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The winter holidays and nibbling something sweet paired with a favorite hot cuppa epitomizes cozy simple luxuries in my mind.
Today I am excited to share with you the first holiday episode of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen, and share with you a few glimpses inside my own holiday decor.
Exactly one year ago, I took my first bite of a German Christmas Stollen, and my eyes must have widen larger than their sockets (as least it felt as such) as my tastebuds pleasantly danced with joy (and then quickly demanded another bite).
In that moment, I didn’t know how I would bake my own Stollen as I was determined to enjoy it every winter, but I knew that I would. Now that I solidified the recipe which reminds me most of that first bite after much fun experimenting in the kitchen with my mother, I want to share with you how you too can make your own Christmas Stollen which will I am told transport you to a German Christmas Market (I cannot WAIT to visit these annual holiday markets someday).
But what are the holidays without more than one more sweet treat to choose from? 🙂 While we make the Stollen and it goes through its two risings, discover how to make a new favorite tart – a holiday tart with Pears and Blackberries, topped with Mae’s hazelnut crumble as well as a European sipping chocolate – Chocolat Chaud – inspired by my favorite patisserie in Walla Walla, Washington, as well as reminescent of Angelina’s Tea House in Paris.
Drizzled with reduced fruit juice, given a dollop of whipped cream, and this holiday tart is not only festive to the eye, but delightful to the tastebuds as well.
So won’t you join me! Let’s travel throughout Europe making our way from Germany to France and yes, hopping the channel to England. Simple recipes each one, and full of festive, seasonal flavor.
~NOTE to readers who cannot see a video below: Be sure to turn off your ad-blocker if you use one as you will not be able to see a video at all if the ad-blocker is in use. Once you turn off your ad-blocker, you will need to restart your device to view the video.
~Tour my full kitchen and learn all of the details and my approach to this new space as well as how I decided on a La Cornue stove to be my lifetime stove. I am so tickled with how it was customized and transformed this summer (2020). (be sure to become a TOP Tier subscriber to be able to view the tour post.)
Links from the Episode:
- Scharffen Berger chocolate (based in San Francisco)
- 16 Ideas for Enjoying A Simply Luxurious Winter Holiday Season
- Tour the patisserie in Walla Walla, Washington, which inspired today’s Chocolat Chaud recipe – Colville Street Patisserie
- Holiday tea towel on the stove – Inslee’s Twelve Days of Christmas Menagerie from Anthropologie (Inslee is the exclusive illustrator for TSLL)
Just Made Available! Digital Cookbooks for Each Season of the Show! If you are looking for all of the recipes for each previous season in one easy to find place without having to click through each episode for each season, I now have available a Digital Cookbook for Seasons 1, 2 & 3 ($8). Shop here. (Note: All TOP Tier ad-free subscribers can download these cookbooks for free.)
~Cook & Share! I would love to share your Simply Luxurious Kitchen inspired experiences from your kitchen! Tag me on Instagram with @thesimplyluxuriouslife #tslkitchen and your post could appear on my Instagram feed as well as on a future Show Notes post. Many readers have already shared their meals inspired by recipes from TSLKitchen. Check out TSLL’s IG Story Highlights – titled, Viewers’ Recipes.
Christmas Stollen w/Marzipan (aka German Christstollen)
Fruit & Nut Filling
- 3 ounces raisins (about 2/3 cup)
- 3 ounces candied orange peel (about 2/3 cup) candied lemon peel can be added as well
- 3 ounces chopped roasted nuts of choice almonds and hazelnuts are my go-to
- Grand Marnier liquer enough to just cover the filling mixture to soak
- 3 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 cup whole milk room temperature
- 2 Tbs sugar (taken from the 1/2 cup of sugar which will go into the entire dough mixture) granulated
- 4 cups pastry flour Bob's Red Mill is my favorite (AP flour works as well)
- 1/2 cup sugar (minus 2 Tbs used in yeast) granulated
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature (for ease of mixing)
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 tsp mace
- 3/4 tsp cardamon
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Madagascar pure vanilla extract strong (substitute 1 tsp regular vanilla extract)
- 1 medium lemon (the zest only)
- 1 tsp fleur du sel
- 16 ounces almond paste recipe below
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 large egg whites lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp almond extract OPTIONAL: as the almond paste already welcomes this flavor – taste to see if you need more
- 1 large orange (it's zest & 1 tsp of its juice) OPTIONAL for orange zested marzipan
- 1 1/2 cups fine almond flour
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (Madagascar)
Finishing the Baked Bread
- 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar
- 4-6 Tbs unsalted butter melted
Fruit & Nut Filling
- Chop the nuts and candied orange peel in a fine dice (or as large as you prefer). Place the nuts, raisins and candied orange peel in a small mixing bowl. Pour the Grand Marnier into the small mixing bowl with the fruit and nuts until just barely it reaches the top fruit & nuts. Stir and set aside to soak while the bread rises the first round.
- Combine the yeast, milk and 2 Tablespoons sugar in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes. The mixture will start to form bubbles which will reveal the yeast is active. 🙂
- Combine all of the remaining dough ingredients into a large mixing bowl (stand mixing preferred) set with a dough hook. Add the yeast mixture and mix until all of the dry ingredients are combined and a single dough ball is formed. If remaining dry ingredients are not being incorporated after 2-4 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until fully incorporated. Once the dough ball is formed, knead by hand or with the dough hook for 7 minutes.
- Place the dough ball into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm to rise (approximately 80 degrees). Let rise for 60 minutes or until almost twice the size (mine are usually less as I don't have a proofing oven, but as long as it has risen, you are set :)).
- While you wait for the dough to rise (first rising), make the Marzipan.
- After the dough has risen (approximately 60 minutes), punch down once and place the dough back in the mixing bowl with the dough hook. Drain the fruit and nut mixture, making sure no extra liquid remains. Add the liqueur-soaked nuts and fruit to the dough in the mixing bowl. Turn on the mixture to medium-low speed and mix until combined, making sure the fruit and nuts are not just seen on the outside of the dough but mixed throughout. If the dough becomes a bit too wet, simply add a dash of additional flour.
- On a floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll out each loaf to an oval shape. Remove the marzipan from the refrigerator and cut to match the length of the oval for each loaf.
- Place the marzipan on the left or right side (not down the middle). Fold the side you have placed the marzipan on to the middle (covering the marzipan). Then roll the opposite side nearly over the top of the first side. Pinch to attach well the seam now running down the middle of the bread. Tuck the bottom of each end up and then fold in the sides, again pinching to seal the ends of the loaves. Follow this preparation for each loaf. Place the seam side down on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 60 minutes in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Once the second rise is complete (you will see the loaves have expanded, but don't let rise for more than 60 minutes as you don't want to overproof and have incredibly flat bread).
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until deeply golden brown. You are looking for an internal temperature of 190 degrees.
- Just before you remove the bread from the oven, melt your butter.
- Once you remove it from the oven, poke small holes into the top of the bread with a toothpick, and then brush each loaf with unsalted butter. Immediately follow with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy warm or gently wrap up each loaf and place in a cool spot in your home (the pantry) as the bread's flavor will actually increase and the liqueur-soaked fruit and nuts will continue to share their flavor throughout the bread.
- If enjoying once the bread is cool, you may reheat the bread in the microwave for a warm bite.
- Feel free to add an additional dusting of powdered sugar to the bread once it cools to maintain the crisp white covering.
- First, make the almond paste. With a hand mixture or stand mixture, combine all of the dry ingredients – almond flour and powdered sugar. Then add the egg and almond extract. Set aside while you gather the additional ingredients for the marzipan.
- In a medium to large mixing bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the almond paste, powdered sugar, egg whites and any optional extract. That's it.
- Separate and roll out into individual stripes about one inch in diameter. Roll in plastic wrap and place in the freezer (for future use) or the refrigerator for use in the recipe today. Be sure to label if you have added Orange Zest.
Pear & Blackberry Tart w/Mae’s Hazelnut Crumb Topping
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp fleur de sel
- 2-3 Tbsp cold water
- 2 pears peeled, cored and roughly diced medium to large in size
- 8-10 ounces fresh blackberries frozen would work as well (defrost and drain first)
- 5 ounces sugar (@ 1/4 cup)
- 2 Tbsp water
Mae's Hazelnut Crumble Topping
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp caster/granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped roasted (unsalted) hazelnuts I use a food processor or coffee grinder to create a fine chop
- 1-2 tsp demerara sugar
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 tsp fleur du sel
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sugar
- Make the pastry in a food processor. Combine the flour, sugar, butter and salt. Pulse until combined and fine crumbs appear. Add the water gradually while the processor is running until the dough just begins to clump together. Stop. Remove from the food processor. Form into a ball, flatten gentle to a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30-60 minutes (up to a day).
- Prepare the pears. Add the diced pears with the sugar and water to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. (have a lid near by as you will use it for the latter half of the cooking). Stirring occasionally, cook without the lid for about 4 minutes. Then bring the pan to a simmer, cover the pan and let cook for about 7 minutes or until the apples are almost soft, but not at all mushy.
- Add the blackberries, and leave the saucepan uncovered while you cook the combined fruit filling for about 5-8 minutes longer until the filling looks almost purple with lovely juices at the bottom. You want to cook the fruit until it is tender.
- Once the fruit is tender, remove from the stovetop and set aside while you make the topping (crumble).
Mae's Hazelnut Crumble Topping
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
- While the butter is melting, mix the dry in gredients in a mixing bowl with your hands: flour, oats, sugars (three), salt and hazelnuts.
- Once the butter is nearly melted, remove from the stove top but keep in the saucepan. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and mix with a fork until all is incorporated and crumbly. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 180 Celsius convection oven or 200 C conventional).
- While the oven is heating up, roll out the dough. Sprinkle the surface area with both flour and granulated sugar. Roll out the disc to a diameter large enough for your single 8 or 9" tart pan (you can also make 2 small tarts as an alternative).
- Butter the tart pan to ensure easy removal of the tart from the pan after baking.
- Place the dough into the tart pan. Gently nudge the dough into the pleated edges of teh trim without tearing. However, you can easily patch with leftover dough. Trim the edges by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the tart pan which will give the edge a nice clean finish.
- Before adding the filling to the pastry, drain the filling into a separate bowl to rid it of all the juices that will prevent the crust from browning on the bottom nicely. Save the juices and reserve. While the tart is baking, place the juices in a small sauce pan over medium heat and reduce down to a syrupy thickness to be poured on top of the tart and the chantilly cream for serving.
- Add the filling to the pastry pan. Dot the tart filling with 2-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (an ingredient additional to above list). Then add the crumble topping generously.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the edges of the pastry are nicely golden brown.
- While the tart is baking, make the Chantilly cream and reduced fruit syrup.
- To make the Chantilly cream, in a mixing bowl with a handmixer or a whisk, place all three ingredients (heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla) and whip until stiff peaks form – about 3-5 minutes). Set aside or refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
- To make the fruit syrup, place the drained fruit juice from the filling into a small sauce pan. Bring the stovetop to medium heat and heat until the liquid thickens slightly resembling syrup. Remove from the heat and drizzle over the tart and Chantilly cream when serving.
- Remove the tart from the oven. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes and serve warm with a dollop of Chantilly cream, a drizzle of fruit juice and enjoy with a hot cuppa!
- 3 ounces high quality dark chocolate Scharffen Berger is my favorite – http://scharffenberger.com
- 1 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder high quality, high cacao percentage
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sugar
- Roughly chop up the chocolat. Add all four ingredients to a medium sauce pan over medium heat (chocolate, cacao powder, milk and cream). Gently whisk until combined. Continue to cook until you reach your preferred thickness as it will continue to thicken the longer you cook it over the heat. (for more sweetness, add 1 tablespoon of sugar)
- Remove from heat and serve into small sipping cups.
- In a small mixing bowl, hand-whisk or using a handmixer, whisk the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until combined and soft, yet sturdy peaks.
- Add a dollop of whipping cream to each cup of chocolat chaud (it will begin to melt quickly), and a shaving of the remaining chocolate bar to top the whipping cream.
- Enjoy a decadent treat.
- Place remaining chocolat chaud in a covered pan into the refrigerator. When ready to enjoy again, place back on top of the stove in a sauce pan and reheat over low-medium heat, stirring consistently until the heat and thickness (it will be thicker from the start and only get thicker) you desire is reached.