Category Archives: Bakes

Post-Christmas dessert

This post is all about Stollen – and yes, I know there are divided views on this.! Please don’t look away now, as I believe I can change your mind about this versatile cake, and I also know it might just become one of your favourite deserts – ever! When you mention the word Stollen, thoughts immediately run to marzipan – and NASTY, greasy marzipan, at that, but here’s the thing, most Stollen recipes call for ‘proper’ almond paste, which is nothing like its more commercial cousin.  It is like the difference between using almond essence, entirely processed, or almond extract, entirely natural, in your baking. There is no contest! Anyway, this recipe is a very quick, no bake desert, using up that leftover Stollen, in an ever-so delicious way. You will not regret trying it.

Put a frying pan on a medium heat with a knob of butter and a little oil (This stops the butter from burning)

Slice the Stollen into 1cm thick slices, allowing two pieces per person



Sprinkle some castor sugar on each side, using a sieve to get a nice coating
Place the slices in the frying pan and brown for a minute or two, then turn over and repeat the process

While the second side is browning, and this step is optional and only for grown-ups, heat some brandy in a small pot, and set alight. Please be careful at this point. My insurance does not cover singed eyebrows 😉


Remove the Stollen to a warm plate, set the brandy alight, and pour over the cake! By now the almond paste will have melted into gorgeousness, and all you have to do is pour a little cream over, and delight in its deliciousness – okay that might be one superlative too far, but really, I cannot tell you how much you will enjoy this dessert. Trust me, I don’t usually like sweet offerings, but I would make a very definite exception for this.


If you wonder where you might get Stollen, the German supermarkets are stocking it at the moment. I bought mine in Lidl, and no, I have no affiliations with this or any store.


More here on the history of Stollen:


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Spiced carrot cake with vanilla mascarpone cream







Pre-heat oven to 180〫C / 350〫F / Gas 4

Grease or oil a round 22cm loose-bottomed tin

In a bowl put:

230g / 10 oz  self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp ground ginger (yes really!)

1 tbsp mixed spice

230g / 10  oz muscovado sugar

100g / 3½ oz finely chopped almonds (or nut of choice)

Mix well

Add 230g  / 10 oz coarsely grated carrots

To a jug add:

155 ml / 5¼ fl. oz sunflower oil (or Donegal rapeseed oil, if you can get it – superior stuff)

3 medium free-range eggs (if poss)

1 tbsp molasses or treacle

Mix all wet ingredients with a small whisk. Pour  over other ingredients and mix until well combined.

Bake in oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, checking with a skewer after an hour. If the skewer comes out clean, then the cake is done!







For the cream topping:

In a bowl put 200g / 7oz each, of cream cheese and mascarpone. Mix until  soft and creamy. Then add either 1tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. The bean paste gives lovely flecks to the finished cream. Using a spatula, spread all over the cake, being as swirly as you dare! Enjoy!

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