8 minutes, or until the dough is shiny and elastic. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size, 1–2 hours.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. When the dough has risen, add the cherries and any liquid left in the pan, along with the pistachio nuts. Work the cherries and pistachio nuts into the dough using a dough scraper or your hands. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface (don’t worry if you lose a few add-ins) and pat into a 28 cm oval.
  6. Shape the marzipan into a log, just smaller than the width of your dough oval, then place it off-centre on the dough. Fold one-third of the dough over to cover the marzipan, then fold the other side over the top. Place on the lined tray, cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise again for an hour. Bake the stollen for 20–30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when tapped. Brush the still-warm loaf with the melted butter, dust liberally with icing sugar (and I mean liberally), then leave to cool completely before dusting generously again and slicing.
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