Being a food blogger isn’t something I can ever fully switch off from. So when I found myself sitting in a hospital waiting room the other day, I made a bee line for the only food supplement in amongst the magazines. I wish I could tell you which one it was but maybe you can help me out here as it was a Christmas 2013 issue and I thought it had the word Living in the title but I can’t find it after a web search! Anyway it was here that I saw a recipe for a Raspberry Wreath and it reminded me of the twisted cut breads I’d seen on the Great British Bakeoff. I remember thinking what a wonderful effect such a simple technique gave and there that thought stayed. The magazine recipe had cinnamon, sultanas and orange zest in but I wanted to do my own thing of course:-)
Having been sent some lovely samples of pistachios and nut pastes from Whynut and some organic vanilla products from Taylor & Colledge I decided I wanted to make a Chocolate & Pistachio Wreath. When I got home there was a parcel of chocolate I’d won from Tesco so the 72% Dark Swiss bar had its fate predestined! In fact I should really call this wreath “stone wreath” like “stone soup” because the only ingredients that I had to provided were the oil, milk and yeast, the rest I’d either won or were samples! Nearly forgot to mention that the Chocolate Spread was from Whole Earth which I reviewed in November’s Food News!
In my excitement to get started I hadn’t fully prepared and ended up letting my yeast mixture sit around for far too long and I’m sure most of the valuable gases got released into my kitchen and not the dough which did not rise to twice its size. Therefore my wreath is smaller than it should be but it still tasted fab and baked well. Ordinarily I would bake this again but time is something I’m not flush with so rather than wait until next year I am posting this knowing that you won’t make my mistake!
As this wreath is made from scratch I am entering it into Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays event. I’m also joining in with Tinned Tomatoes No Croutons Required Festive Photos event. Festive Foodie gifts is the theme of Tea Time Treats being hosted by What Kate Bake and alternately by Lavender & Lovage and I think this wreath would make a lovely gift. As I didn’t have to pay for most of my ingredients I am entering Credit Crunch Munch where the them is Food Poverty, I run this challenge with Helen of Fuss Free Flavours. I’m also linking up to Confessions of Sahm’s HomeMade Christmas link up. Finally Simply Cook is hosting Lets Cook Christmas Party Food which I’m also entering as this wreath would make a lovely centre piece!
Stop Press: I won the No Croutons Required Festive Photos Challenge:-)
- 1 tsp Dried active yeast
- 2 tbsp Castor sugar
- 125 ml Luke warm water
- 1 ½ tbsp Warm milk
- 225g 00 Flour (I used Extra Strong White)
- 1 ½ tblsp Vegetable oil
- ½ tsp Vanilla paste
- 40g 70% Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped (3mm approx)
- 25g Green Pistachios, roughly chopped
- 6 tbsp Chocolate spread
- 2 tbsp Pistachio paste
- Milk to glaze
- 15g Green Pistachios, finely chopped
- Combine the yeast, sugar, milk and water in a bowl for 5 minutes until frothy.
- Place the flour, oil, vanilla paste, chocolate and pistachios in a bowl, mix well and make a well in the centre.
- Add the yeast mixture and combine with a spoon or your hant until a dough is formed.
- Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
- Place back in bowl, cover and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hr until about double in size.
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C 10 minutes before ready.
- Roll dough out to a rectangle about 25 x 55cm.
- Mix the chocolate spread and pistachio paste together and spread over the dough, if you don’t have enough just add some more.
- Roll the dough up (along the longer side) and cut horizontally in half.
- Join two ends together and transfer to a baking sheet covered in baking paper.
- Twist the two dough halves over each other with the cut sides showing uppermost.
- Curl round and pinch the ends together to form a wreath shape.
- Brush the dough surface with milk and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool and serve. Best eaten on same day.