We’re really on a roll with festive baking now. So how about that classic, Stollen. It’s one of my favourite Christmas goodies but it’s also one of the things that I can rarely be bothered to make. You can buy some excellent ones – Aldi’s offering is my favourite – so I see little point.
But let’s take those things that make a stollen – dried fruit and marzipan – and pop them in to a muffin, that I can be bothered to do. It’s not traditional but all of the flavours we love are there. These are gorgeously moist and, as I’m not a fan of dainty muffins, lovely chunky things that go fantastically with a cuppa and 5 minutes peace. Always a good thing at this time of year.
As an advocate of baking with butter alternatives as opposed to the real stuff I was rather pleased when Clover sent me some of their new product – Clover Block – to try. It’s been on toast, on top of our spuds and baked with and I like it. Though the reduced saturated fat content is going to appeal to a lot of people, I think the superficial aspect that this is a reduced fat spread that can actually go in a proper butter dish is going to strike a chord with a lot of people. Though the price means that there’s little difference between this and a block of butter, it does give an option to those who want to step away from the butter but aren’t sure about using Stork or supermarket’s own versions.
I certainly couldn’t tell any difference in the muffins and given the rate they disappeared, I don’t think anyone else could either. Along with the traditional flavours, I threw in some dried cranberries for a little added sharpness against the marzipan. Grating marzipan may seem a little strange at first but if you pop it in the fridge for half an hour beforehand it will grate easily and means that it’s distributed evenly, giving an almondy hit in each bite.
Stollen muffins. All the taste of the traditional version but a easier and quicker, just what you need at this hectic time of year.
All the classic flavours that we love about stollen but in muffin form. With the addition of cranberries to ring the changes, these make perfect little treats for a family tea, an afternoon on the sofa with the kids or with a cuppa whilst you grab 5 minutes peace.
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 100g marzipan, grated (pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes before and it will grate easily)
- 125g sultanas
- 75g dried cranberries
- 40g mixed peel
- 220ml milk
- 100g Clover block (or butter / baking butter), melted and left to cool
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Icing sugar to dust
- Preheat the oven to 200c / 190 fan / gas 6 and line a 12 hole muffin tin.
- Place all of the dry ingredients, including the fruit and marzipan, in a bowl.
- Mix the milk, butter and eggs together. Then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix lightly. Be careful not to over mix. If it’s still lumpy and you can see little pockets of flour then don’t worry, it’s meant to be like that.
- Divide between the cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and, after a minute or two, transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar once cool.
You really need to make sure that you don’t over mix as this will result in heavy muffins. Don’t worry if there are still pockets of flour and it looks messy, that’s what you want. You may find it easier to mix with a fork.
Leave to cool almost completely before attempting to extract one from its wrapper. Whilst the marzipan is still hot it’s sticky and won’t pull cleanly away from the wrapper.
I picked up the rather festive muffin cases for a bargain £1.75 in Morrisons, I think they’re cheery.
As with most muffins, these are best eaten on the day they are made. Dust with icing sugar just before serving as it will start to disappear after a while.
This is a sponsored post. I received payment to develop the recipe and a case of Clover Block. There was rather a lot so I dished some out to friends and neighbours for cake baking!