Category Archives: food philosophy

Stollen with Marzipan

I have mentioned before that I believe in eating Christmas treats out of season. One benefit of this, when it is a dessert that you like but is not popular with others, is that you don’t have to share it with people who are unworthy of it. Another is that you don’t have it in a season when most of us really don’t need more dessert options. You can eat it when you are able to truly appreciate it.

Recently, I decided to make this favourite of mine, fruit stollen. This recipe is a quick bread, rather than a yeast bread, which means it is fast to put together. The dough includes cream cheese, which makes it easy to work with. It comes from Anna Thomas’s lovely cookbook The Vegetarian Epicure.

I mostly follow the original recipe. I use orange juice, not brandy, to soak the dried fruit, and I double it. I also double the cardamom, using 1 teaspoon. I follow the original recipe for the fruit ingredients. It uses sultanas, currants and candied peel (1/2 cup, 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup for one loaf). The dough gets some of its richness from ground almonds. And I use a gluten-free flour blend.

The dough requires a bit of patience, but eventually the flour gets absorbed, and you are left with a pliable dough. You can then pat this out by hand, on parchment paper, to the size of your choice. The original recipe calls for an oval 8 x 10 inches, which you then fold over just off centre. This time, I made my oval slightly bigger. If you adjust the size, keep this in mind when baking it, as making it thinner or thicker will affect the baking time.

One other change I make is to add about a cup of marzipan to the centre. This bread is lovely as is and the marzipan is not needed, but it is does make it quite special. When it is finished, you dust the whole thing generously with icing sugar after it has cooled a little.

The flavours improve over time, making it better a day or two after baking. I enjoyed the piece above at my desk the day after it was made. The rest I have portioned out and frozen, ready for me to enjoy later this summer.

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This Is How My Brain Works

It occurred to me recently that the Distracted Boyfriend meme perfectly captures my approach to recipes. I find a new recipe that excites me, I obsess about it for days or weeks, I go out and buy all the ingredients and then, I see a brand NEW recipe that looks intriguing and delicious. And suddenly the recipe that I had been obsessing about loses some of its sparkle. So I just made this meme to capture this feeling.

Yogurt with Chia Seeds and Hemp Hearts: A Cereal Substitute

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I was lucky to get a chance to spend a week in Greece last fall. Both of the hotels we stayed in offered breakfast buffets, and both offered rich, creamy Greek yogurt and pots of golden local honey. I made sure to have some every day.

After I got home, I kept up the ritual, but also thought about how I could add more nutrition to it. And this is what I have come up with: high milk fat plain yogurt + honey + hemp hearts + chia seeds + dried nuts or fruit.

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“You were given an appetite so that you would nourish yourself.”
– Julia Child

 

I’m So Hungry!

Time for a Little Indulgence

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”
― Mae West

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A Very Serious Topic

“A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.”
Samuel Johnson

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Cheese, Glorious Cheese!

“Cheese―milk’s leap toward immortality.”
Clifton Fadiman

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A Delightful Meal

“Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.”
Auguste Escoffier

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Down to Basics

“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.”
― M.F.K. Fisher

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The Best of the Best

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”
― Julia Child

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