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Makroner

These are Danish Makroner cookies and I use the word cookie here very loosely. They are not really the kind of cookies that you snack on, well I guess you could, but they are very sweet. These cookies are crispy and airy and they are meant to be crumbled up and used in the making of other desserts such as Danish Æblekage (apple cake), Lagkage (layered cake) or Chocolate Amaretto Pudding.

This recipe calls for Hjortetaksalt which is a common leavening agent used in Denmark. Hjortetaksalt is Ammonium Bicarbonate also called Baker’s Ammonia or Hartshorn. The Ammonia gives a lighter and crispier result but can be substituted with baking powder or baking soda. A word of advise about baking with Hjortetaksalt. Do not keep your head directly over the door when opening the oven because the fumes will be very strong initially when the door is first opened, however there will be no after-taste at all from the Hjortetaksalt in your cookies. I did not have any Hjortetaksalt on hand and so I tried it with baking soda and the result was very good. The cookies were crisp and tasted exactly right. They did not rise much and I am wondering if they would have risen more with the Hjortetaksalt?

Makroner

Ingredients:

100 gram blanched almonds (3.5 oz)

100 g confectioners sugar (3.5 oz)

just a pinch of Ammonium Bicarbonate (called Hjortetaksalt in Danish) or baking powder or baking soda

2 egg whites

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 degrees C).

Place blanched almonds in food processor and blend until a fine powder. Combine ground almonds, confectioners sugar and Hjortetaksalt in a bowl. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the almond mixture in increments, this may require a bit of patience.

Place teaspoon size dollops of dough onto baking sheet and bake in the middle of oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before storing in baking tin with a tight fitting lid. Enjoy!

Source: Bente Kilian – Maduniverset

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Lagkage med jordbær og marcipan

I have been meaning to make a real Danish Lagkage for quite some time now, but for some reason, I kept putting it off.  Then I went to my friend Tina’s house for our monthly Danish meeting and she served the most wonderful Lagkage which really inspired me. Thanks Tina :) The following morning I started researching Danish Lagkager and by late afternoon I had made my first ever real Danish Lagkage. The combination of fresh strawberries, crisp macaroons, sweet marcipan and light sponge cake made for an amazing combination of flavors and textures. It turned out to be a big success and it will definitely not be the last time that I make Danish Lagkage for dessert. 

It can seem a little complicated to get all the right ingredients together but you can buy the sponge cake, Danish macaroons and raw marcipan on the internet and making the homemade custard really is very easy. I could have baked a sponge cake myself and cut it into thirds but this particular store-bought cake it very light and thin and actually perfect, in my opinion, for making a Lagkage. If you feel inspired to make a Lagkage, I am confident that you will not regret it.

Ingredients:

3 round sponge cakes

Custard:

2 eggs

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 cup milk (2 1/2 dl)

1 tsp vanilla sugar

Strawberry filling:

1 pint whipping cream (1/2 liter)

1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar

1 lb fresh strawberries (500 g)

Other fillings:

1/2 lb marcipan (250 g)

Confectioners sugar for rolling out marcipan

Danish macaroons – crumbled

small amount of chocolate – grated or shaved, for decoration

Directions:

To make the Custard – Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar together in a small cooking pot. Measure out milk and add cornstarch, stir to combine. Add milk to eggs in cooking pot and while stirring constantly bring to a simmer. Custard will thicken rapidly and once you notice it bubbling remove from heat. Place custard in small dish, cover with cling wrap directly onto the custard surface to avoid a skin from forming. Place in refrigerator to cool down a little.

To make Strawberry filling – Clean strawberries under running water, cut top off and cut into half, set aside. Using an electrical mixer, whisk whipping cream until it starts to thicken a little (the beaters leave a soft track in cream). Add confectioners sugar and whisk just a little more, careful not to get whipping cream too thick. Take a little under half of strawberries and break up using a fork. Add a little under half of whipping cream to smashed strawberries and stir to combine. Set aside. Set aside the remaining half of whipped cream and strawberries.

Take marcipan and divide into 2 equal portions, roll to a ball. Sprinkle confectioners sugar onto clean tabletop and roll out balls to flat disks approximately same size as your sponge cakes. Lift from tabletop and set aside.

To assemble cake:

1. Place first sponge cake onto serving dish

2. Spread out half of custard

3. Add one disk of marcipan

4. Spread out half of strawberry filling 

5. Add second sponge cake

6. Spread out remaining custard

7. Add second disk of marcipan

8. Spread out remaining strawberry filling

9. Crush a couple of crisp Danish macaroons and sprinkle over filling

10. Top with third sponge cake

11. Spread the last remaining whipped cream over top and sides of layered cake

12. Decorate with grated or shaved chocolate and remaining strawberries

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Danish Lagkage

Source: inspired by Maduniverset.dk

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Æblekage med Makroner og Flødeskum

Here is a Danish Apple Cake with crushed Macaroons. It is not a “cake” per se but rather a sweet, cold and refreshing dessert. Make sure to adjust the amount of sugar to your liking, taking into account that the macaroons are also very sweet. The macaroons I used here are very crisp and crumble easily. This dessert is easy and quick to make, not to mention delicious and often served for afternoon or evening tea/coffee in Denmark.

Ingredients:

6 sweet apples, peeled and sliced

2 cinnamon sticks

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

1/2 to 1 cup sugar, to taste

1/4 cup of water

macaroons

whipping cream

Directions:

Peel, core and slice apples, place in a cooking pot. Add cinnamon sticks, scraped out vanilla seeds and vanilla bean, sugar and water to the pot. Heat to medium heat and cook covered for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean. Place apples in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool.

To assemble Apple Cake in a serving dish or glasses start with a layer of apple sauce then a layer of crushed macaroons. Repeat layers making sure to end with a layer of apple sauce. Before serving beat whipping cream until desired consistency and layer on top of apple sauce. If desired, you can place small dollops of your favorite preserves for decoration. Enjoy!

Peeled, cored and sliced apples

Danish Makroner (Macaroons)

Æblekage med Makroner

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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