Julia pondered "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet."
Kat declared "Fruitcake is fruitcake, baby. Call it what you will, it's still an abomination."
Stollen. Gag me.
But wait, what if I try to make it into something sweet and rosy, something good? Boxed mac and cheese is no contender against the real, homemade deal. Could it be that fruitcake, er, I mean, stollen, suffers the same slings and arrows of misfortune when it's mass produced? Had I only ever sampled the tragic blue-boxed version of this Christmas tradition, and mistakenly surmised that fruitcake was all the same?
This Daring Bakers challenge would be a challenge to myself, then, of epic proportions. Could I make an honest to goodness from-scratch stollen that even I would like?
(Mandatory Blog-checking lines:)
The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.
First things first. Candied fruit from the store is just plain wrong. So, I made my own citron.
The pretty plate of citrus up there is actually the waste.
Mr. Boom put it to god use, though, as you'll see later.
I boiled the peels in fresh water for a few minutes, then drained the pot
and added clean water and brought to a boil again. I did this for a total of three boils.
The peels were then diced finely and thrown back into the pot with equal parts sugar and water.
The result is shiny, sweet, and chewy.
They didn't taste a whole lot different of the orange jelly wedge
candy you can buy at the store.
The house now smells entirely like danishes.
It's freezing cold outside and snow is hammering down.
(There are different types of snowfall, for those who aren't in the know. Sometimes snow falls like rain in a thunderstorm, though how something of that shape and mass can gain that velocity is beyond me!)
I want to throw all the windows open, but I can't.
So, I start dry-heaving instead.
The monster has won.
I don't like fruitcake, you can't make me like fruitcake, and I won't ever make one again. I gave this challenge my full effort. I really tried to get into the spirit. I was even hopeful for a while. I will stick with this from now on:
If you want to give this a shot, and I see no reason why you should let my mortal fear and all-consuming hatred of fruitcake stop you, here's the recipe for the challenge.