I bought a stollen a couple of days ago from a highly regarded local German (organic) breadhaus - the owner/bakers are 1st generation German. It's in a normal, clear bread sleeve and I was told to let it set on a shelf, unrefrigerated, for a minimum of 1-1/2 weeks. That's perfect timing for Christmas, but I'm very worried about mold, even though I was assured it wouldn't happen. For point of whatever point to make, it contains almonds, marzipan, candied lemon & orange and rummed raisins. The top has a layer of white granulated sugar.
Does anyone have experience with non-refrigerated "ripening". Can anyone explain *why* it won't mold....... I'll have to see it to believe it. I have it in a drawer in a cooler part of the house. Hope I don't end up wasting $18.
(I was advised to enjoy it with a warmed mug of mulled Gluhwein in the evening, coffee in the morning. Can't wait!!)
I should note there is no aroma of alcohol, so that's not an apparent preservative.... unless what's been soaked into the raisins.
While I've never heard of 'having to' age a stollen.... I've had stollen that's more than a few weeks old. It wasn't moldy.
Don't know much about stollen, but the sugar coating would definitely discourage surface mold.
IMO, a stollen should be given time to *absorb* the flavors of the ingredients it contains:
the marzipan, the candied citrus, and the rum raisins. Much unlike marshmallow peeps, (people let those age mostly for texture) aging a stollen is done more to accentuate certain flavors and tastes. Remember, a good stollen should be somewhat dense and NOT overly dry. Time will help achieve this ... so don't hurry it. Let the bread/cake absorb any juices (liquid ingredients) it can.
I'm sure this is what they meant by "aging/ripening". HTH.
I was completely unaware that a layer of sugar would avert mold! As to density, it's very weighty for the size. I'm sure it's dead-on what I read to be a traditional weight of 2kg - nearly 5 pounds.
I'm anxious to try it, but will wait and will be more relaxed about the mold issue. Thank you for the information.
Note - the bakers didn't use the word "ripen". That's what I found to be used when looking for info on letting it set.