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The Perfect Gift

Ono, You Know

December 10, 2018

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

When I was a child, the only thing I would think about this time of year is what I wanted for Christmas — oh, how things have changed over the years!

The holiday excitement I experienced as a keiki has evolved into a frantic panic, as I now have to search for the perfect gifts for my friends and family rather than myself. While some on my list are fairly easy to please, there are others who seem to have everything they want and need, making the present picking much harder and seemingly impossible.

If you too are at your wit’s end trying to think of something that will put a smile on your loved one’s face, don’t fret as I have a yummy solution — Christmas stollen. You can’t go wrong with food, right?

I tried stollen for the first time this week, and I was thoroughly delighted. Sweet and full of wonderful surprises, the festive bread is a great Christmas treat that is sure to fill tummies with holiday cheer.

Fendu Stollen Bread ($27 per loaf)

THIS BAKERY GOT THE GOODS

One of my favorite bakeries on the island is Fendu Boulangerie, for many yummy reasons like its lilikoi chees-cakes, Lanai calamansi tarts, chocolate domes and fruit Danishes.

During my latest visit, I decided to add another item to the aforementioned list — Fendu Stollen Bread ($27 per loaf), which is dotted with walnuts, pecans, almonds, raisins and candied orange from Italy.

According to owner Niel Koep, after the speckled bread is baked in the oven for about an hour to an hour and a half it is painted with clarified butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar.

Biting into Fendu’s Stollen Bread, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a light, airy texture rather than the typical dense consistency that is found in a classic German stollen.

“It’s (Fendu Stollen Bread) a modern version of a German classic,” says Koep. “I took the German formula, which I really like the flavor of, and I did it the French way so it comes out much lighter and not as dense.”

The bakery’s stollen has been a seasonal hit for many years, and Koep shares he sold about 1,000 of them last year and is poised to surpass that total in the coming weeks.

So before it is too late, you should head down to Fendu Boulangerie in Manoa Marketplace and grab as many loaves as you can (for yourself and others!) — the Christmas stollen is available until Jan. 1.

Koep notes the stollen is best enjoyed a week from the purchase date, but it can last up to three weeks.

The Kahala’s Christmas Stollen ($27 per loaf). Photo courtesy of the Kahala Hotel & Resort

A SWEET TRADITION

The Kahala Hotel & Resort’s pastry chef Sonja Oliveri will steal your heart with her rendition of Christmas stollen.

The Kahala’s Christmas Stollen ($27 per loaf) features dark and golden raisins, hand preserved orange and lemon peels, roasted almonds, dark aged rum, marzipan and a blend of spices such as cinnamon, mace, ginger and nutmeg. And to top it off, Oliveri says, “The Kahala’s Christmas Stollen is dipped in rich, melted spiced butter and then tossed in house-made vanilla sugar and dusted with confectioner’s sugar.”

This decadent stollen recipe is quite special because it is Oliveri’s family recipe, which dates back to the 1800s. On the note of tradition and history, Oliveri explains, “as a Christmas pastry, stollen was first baked and served in Germany’s Saxon Royal Court in 1427.”

“Stollen is supposed to represent baby Jesus wrapped up in his white receiving blanket and the fruits, spices and almonds inside of the special bread symbolizes the gifts from The Wise Men,” she adds.

The Kahala Christmas Stollen has been served annually during the holidays for about 15 years, and this year loaves are available until Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the hotel’s Plumeria Beach House. If you want to preorder The Kahala’s Christmas Stollen, call 739-8760 or email restaurants@kahalaresort.com.

Well, my dashing Dining Out friends, I hope you find what you are looking for when on the hunt for Christmas presents. Just remember, when the stress begins to rise, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

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