Scrooge as it may seem, but I’m really not into Christmas right now, given that I have most everything I need and can do without huge meals at a time when I’m trying to get rid of the extra pounds that snuck on while I wasn’t looking this year. So when the spouse tentatively suggested a no-present year, I took him enthusiastically at his word, although I did go out and buy a couple of snazzy storage jars for my non-Christmas present to myself.
But calories or not, I do do Christmas cake, which meant hours of weighing, mixing and baking, followed by several ventures of pouring whisky into the maturing fruit cake to give it something of a kick. That was a repeat venture from a few years back (have I really been doing this blog for three whole years?), although I chose a Rachel Allen recipe rather than a Delia Smith one this time.
[Full disclosure. Delia's recipe was better. There seemed to be more fruit (maybe because currants are smaller) and less sweetness, and while I loved the idea of a baked, home-made marzipan icing, it's a little sweet for my taste. Tastes differ. You may prefer the other way around.]
But this year I also tried my luck at a Weihnachtsstollen, the Christmas stollen I remember from my childhood as almost dry, but very buttery, and crowded with nuts and fruit.
I don’t remember ever having a recipe for this one, so used the New York Times as my inspiration, upping the ginger (of course) and reducing the butter just a teeny little bit. It started as a stick-to everything goo and morphed into a sleek, glossy dough, studded with every kind of fruit.
Let’s just say it’s seriously, seriously good.
And for those that are into Christmas, I wish you a happy, peaceful, enjoyable, stressless Christmas.