Christmas. The perfect time to really indulge the senses. When every smell, taste, touch instantly makes us feel like the festive season has truly begun. This isn’t the time for skipping ingredients or leaving a few things out. When it comes to Christmas, it’s about packing every bite with as many spices, scents, flavours as possible. At least that’s the opinion of baker, Marco Mellies – and we couldn’t agree more.
From Mid-November, the inviting aroma of stollen spices waft from Marco’s bakery onto the streets outside. The warm scent of freshly ground cinnamon. The sweet smell of raisins soaked in Jamaican rum. It’s impossible not to walk past and instantly feel like the festive season is upon us.
Marco’s been baking stollen cake for years – but not just any old stollen cake. The recipe he learned as an apprentice is over 100 years old, passed down through his teacher’s family, and these days he’s the only one baking it. So precious is the perfect combination of the recipe’s infusion of fruits and spices that he simply refuses to change it. After all, when something’s been baked and loved for that long, it must be doing something right.
Almost synonymous with Christmas, the aromas of a freshly based stollen hold an important place in the heart of many Germans, and Marco’s no exception. The personal touch that comes with the kneading of the dough. The sweet softness of a few rum-soaked raisins that never quite make it into the dish. Those are the little indulgences that make Marco truly feel at home at Christmas. After all, with the love and attention that the cake requires, it’s nigh on impossible to not feel that the experience of making stollen is something a little bit special. And what better way to enjoy it than surrounded by loved ones (Marco suggests that a cup of coffee does nothing but enhance the experience, too). “The spices make you feel Christmassy as soon as you smell them”, he adds. “Enjoying it together with friends and family is the perfect way to relax. Without the stollen at Christmas time, it just wouldn’t feel like Christmas.”
Find out how to make Marco’s stollen cake here