• Serves 8 - 10 people

Homemade marzipan is sure to convert even the most hardened marzipan naysayer - we love a soft ripple through our stollen rather than a heavy log through the centre. You could use shop-bought if you prefer, but for our money we'd rather leave it out altogether. Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the fruit.

  • 60 gm each sultanas and raisins
  • 40 gm each glacé orange and cedro, diced
  • 80 ml brandy
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 90 gm (¼ cup) honey
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, plus extra for eggwash
  • 550 gm (3 1/3 cups) bread flour
  • 55 gm (¼ cup) raw caster sugar
  • 14 gm (2 sachets) dried yeast
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp each freshly grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon
  • 90 gm butter, diced
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds (optional)
  • For dusting: pure icing sugar, sieved
  • Marzipan
  • 130 gm almond meal
  • 90 gm natural almonds
  • 80 gm pure icing sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
01   Combine dried and glacé fruits in a container with brandy, cover and soak overnight.
02   For marzipan, process almond meal, almonds, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor until finely ground with a little texture remaining, add egg and process to combine. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Marzipan can be made a day ahead.
03   Warm milk and honey in a small saucepan over low heat until lukewarm, remove from heat and whisk in egg. Combine flour, sugar, yeast, rinds, spices and ½ tsp salt in a bowl, add butter and rub in with your fingertips to form fine crumbs. Make a well in the centre, add milk mixture and dried fruit mixture, combine with a knife to form a soft dough, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to distribute fruit evenly (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and stand until doubled in size (1-1½ hours).
04   Meanwhile, roll out marzipan on a piece of baking paper lightly dusted with icing sugar (dust your rolling pin and the marzipan with icing sugar as you roll as it will be quite sticky) to a 14cm x 55cm rectangle and refrigerate until required.
05   Preheat oven to 180C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and lightly butter the outside of a 10cm diameter cake tin. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 15cm x 55cm rectangle, then invert marzipan and baking paper onto the stollen dough and carefully peeling off the baking paper. With longest side facing you, roll dough away from you to form a cylinder, ending with the seam on the bottom. Lift onto baking tray and curl around cake tin to form a ring. Brush ends lightly with a little eggwash, pinch together to seal, cover loosely with plastic wrap and stand until doubled in size (30-40 minutes). Brush all over with eggwash, scatter with slivered almonds and bake until golden and an inserted skewer withdraws clean (35-40 minutes).
06   Dust stollen generously with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Stollen is best eaten on the day it’s made.
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