This stollen makes a lovely edible Christmas gift. It's delicious toasted and lightly buttered.
Prep Time: 40 mins plus proving
Cook Time: 20-25 mins
Makes: 12 slices
250g soft dried apricots, chopped
3-4tbs Cointreau or other orange-flavoured liqueur
300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
40g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
50g lightly salted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
100ml warm milk
100g Green & Black's white chocolate, chopped
100g pecan nuts, chopped
Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Put 200g of the apricots, the liqueur and 1 tbsp water in a small saucepan and heat for a couple of minutes until bubbling around the edges. Turn into a bowl and leave to stand while making the dough.
2. Put the flour, yeast and sugar in a bowl. Stir in the egg, 40g of the melted butter and milk, then mix with a round-bladed knife to make a dough. If the dough feels dry and crumbly, stir in a little extra warm milk or water. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, use a free-standing mixer with a dough hook attachment, kneading for 5 minutes.) Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, mix the remaining apricots with the chocolate, sultanas and 75g of the pecans. Set aside. Grind the remaining pecans in a food processor, then tip in the steeped apricots and any unabsorbed liqueur and blend to a firm paste. Turn out onto the surface and shape into a log, about 25cm long.
4. Grease a baking sheet. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gradually knead in the fruit, nut and chocolate mixture until evenly mixed. It will become quite sticky and a little harder to knead. Leave to stand for 20 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Roll out the dough to a 28 x 18cm rectangle and place the apricot log on top, positioning it slightly to one side of the centre. Dampen the wider side of the dough with water and fold it over the apricot filling, pressing it down firmly on the other side to seal. Transfer to the baking sheet, cover loosely with greased clingfilm and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the clingfilm, then bake for about 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Transfer to a wire rack and brush with the remaining melted butter. Once cool, dust generously with icing sugar. Wrap loosely in cellophane and tie with ribbon or string.
Recipe courtesy of Waitrose.
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