Cook this: Advent Quarkstollen by Anja Dunk


“Christmas would not be complete in Germany without a Stollen in the house”

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Our cookbook of the week is Advent: Festive German Bakes to Celebrate the Coming of Christmas by Anja Dunk. Tomorrow, we will offer you an interview with the author.

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To try another recipe from the book, check out: Lebkuchenherzen (Lebkuchen hearts) and Bethmännchen (almond domes).

For Anja Dunk, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Stollen. The London-based cook, food writer and artist, whose mother was born in Germany, includes five types of German fruitcakes (“or bread depending on your sensitivity”) in Advent .

She recommends this version of the quark for its ease and the fact that, unlike Weihnachtsstollen (Noël Stollen), it does not require two weeks of refining before it can be sliced.

Since it is leavened with baking powder and baking soda (instead of yeast like Weihnachtsstollen), Quarkstollen also does not need proofing time: just mix the dough, bake, sprinkle with icing sugar (“it should look like a snowdrift”) and enjoy.

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“It tastes pretty much the same as a Christmas Stollen, but it’s very easy to put together,” says Dunk, who makes all five versions every year.

She starts with the traditional Weihnachtsstollen in November, so it will be ready to eat by the first or second week of December, and cooks this Quarkstollen when she has friends over for coffee and cake in the afternoon.

  1. Cook this: Lebkuchenherzen – hearts of Lebkuchen – from Advent Anja Dunk

  2. Advent Bethmännchen (almond domes): festive German pastries to celebrate the arrival of Christmas.  Also pictured: Zimtsterne, Springerle, Doppeldecker, Rumkugeln.

    Cook this: Bethmännchen – almond domes – from Advent from Anja Dunk

Mohnstollen, filled with poppy seed paste, Stollenplätzchen (butter cookies with the spices and fruits you would use in Stollen) and Stollenkonfekt – the Stollen bites, which are mini-versions of Quarkstollen – complete its Stollen selection.

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Quark gives this Stollen its soft and tender crumb, and its slightly sour flavor. “There are so many ingredients that are underestimated, so many that are also overrated,” says Dunk. “But I think cottage cheese is a really underrated ingredient for baking outside of Europe and Germany.”

Advent by Anja Dunk
In her third cookbook, Advent, Anja Dunk celebrates the lead up to Christmas with festive German pastries. Photo of Quadrille

QUARKSTOLLEN

Stolen quark

150 g (5 ounces) raisins
50 g (1 3/4 oz) mixed zest
2 tablespoons of rum
400 g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
75 g (1/2 cup) cornstarch
125 g (2/3 cup) superfine sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
2 eggs
125 g (1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp.) Unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
250 g (1 cup plus 2 tbsp) cottage cheese (see note)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
50 g (1 3/4 oz) slivered almonds
Finely grated zest of an orange or lemon

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To coat:
50 g (3 1/2 tbsp.) Unsalted butter, melted
Icing sugar, for sprinkling

Step 1

Put the raisins and mixed zest in a bowl, pour over the rum and let it steep while you prepare the dough. Preheat the oven to 160 ° C (140 ° C hot air / 320 ° F) and line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper.

2nd step

Put all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Break the eggs, add the butter, cottage cheese and dried fruits with the rum, as well as the vanilla extract, almonds and orange zest. Mix everything with your hands until you get a very soft and sticky dough. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the baking soda to work its magic.

Step 3

Shape the dough into a rectangle 30 cm (12 inches) long and about 10 cm (4 inches) wide and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, until golden brown, turning the baking sheet once halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.

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Step 4

Using a brush, brush the Stollen with melted butter right out of the oven, and sift over a little icing sugar. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 5

When ready to serve, sprinkle the Stollen generously with icing sugar. Serve sliced ​​as is or with butter and jam. Store wrapped in aluminum foil in an airtight container, it will keep for up to 5 days.

Serves: 12

To note: Find cottage cheese in the dairy products section of the grocery store (Liberté makes one labeled “fromage frais”) or make your own.

Recipe and image taken from Advent: Festive German Bakes to Celebrate the Coming of Christmas by Anja Dunk. Text © Anja Dunk 2021. Photography © Anja Dunk 2021. Published in 2021 by Quadrille, an imprint of Hardie Grant Publishing.

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