Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Curious Christmas combination

I know what you’re wondering, what could possibly have STOLLEN my attention today? Well I have a plethora of pleasantries for pursuing. I know that alliteration there was so good right, it really took the CAKE. Okay I’m going to stop with the terrible hint puns before you think me a right PUDDING. I must be driving you NUTS.
Definitely stopping after that one as in all honesty the one the nuts pun refers to isn’t too nut centric. Moving swiftly on for we have a few to get through today I’ll begin with the Stollen. Probably the most traditional of the four as not only is it festive but it is also German. As I have talked about before Germany is where most of our holiday hang ups originate from. Surely that makes this cake about as festive as you can get.
Thankfully it was only a small slice

 It’s an odd one too the cakes themselves are an amalgamation of soft pastry, fruit and marzipan. An odd combination that actually tastes rather nice, and like this one if made well creates an interesting cooling sensation in the mouth befitting of the season. The pastry is soft and moist and melts nicely on the tongue. The marzipan tastes of sweetened almonds and gives the pastry a nice sugary kick. Then the fruit and spice mixture brings the usual festive tastes that are ever present on our tongues right now. Altogether it creates a great Christmas treat that in my opinion I nicer than what we have adopted.
 Over here in England we have Christmas cake, not as fun to say and nowhere near as nice to eat. A combination of fruit, suit and breadcrumbs creating an often dry fruit cake base topped with marzipan and the royal icing. I’m really not a fan, usually when presented with these cakes I tend to eat the icing and marzipan and little else. I find it too dry and dull for my likings. To me, cake has to be sweet, moist and mostly chocolate. The version I tried is from Costa and whilst quite nice and more importantly very small still had the dryness and lack of interesting flavours for me.
Puddings in disguise
Next we have a deceiver in our midst for this may look like the traditional festive pud topped with sauce and holly, but take a closer look and that holly looks a bit too perfect. Another give away is that it is clearly made from Rice Krispys and chocolate. It’s a cool little thing I saw in local bakery and had to try, after all it is festively themed. However when I got home I was a little worried. The Krispys were falling off a rapid rate and they seemed a bit dull in colour. I realized that the chocolate in the mixture may have been lacking in aid of a batch bake. Undeterred however I tried a chunk and was pleasantly surprised. The cereal at first tasted a bit stale, but that was to be expected. The surprise was how the chocolate mixture tasted rather chocolaty and quite buttery. The combination worked well and tasted of sweet chocolate butter. I can tell you it didn’t last much longer and crumbled away to nothing.
With these Raffaellos I am really being spoiled
Lastly we have some snowball like Ferrero Roche’s, or rather their white chocolate coconut brother Raffaello. I never really eat Ferrero Roche’s that much; they aren’t the sort of thing you buy when you want a quick chocolate fix. I also don’t get invited to many Ambassador Balls and so don’t see many of the pyramid offerings of them either. Yet the fact that these versions only appear this time of year made me eager to buy a box just to try. Am I glad I did? Yes, Yes I am. These taste great with a crispy coconut outside a creamy nutty inside and a whole Almond all offered in one hit. They taste very luxurious without being too rich and filling as the regular ones have in the past. These have a great coconut and milky chocolate taste that ends with a great nutty crunch.

Overall I love most of today’s products except ironically the one we hold dearest to our hearts in this country. I say we adopt more German traditions and take on the Stollen.

Christmas Stollen -  8 out of 11
Christmas cake - 4 out of 11
Rice Krispy pudding - 6 out of 11
Raffaelo - 9 out of 11

Final Thoughts
Only eight more days left, I can't believe it!

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