Stollen Tasting #2

Welcome to the tasting of our second Stollen, with a surprising outcome, at least for me.

 

Shop/Make: Bahlsen Edel-Marzipan Stollen

 

Size/Weight: 500g

 

Presentation/Attractiveness: 3

I’ve come to the conclusion it is hard to make a stollen look bad but it was slightly odd in that it looked a bit like a roll.

 

Amount of Icing Sugar: 4

Very white looking all over.

 

Crumb Factor a.k.a moistness: 2

It was a very dense cake. It didn’t collapse into crumbs but still ended up feeling quite dry in the mouth.

  

Taste: 3

Nothing stood out particularly and I certainly couldn’t taste any citrus peel of any kind. It was a decent bit of cake but not very more-ish.

 

Marzipan Content: 2

The most disappointing bit about the whole cake. Instead of a log of Marzipan running through the middle, it was thinly rolled into it. Unfortunately it got rather lost in the cake mix and didn’t stand out at all.

 

Nut and Raisin Content: 4

I think I must have dreamed the ‘a Stollen has nuts’ thing. There wasn’t a nut in sight but there were lots of raisins and they tasted very raisin-like.

 

Alcohol Content: 0

Not a drop to be found. Very disappointing (see Taste).

 

Conclusion:  3

Disappointing. I had high expectations from Bahlsen, what with it being German aka home of the Stollen and particularly with ‘Marzipan’ in the title. It was average and a bit dry. That said, if that was the only Stollen available I would eat it and not be too unhappy (at least there was Marzipan and not poppy seeds in it). Possessed with a strange premonition (or inside information) Badgerman wasn’t the slightest bit surprised but in his own words: it will do.

 

See also:

Get Ready for a Stollen-Tasty Adventure

Stollen Tasting #1

Stollen Tasting #1

At last we have started the Stollen!

Yay to us. It’s not happening a moment too soon but technically we are still in the holiday season, right? In France it is tradition to send your Happy New Year cards in January (instead of sending Christmas cards) so I am extending the holiday cheer a la Casa della Frog until, well, until the Stollen is all gone. I’m giving it two weeks max.

We started this afternoon with Tesco’s very own Stollen. As you will see from the ratings below, it is a very strong contender for the winning spot and it is possible that it will just go downhill from this point on. So here goes:-

Stollen Loaf

Stollen Loaf #1

Shop/Make: Tesco Christmas Stollen Loaf

 

Price: I can’t find the receipt to check but Badgerman said it was cheap so I am going to guess probably £4.99 or under

 

Size/Weight: 550g

 

Presentation/Attractiveness: 4

We agreed it was a very decent looking bit of cake that was just asking to be eaten.

 

Amount of Icing Sugar: 4.5

Almost entirely covered in a decent layer of the snowy stuff

 

Crumb Factor a.k.a moistness: 4.5

It held together very nicely, with a good dense-yet-spongy feel when pressed

 

Taste: 5

All you might want from a Stollen, subtle hints of spices and satisfyingly gooey at the same time.

 

Marzipan Content: 5

A generous log of Marzipan all through the center, and a very tasty one at that, amazing! I expected a hard coin-size lump and instead it melted in the mouth.

Nut and Raisin Content: 4.5

No nuts, but just the right mix of raisins and cake

Alcohol Content: 4

You could really taste the alcohol yet it was subtle. Badgerman was very happy.

Conclusion:  4.5

It was De-Li-Shuss. I had low expectations of Tesco’s offering and was pleasantly surprised.

See also Get Ready for a Stollen-Tasty Adventure

New Year Resolutions Don’t Work For Me

I will not be making any resolutions this year. In truth, it has been a long time since I last made any. There is one simple reason for this: I am incapable of keeping them and will therefore save myself the guilt trip by avoiding them altogether. I also feel that somehow making resolutions goes against my cynical and realist outlook to life.

A few years ago, I might have tried to make a list of the few things I would like to change in my life. It has always resulted in a disappointing failure. A regular list-topper was ‘Make better use of my gym membership’. I suspect it is mostly twenty-something people who include this on their list; who else but a young, childless and/or a financially well-off person can actually afford one these days? Unfortunately, I hated every minute I spent at the gym and no amount of ‘it’s good for your health’ argument could motivate me enough to keep going. By mid-March, I would pretty much have given up.

Look at the last two weeks! I wasn’t even able to fulfil my blog-advertised Stollen tasting during the holidays. I have been mentally self-flagellating myself ever since I realised I wouldn’t have time to do it. It will happen since there is a LOT of Stollen in the house, we just haven’t been anywhere near it yet. There’s been too much other food to eat, very yummy and filling things; we’ve been out and away a lot more than I expected and I haven’t been anywhere near the blog even to wish a Merry Christmas to my few faithful followers (thanks for still being here by the way, I can only imagine what a thankless experience it is for you all). What a failure!

Ultimately I fear it is lack of discipline that stops me from pursuing my resolutions to a successful outcome. So I don’t make them anymore. Instead, I shall have a wish list. If I tick anything off, I will be delighted. If I don’t, ah well it was only wishful thinking after all.

Buche de Noel

Chocolate, raspberry and lychee Buche de Noel

So here it is, my (very short) 2012 Wish List

1. Write one blog post entry a week

2. Lose my post pregnancy belly

3. Eat all the Stollen and write about it.

And on this note, I wish you all a very happy New Year 2012; may you all be blessed with good health and exciting new adventures. And if you are able to keep your New Year resolutions, more power to you.

Get Ready For A Stollen-Tasty Adventure

I invite you to join the Frog family in our annual* Stollen tasting extravaganza. Over the next two weeks, we will be conducting a rigorous yet highly subjective tasting experiment, in which we will eat Stollen from a variety of shops and makes; each cake will go through a series of tests and our findings will be posted online, with a 2011 winner announced in the New Year.

The TEST criteria will be as follows:

Shop/Make

Price

Size/Weight

Presentation/Attractiveness, from 0 = it’s a right old mess to 5 = ain’t it pretty

Amount of Icing Sugar, 0 = faint suspicion to 5 = who snowed on my cake?

Crumb Factor a.k.a moistness, 0 = falling to pieces to 5 = gooey goodness

Taste, 0 = meh to 5 = can you taste the cardamom/rum/hint of citrus peel in that cake?

Marzipan Content, 0 = no Marzipan to 5 = it’s a Marzipanaganza!

Nut and Raisin Content, 0 = it’s all dough to 5 = the perfect mix

Alcohol Content, 0 =  a teetotaler’s heaven to 5 = more, hic, Stollen please, hic!

Each Stollen will get an overall mark out of 5.

Mr Frog, who will from now on be known as Badgerman on this site, as a maths teacher will be tasked with working out the mean average. He is also our in-house Stollen expert and will have the last word on true Stollen goodness, although you will be informed if there is disagreement between us (it is my blog after all).

Stollen-Dresdner Christstollen

Dresden Stollen - Image via Wikipedia

*It is annual in that we did it last year, so it is a repeat. I suspect it might become a Christmas tradition of sorts.