Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Panettone has been on my Christmas baking list for the last few years. However there will be no panettone this year because I'm making stollen instead. ;)

I've already made small stollens as a Christmas gift for our friends ahead of Christmas. And today (in our NEW kitchen, yay!), I'm going to start the second stollen baking of the season for the families. ;D

It takes a bit of time to make this stollen but it really is worth all the effort when you have a slice of it that is full of Christmasy flavour.


For the starter
Strong flour 170g
Plain flour 80g
Water 160g
Yeast 7g
Strong flour 228g
Plain flour 112g
Almond powder 60g
Granulated sugar 40g
Brown sugar 40g
Butter 180g
Egg yolk 2
Mixed spice 1 tbsp
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
Dried mix fruits 390g (Soaked in rum)
Roasted mix nuts 100g
Coconut flakes 40g
Milk 60g
Rum 1tbsp
Marzipan 350g
Butter (Melted) 200g
Icing sugar

1.Make the starter. Combine strong flour, plain flour, water and yeast. Mix well to form a dough. Leave it overnight in the fridge.
2. Take out the starter from the fridge in order to bring it to room temperature.
3. Place all the ingredients except starter, dried fruits, nuts and coconut flakes in a standing mixer. Mix for 1 minute to bring the ingredients together.
4. Add starter into3 little by little. Continue kneading on the standing mixer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the remaining ingredients into 4, knead for a few more minutes. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
6. Take out the dough from the fridge in order to bring it to room temperature.
7. Divide the dough into 7 pieces and make a ball with each piece. Rest them for 10 minutes.
8. Divide the marzipan into 7 pieces and make them into a sausage shape.
9. Roll out the dough, place the marzipan and shape. (see below for how to shape.)
10. Leave them until they are slightly bigger than the original size. (they won't rise as much as normal breads.)
11. Preheat the oven 180ºc. Bake for 40 minutes.
12. Melt butter while the stollens are in the oven. Brush the melted butter on the stollens as soon as they come out from the oven.
13. Cool the stollens completely and dust with icing sugar until they are white. Wrap tight with cling film and rest them for a few days.
14. Dust again with icing sugar before wrapping them as a gift.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to my mum

Haaapy birthday to you, Haaappy birthday to you, Haaapy birthday dear おかぁ〜さ〜ん, Haaaaapy birthday to you〜♬

Today is my mum's birthday:) お母さん、お誕生日おめでとう。

I sent my mum this bread dough wall ornament. It's similar to the one I sent to my sister and her new baby. Hope it has been delivered to Japan safely.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Strawberry & Peanut butter cupcake

As well as Andy's 32nd Birthday cake, I made strawberry and peanut butter cupcakes for Andy's birthday for him to take to the office.

I asked Andy what he wanted in the middle of the cake, and he said 'strawberry jam and peanut butter'. Since I'd already planed to put fruits and cream in the big cake, we decided to make cupcakes with strawberry and peanut butter for the office.

I made strawberry jam cupcakes (I used the same recipe as the Raspberry jam cake, but replaced the raspberry jam to strawberry jam.). With an apple corer I made a hole in the middle, then filled it with strawberry jam and covered the top with peanut butter icing.

It was like "America in a cupcake!",  I think...
I guess Andy got what he wanted on his birthday. :D

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Andy

Happy Birthday to you ~, Happy Birthday to you ~, Happy Birthday dear Andy, Happy Birthday to you ~♪

It's my dear husbando's birthday today.

Andy keeps telling me that 32 is a great age. Hopefully Lana and I can make his 32nd year ever greater. ;D XXX

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sugar and whisky soaked chestnuts

After I prepared the foraged chestnuts to be cook, I kept the nice looking ones to make sugar and whisky soaked chestnuts. My intention was to make a jar of it and keep it until Christmas for the Christmas baking....but..., last night the jar came to an end... My willpower was too weak...

I cooked the chestnut with half the amount of sugar to the chestnuts and enough water to cover them. When the chestnuts were cooked, I added half a cup of whisky. It wasn't too alcoholic but I could still taste the whisky which was nice.

The chestnuts was kept soaked in the liquid they were cooked in, and they soaked up the flavour more and more each day. When I got near the end, they were so aromatic and tasty that I knew they had to go...

So, there will be no whole chestnuts anymore for Christmas but we still have plenty of chestnuts jam which might appear in Christmas baking. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ぜんざい (Zenzai)

When I woke up this morning I found the garden covered with snow! Now I know why it's been so cold... the winter has definitely arrived.

To warm me up I made a Japanese dessert called 'ぜんざい (Zenzai)', which is a sweet soup made with azuki beans. My mum would make it in a cold winter day and I would have a big bowl or two of it with mochi... Humm, feeling a bit nostalgic...

I added a couple of chestnuts that I cooked and soaked in sugar and whisky. It warmed me up nicely and tasted simply amazing:)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday to Shintaro

This post is for my sister and her baby boy who was born last week. I made a little wall ornament with bread dough for them. ;D

My No.1 nephew was born less than two years ago (remember him?) and now there is another boy... craziness..., but yes, he is very very lovely (I've only seen him on the photo. I can't wait to meet him in Japan!) :D

So.., my No.2 nephew is called 真太郎 (Shintaro). Nice name, I didn't name him this time... Anyway, Happy Birthday to Shin Shin, and well done to my sister.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas party at Tinny's

This Saturday we had a Christmas party at Tinny's and, OH YES! I was responsible for desserts and cakes (What Tinny calls Yumicakes...;D).

I was so excited to make cakes for everyone and had so many ideas about what to bring, and...I ended up making... profiteroles, fruits tartlets, Swiss rolls, cheesy scones, mini croissants, and a loaf of bread...

For the profiteroles, I made mini choux buns and filled them with three different creams, cream patissiere, vanilla flavoured fresh cream, and chocolate cream.

There were also two different tartlets. One with vanilla tart and cream cheese topped with strawberries and blue berries, the other with chocolate tart and chocolate cream cheese topped with banana and cherry.

Swiss rolls came in twos too... a soft vanilla and a rich chocolate...

I was too busy eating that I forgot to take phtotos of scones and mini croissants... (they were the ones that appeared on my blog before.) I brought them in the edible bread bowls.

After all those food, my belly was so full (I felt still full even the following day. I had to go for a run...)!

I had such a good time and it was very nice seeing and catching up with everyone.

And of course..., special thanks to Tinny for a great time and letting me bring so many cakes. ;D