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Posts Tagged ‘pastry’

Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter remains one of my all-time favorite Danish pastries and while we were vacationing home in Denmark this summer, I had my fair share of them from the bakery (that, and Træstammer). So after coming home I was looking for an excuse to bake them again and finally got the opportunity when a friend of ours came for a short stay, thanks Vince :)

This recipe is not that different from my other post about Hindbærsnitter, it probably differs mostly in technique. The result was a very, very tasty Hindbærsnit, although the cake turned out very delicate and frail. I think that was due to the fact that I interpreted the directions to roll out the dough to a 25 by 30 cm rectangle. Looking back, I think what Lone Landmand (from Beretninger fra et autentisk landbrug) meant was to roll the dough out to a 25 or 30 cm square. I believe that if you roll it out to a 25 by 25 cm square you will get a slightly thicker, and therefor a less delicate outcome. If you decide to try this recipe for Hindbærsnitter, I know you’ll love them.

Making Hindbærsnitter

Making Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter (makes 12-16 pieces)

Ingredients:

300 gram all-purpose flour (10.5 oz)

100 gram confectioners sugar (3.5 oz)

200 gram butter, at room temperature (7 oz)

2 large egg yolks

280 gram seedless raspberry jam (10 oz)

For the glaze:

270 gram confectioners sugar (approx 2 1/2 cups)

3-4 tablespoons cold water

Colored sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, confectioner sugar and cut-up butter. On low speed, combine until mixture is crumbly. Add egg yolks one at the time, gradually increasing speed to medium, mix until dough comes together. Divide dough into two equal portions, place each half of dough on a piece of parchment paper and slightly press dough into a square shape. Place both pieces of dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to rest and chill.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (345 degrees F)

Keeping the dough on parchment paper, roll dough out to approximately 25 x 25 cm (9.5 x 9.5 inches), repeat with the second piece of dough. Place each parchment paper with rolled out dough onto a baking sheet. Bake dough, one sheet at the time, for 12 minutes or until edges turn golden. Allow baked cake to cool a little. Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing confectioners sugar and water until smooth. Prepare raspberry jam by stirring it to make a loose flowing jam. Spread jam onto the first baked cake, this will be the bottom piece. Gently slide a flexible plastic cutting board under the second cake and lift it up. Then slide it off the cutting board onto the first raspberry covered cake. If the cake crack a little don’t worry, the glaze will cover it up. Spread the glaze over the top and add sprinkles before the glaze sets. Allow glaze to set completely before cutting. Enjoy!

Source: Beretninger fra et autentisk landbrug

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Vandbakkelser aka Profiteroles

Vandbakkelser aka Profiteroles

Vandbakkelser has a reputation of being difficult to make, that they collapse easily. I personally have never experienced that problem. I think the most important thing to remember when making Vandbakkelser is not to open the oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking. When you start researching Vandbakkelser you’ll find that there are many different theories out there on how to make them. Some go into great detail about starting the oven at a high temperature and then finish baking at a lower temperature. Some bake and then cut a slit into the vandbakkelse to allow steam to escape. Some bake and then turn off oven and let Vandbakkelser sit in the oven for another 10 minutes (this sound like a good idea if your having trouble with your Vandbakkelser being too moist on the inside). Or you can bake, then turn off oven and crack open door and allow to cool inside oven. And finally, some simply just bake and place the baking sheet with Vandbakkelser on a cooling rack, which is what I did today. To test for doneness remove one pastry from the oven and if it does not collapse the remaining pastries should be done as well, just remember not to open the oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking.

Butter and water brought to a simmer. Add all flour at one time.

Butter and water brought to a simmer. Add all flour at one time, stir vigorously.

There are also several different ways to place the Vandbakkelser onto the baking sheet. You can use two spoons to form a rounded ball of dough or simply just drop spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Or you can load the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large plain round tip and pipe onto parchment paper. You could also use a small ice cream scoop, load and drop onto baking sheet. Whichever method you choose, have fun with it. If your dough ends up having a small pointy tip on it, wet a finger and gently push it down to avoid the tip baking and browning faster than the remaining dough.

Vandbakkelser (2)

Dough comes together in a ball, let cool a little. Add egg, stir vigorously. Dough will separate a little, keep stirring. Dough comes back together in a ball. Add egg, stir vigorously. Dough will separate and come together again as a smooth sticky mass.

I cut the original recipe in half so I would only get 8-10 Vandbakkelser but if you want the original larger portion it’s simply just a matter of doubling the ingredients up (water 2 1/2 deciliter or 1 cup, butter 100 gram or 3 1/2 oz, flour 130 gram or 4 1/2 oz, 4 eggs). Also, I did some experimenting with dropping the dough onto the baking sheet. I used two spoons (left side of picture below) and I piped the dough (right side of picture below). I prefer dropping the dough with spoons because when you pipe it, it is easy to lift up just a little with your piping bag at the end creating a small extra top of dough. As you can see on the finished pastries below (right) it forms as an extra little top on the pastry.

This recipe came from the Danish web site Kvalimad where Max has a really nice video showing the process of making the Choux pastry dough . If you are not Danish of course you won’t understand the words but the video speaks for itself :)

Leave some space between dough balls, they will rise quite a bit.

Leave some space between dough balls, they will rise quite a bit.

Alternative fillings: soft ice cream, your favorite flavored jam, pudding, 50/50 Chantilly cream (flødeskum) and custard, Chantilly cream with strawberries, instead of the chocolate sauce you could also use a simple chocolate icing (glasur).

Vandbakkelse with Chantilly Cream and Chocolate Sauce

Vandbakkelse with Chantilly Cream and Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients:

Vandbakkelser aka Profiteroles: (makes 8-10)

1/2 cup water (1 1/4 deciliter)

1 3/4 ounces butter (50 grams)

2 1/4 ounces flour (65 grams)

2 eggs

Chantilly Cream:

1 cup heavy cream (240 milliliter)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Sauce:

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (170 grams)

1/2 cup heavy cream (120 milliliter)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit).

Bring water and butter to a simmer. Add all flour at one time and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough comes together in a ball. Remove from heat and cool down until you can keep a finger in the dough without burning yourself (about 5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time stirring vigorously after each egg until dough is a smooth thick sticky paste. Spoon or pipe dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If there is a pointy top on your dough, wet a finger and gently press it down. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Do not open oven door during the first 20 miuntes or they may collapse. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.

To make Cantilly Cream:

Beat heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract until desired consistency.

To make Chocolate Sauce:

Bring heavy cream and vanilla extract just to a simmer. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips, and using a submersion blender, mix until you have a smooth sauce.

The Chocolate Sauce can also be made by placing chocolate, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, stir until completely melted and smooth.

To assemble Vandbakkelser:

Cut cooled pastry in half and place a dollop of Chantilly cream. Place cut off pastry top, on top of cream. Pour warm chocolate sauce on top and serve. Enjoy!

Source for Vandbakkelser: Kvalimad

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Kringle

What is a Kringle? It is a Danish yeast cake which is traditionally baked in a pretzel shape. I guess that is why the portions of Kringle dough is so large because you would need a good amount to make it into the classic pretzel shape. However, it’s quite common for most people to shape them into a rectangle instead. The original recipe would have made 4 cakes which is too much for us here at home, although I could easily have followed that recipe and frozen the remainder down…they freeze well :) But I decided to cut the recipe in half. It worked out very well and the only little hick-up I encountered was that instead of having an odd measurement of 1 1/2 large eggs ?? in the recipe, I went with an even 2 large eggs instead. The result was that I had to add a wee-bit more flour and the outcome was a very soft and pliable dough and an amazing crumb in the final cake. As with any yeast cake it is always best served same day it is baked.

The folding process for making Kringle

Just wanted to share with you that this particular recipe comes from a lady named Anne Margrethe who lives in Hirtshals, Denmark. Her Kringle recipe was featured on a Danish television show hosted by Søren Ryge and he declared it “Denmark’s best Kringle”. I must say that it is super delicious!

Starting top left picture: Cubed butter in liquid, Remonce, Filling on dough, Finished Kringler

Kringle (makes 2 Kringler)

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 deciliter water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

150 grams butter, cut into small cubes, room temperature

325 grams all-purpose flour

For the Remonce:

115 grams butter, room temperature

115 grams sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Garnish:

50 grams raisins

25 grams blanched almonds, chopped

Pearl sugar

1 egg, for egg wash

Directions:

In a small saucepan heat water to 110 degrees F (no more than 110 degrees). Pour warm water into a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water and let sit for 10 minutes. Add sugar, eggs and butter to bowl and give a quick stir, let sit for another 10 minutes. Add all flour to bowl and using your hands, mix all ingredients until homogeneous. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover with a clean and dry tea-towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

To make Remonce filling mix together butter, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside.

Sprinkle work surface lightly with flour and give the dough a quick soft kneading. Dough should be soft and pliable. Divide dough into two portions and form each piece of dough into a log. Working with one log at the time, place a piece of parchment paper onto your work surface and, on the parchment paper, roll out the log to approximately 30 x 16 centimeter rectangle (11.5 x 6 inches). Spread 1/2 the Remonce filling down the middle of each dough rectangle and sprinkle with raisins and almonds. Fold the outer 1/3 of dough over the middle and then the other outer 1/3 of dough over the middle again. Fold the ends closed. Holding onto the parchment paper, roll dough rectangle over so it’s now placed upside-down. Place parchment paper with dough rectangle onto baking sheet. Repeat process with second piece of dough. Allow both dough rectangles to rise for another 15 minutes on the baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F). Lightly beat egg with a fork and brush dough with egg wash. Sprinkle with Pearl sugar and almonds. Bake for 12-14 minutes on middle rack in preheated oven. Allow to cool on baking sheet. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Anne Magrethe i Hirtshals via Søren Ryge

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Vetekrans – Swedish Tea Ring

Vetekrans aka Swedish Tea Ring is a very delicious coffee cake. The cake is called a coffee cake but there is no coffee in it, it just means it’s served with coffee or tea. The dough is surprisingly light in texture and the cake is simply just amazing when served right out of the oven, which I would recommend.

This recipe uses the cold rise method. It tells you to let your dough rest in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours. I was pressed for time when I made this wonderful Tea Ring because my husband Joe was taking it with him to his Blacksmith meeting, so I could only let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour but it still turned out beautifully. The recipe makes a huge amount of dough which I thought was a bit much, so I cut off four 1 inch pieces of the rolled up dough and baked them separately as cinnamon rolls, yum! And as you can see there was still plenty for the Tea Ring to go around.

Word of advise: Just to simplify rolling out the dough, I marked off the tabletop diameter for how big the dough was supposed to be. I used four pieces of white sticker labels (you could also use small pieces of post-it-notes). Also, make sure the dough is rolled out as even as you can get it on your tabletop. This will ensure your finished roll/ring will be the same thickness throughout. If you have a thicker area in your ring, baking can be a little uneven. ;)

This post will be submitted to YeastSpotting.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 packages active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

vegetable oil, for greasing bowl

For the filling:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

Pour warm water (105-115 degrees F) into a bowl and sprinkle active dry yeast into water, let sit for 10 minutes. In the bowel of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the 1/2 cup melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt, cardamom and dissolved yeast/water. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the flour in increments and mix until dough is smooth (you may not need all the flour). Lightly grease a large bowel with vegetable oil. Place dough into oiled bowel, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 2-24 hours.

Fit a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place dough onto a floured work surface and roll out to a 20 x 24 inch  diameter. Make sure dough is rolled out evenly without any high spots. Gently spread a thin layer of the softened butter all the way out to the edge of the dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the butter. Starting from the long edge, roll dough tightly as a jelly roll. Move roll from work surface to baking sheet and shape into a ring. Gently press edges together to seal. With scissors, cut 2/3 way through the ring at 3/4 inch intervals. Twist each cut piece so the inside is visible. Cover ring with a dry, clean tea towel and let rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow Tea ring to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Mix glaze ingredients together and sprinkle on top of ring. Enjoy!

Source: The Great Scandinavian Baking Book

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Danish Birkes

Up until the time I decided to make Birkes, I thought there was just one type of Birkes. But that is not the case at all. When I started researching recipes I discovered three different kinds of this super delicious Danish pastry.

I was born and raised in a part of Denmark called Jylland where the pastry is referred to as Birkes or Thebirkes. This Birkes does not have a Remonce filling and the pasty at our house was always sliced in half and topped with jam or cheese…super delicious! My search lead me further east to Sjælland which is the island where Copenhagen (København) is located. Here the pastry is called Københavnerbirkes or Thebirkes and the wonderful people in the Copenhagen area makes the pastry with a Remonce filling…equally wonderful in its own way. Grovbirkes, as far as I can tell, can be found throughout Denmark and it is made with a healthy portion of flaxseed, sesame seeds and/or sunflower seeds…this one I have never tasted.

My favorite is the Birkes without Remonce, I guess because it’s the one I grew up with. The Birkes is flaky and buttery in the best true Danish style. The Københavnerbirkes is sweeter in taste, and as far as I can tell, the pastry is eaten as-is. There is a lot of conversation going on out there in Cyber-land about Birkes vs Københavnerbirkes and I was surprised to find out that people from one end of the country to the other, is not really aware of the other kind of Birkes. When I called my parents to ask them about Birkes with a Remonce filling my mother said that she had never heard of “such a thing”, so apparently I am not the only one :)

Notice the clumps of butter in the two pictures on the right. The butter should be the size of kidney beans.

Rolling and folding process.

The dough is rolled out, then folded into thirds and folded into thirds again.
This process in repeated three times. Notice how you still see the butter in the dough.

Puff pastry (Butterdej) with all its wonderful layers!

If making Birkes with Remonce, spread remonce over 2/3 of dough, fold into thirds and cut into 2 inch rectangles.

Note: after I filled with Remonce, I placed the dough on the baking sheet upside down so the filling was towards the top. I think this may have resulted in the Birkes that had the filling in them, turned out like The Leaning Tower of Pisa. So try to place them on the baking sheet with the filling towards the bottom.

Makes 2 portions of Puff Pastry dough (Butterdej).

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 1/2 cups flour (15 3/4 oz) (450 grams)

1 1/2 cups cold unsalted butter (12 oz) (340 grams)

2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)

1/2 cup warm water (4 oz) (118 ml) (105 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit)

1/2 cup heavy cream (4 oz) (118 ml)

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar (1 3/4 oz) (55 grams)

For Remonce filling: optional

2.8 oz butter (80 grams) at room temperature

2.8 oz sugar (80 grams)

2.8 oz marzipan (80 grams) at room temperature

For final assembly:

1 egg, slightly beaten for brushing

Poppy Seeds for sprinkling

Directions:

Place flour into bowl of food processor with steel blade. Cut cold butter into 1/4 inch slices and add to flour. Pulse flour and butter until the butter is the size of kidney beans.

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the cream, cardamom, salt, eggs and sugar and mix until combined using a fork. Using a rubber spatula, turn the flour/butter mixture into the liquid and carefully mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, overnight or up to 4 days.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, dust top of dough with flour. Roll out dough to make a 16 to 20 inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds, rotate dough a quarter of turn and fold into thirds again, making a small square. Turn over dough. Repeat rolling and folding another two times (making it a total 3 times of rolling and folding), ending with a small square. Using a sharp knife cut dough into two halves. Wrap each 1/2 portion of dough in plastic wrap, place both dough portions in a plastic bag and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Refrigerated dough is now divided into 2 halves. Each half of dough will make 10 birkes rolls. If you are not using the second half of dough, it can be frozen for later use. Defrost in refrigerator for 24 plus hours before using.

If using the Remonce filling, make it at this time. Use a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, sugar and marzipan to a smooth soft spreadable cream. Set aside.

Remove first half of dough from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface, dust top of dough with flour. Roll dough out to a 12 x 18 inch rectangle. If using Remonce filling, spread a thin layer of the filling over 2/3 of the long edge of dough. Starting with the long edge that has the filling, fold 1/3 of dough over the middle. Then fold the remaining 1/3 of dough without filling over the middle, the dough is now folded into 3 layers. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into approximately 2 inch rectangular pieces. Place pieces of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly beat egg and brush onto top of dough. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow Birkes to cool on baking sheet. Birkes with Remonce filling is eaten as is. Birkes without filling is sliced in half and topped with jam or cheese. Enjoy

Source: My Danish Kitchen

This recipe will be submitted to YeastSpotting.

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Rundstykker

Rundstykker is a Danish breakfast buns and literally means “round pieces”. They are immensely popular, and dare I say, sold in every single bakery in Denmark. When I was younger and lived at home, my Dad would always get up early on the weekends, jump on his bicycle and ride to the baker to pick up some fresh Rundstykker. We would eat them with jam, cheese, honey or Nutella and they were wonderful.

Rundstykker

Living away from Denmark I only got to eat Rundstykker when I was home visiting. But why not make them myself? It turns out that they are fairly easy to make and the aroma of fresh baked bread on a weekend morning is simply just amazing. I will eat them warm right out of the oven or cooled off, either way, they are delicious and brings back memories of distant weekend mornings at home.

Rundstykker – 12 servings

Ingredients:

25 grams butter (3/4 ounces)

3 deciliter milk (11 ounces)

3.75 teaspoons active dry yeast (= 25 grams cake yeast)

400 grams flour (14 ounces)

1 teaspoon salt

poppy seeds

1 beaten egg for brushing

Directions:

Add butter to a small saucepan and melt over low heat, add milk and heat until between 100-110 degrees F (37 – 43 degrees C). Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the warm milk and let sit for 10 minutes.

Mix together flour and salt in a bowl. Pour milk/yeast mixture into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Starting on low, add the flour in increments. (If dough is still sticky after all the flour has been added, you can add a little extra flour until dough is no longer sticky). When all flour has been added, mix on medium speed for 10 minutes. (The mixing and kneading process can certainly be done by hand, make sure to knead the dough for 10 minutes as well, if you choose to do it by hand). Place dough in a bowl and cover with clean, dry tea towel. Place in a warm, draft free spot and allow to rise until double in size, 30-45 minutes.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Pour dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Then divide each of these portions into 4 equal parts for a grand total of 12 small pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small dough ball, place 6 dough balls on each baking sheet. Cover each baking sheet with a clean, dry tea towel and allow to rise in a warm location for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 440 degrees F (230 degrees C). After the dough balls have finished rising, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. For additional decoration, using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the top of each dough ball. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely or serve warm with your favorite topping. Enjoy!

This post has been submitted to YeastSpotting.

Source: adapted from Kvalimad.dk

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Danish Træstammer

We are looooong overdue for a Danish recipe, don’t you think? There are so many recipes that I want to make (Danish and others alike)  and simply not enough hours in the day. Maybe if I took a month off from work I could make a dent in my to-do-list.

Anyway, I have been planning and researching Danish Træstammer for a long time now and I am so excited to finally being able to share them with you. I remember buying Træstammer from the store at home and they were a very special treat indeed.  For this post I choose to use a ganache as a binder which seems perhaps a little cumbersome but very delicious. Making Træstammer is not an exact science. A lot depends on how moist or dry your left-over chocolate cake is, mine was actually quite fresh and moist so it did not take much ganache to form the inside cake “batter”. The ganache portion of this recipe makes more than enough, so if you happen to have something needing decorating, the left-over ganache will be perfect.

Ingredients:

For the ganache:

2.5 deciliter (9 oz) whipping cream

250 grams (8.8 oz) dark chocolate

For the chocolate filling (logs):

400 grams (14 oz) left-over good chocolate cake

1/4 cup ganache

3 tablespoons Bacardi Gold Rum

For the outside covering:

400 grams (14 oz) marzipan

confectioners sugar for sprinkling

dark chocolate for dipping

Directions:

To make ganache: Chop the chocolate and place in a small bowl. Pour whipping cream into small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot whipping cream over chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir chocolate mixture until it’s smooth. Place in refrigerator to cool for 20-25 minutes.

To make chocolate filling (logs): Break left-over cake into large chunks and place in food processor or blender, process until fine crumbs. Slowly add chocolate ganache, while processing, until crumbs start to come together into a ball. Add rum. Form chocolate mass into a ball and place in refrigerator.  

Sprinkle flat working surface with confectioners sugar. Form marzipan into a rectangle and start rolling it out making sure it does not stick to working surface.

Remove the chocolate filling from the refrigerator, divide into three parts and roll each part into long logs approximately 2-3 centimeters (0.8-1 inch) in thickness. Place logs one at the time onto the marzipan and roll the marzipan around the log, cut along the long edge to fit. Pinch together the long edge to close the marzipan around the chocolate log. Gently roll the marzipan log to flatten the seam. Trim off the ends of the log, cut the logs into equal lengths approximately 7-8 centimeters (2.8-3 inches). Place cut up logs on baking sheet and place in refrigerator.

Chop the remaining chocolate, place in a small bowl over a water bath and melt. Dip each end of the logs in the melted chocolate, place on baking sheet and allow to cool. Enjoy!

Source: Himmelske Kager

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Easy Cheese Danish

Easy Cheese Danish

I saw Ina make these cheese Danish on Barefoot Contessa. They are easy, quick and very delicious. What’s not to like? They are wonderful served warm as well as the following day at room temperature. After the pastries are filled and folded, Ina tells you to refrigerate the pastries for 15 minutes before baking…which I failed to do. :( So the first four pastries I baked opened up during baking, not a pretty site (still tasted fantastic though). The next four I put in the refrigerator, as instructed, and these pastries stayed folded after baking. So I can only guess that the refrigeration of the pastries is an important step to keep the folded pastries closed during baking. I’ll remember this for next time :)

Ingredients:

2 sheets puff pastry (1 box)

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 tbsp ricotta cheese

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

zest from 1 small lemon

1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.

Mix together cream cheese and sugar with an electrical mixer on low-speed. With the mixer still on low, add egg yolks, ricotta cheese, vanilla, salt and lemon zest, mix just until smooth. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. If needed, roll it to a 10 x 10 inch square. Cut pastry into 4 smaller squares. Brush borders of each square with egg wash and then place a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese filling in the centers. Fold one corner gently over the filling, brush this corner with egg wash. Fold the opposing second corner over the first corner allowing the egg wash to seal the two corners together. Finish brushing the top of pastry with egg wash. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry. Makes a total of 8 pastries.

Using a spatula, place pastries on baking pans and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Then bake pastries for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

Cheese Danish

Source: Barefoot Contessa

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Danish Wienerbrød

Danish Wienerbrød

A couple of years ago my husband and I attended a week-long seminar at the John C. Campbell Folk School in beautiful Brasstown, North Carolina. The school is based on the Danish design of a “Folkehøjskole” which is a non-competitive setup and emphasizing on teaching practical skills.  They offer classes in anything from Clay to Dance to Knitting to Music to Woodworking, and so much more. Your days at the Folk School are filled with many activities from sunrise to sunset, but although busy it is also relaxing and the school is set in an incredibly peaceful environment. Joe took Blacksmithing and I took Scandinavian Baking. The baking class was taught by Kim Hendrickson who was full of useful baking/cooking tips and who had answers to all of my 101 questions about yeast and baking techniques. It was a week filled with baking delicious treats, some of which I was familiar with and some which were new to me. I hope that Joe and I can one day go back to the Folk School for more classes for we had such a wonderful time there and we got to meet so many interesting people.

I have known Wienerbrød my entire life but I had never attempted to make it until my Folk School stay. Wienerbrød is a Danish specialty and outside of Denmark it is referred to as a “Danish”, but believe me, it is nothing like the Danish that you pick up at your local 7/11. Wienerbrød comes in many different shapes and with numerous types of fillings. There are two ways to make this dough, that I know of. The traditional way is to roll out the yeast dough, cover parts of it with thinly sliced butter, fold into numerous layers, roll out and repeat folding and rolling. This process of rolling and folding the dough with the butter is what gives the pastry a crisp and flaky texture. The second method is the “quick” method where flour and butter is combined in a food processor and pulsed until the butter is the size of kidney beans. You still have to roll and fold the dough several times and so I’m not really sure it’s any quicker, but the dough turns out perfectly. Wienerbrød is a time-consuming pastry to make but the outcome is super delicious and so if you decided to make it, I am confident that you won’t regret it. Please enjoy.

Update: This recipe makes 2 braids. You can easily freeze half of the dough for later use. Wrap dough in cling wrap, then wax or parchment paper and finally a freezer bag. When ready to use defrost in refrigeator.

Danish Wienerbrød

Makes 2 pastry braids.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups flour (480 grams or 19.9 oz)

1 1/2 cups cold unsalted butter (345 grams or 12.2 oz)

2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)

1/2 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit) (118 milliliter)

1/2 cup heavy cream (118 milliliter)

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar (55 grams or 1.9 oz)

Filling:

seedless raspberry preserves

Glazing:

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons water

pearl sugar, for topping

sliced almonds, optional, for topping

Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar (100 gram or 3.5 oz)

2-3 teaspoons warm milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

Place flour into bowl of food processor with steel blade. Cut butter into 1/4 inch slices and add to flour. Pulse flour and butter until the butter is the size of kidney beans.

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, cardamom, salt, eggs and sugar. Using a rubber spatula, turn the flour/butter mixture into the liquid and carefully mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, overnight or up to 4 days.

Turn the dough out onto a moderately floured surface. Roll out dough to make a 16 to 20 inch square. Fold dough into thirds, rotate dough a quarter of turn and fold into thirds again, making a small square. Turn over dough. Repeat rolling and folding another two times (making it a total 3 times of rolling and folding). Ending with a small square, wrap dough and chill for 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the chilled dough into two parts. Roll each part into a 6 x 12 inch rectangle. (If not making both braids at the same time, wrap the second half of dough and place in refrigerator until ready to roll out).

Spread filling down the length of center of each rectangle. Cut slanting strips at 3/4 inch intervals along both sides towards to center. Fold strips over the filling in a criss-cross manner. Place both braids onto baking sheets and let dough rise for 15-30 minutes until pastry appears puffy. It will not double in size. Lightly beat the egg and water for the glaze. Once dough has been allowed to rise, brush the pastry with the glaze. sprinkle with pearl sugar and/or almonds.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. To make icing, mix together powdered sugar, warm milk and almond extract. Drizzle icing on top and let set before cutting. Enjoy!

Sliced butter and flour, pulse

notice butter is the size of kidney beans

fold dough into thirds, then into thirds again, roll out

place filling in center, make cuts slanted towards center

fold strips in a criss cross manner

Wienerbrød

Wienerbrød

Source: Kim Hendrickson at J. C. Campbell Folk School

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Danish Hindbærsnit

Hindbærsnitter is a very popular Danish pastry that can be found, dare I say, in any Danish bakery. To this day, it remains one of my favorite Danish pastries. Ok, so I realize that I say that about every Danish dessert that I make, but Danish pastries are simply just to die for. Hindbærsnitter consist of two pieces of pastry that is sandwiched together with a generous amount of seedless raspberry preserves and then topped off with glaze and sprinkles. It’s sweet and simply delicious.

Danish Hindbærsnitter

Ingredients:

375 gram flour (3 1/3 cup flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

125 gram confectioners sugar (1 1/4 cup)

40 gram egg (1 large egg)

250 gram margarine (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoon)

1 – 1 1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves

For glaze:

2 cups confectioners sugar

2-3 tablespoons cold water

For decoration:

sprinkles of your choice (I use Dec-a-Cake Non Pareils)

Rectangular dough

Seedless raspberry preserves

Directions:

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 430 degrees F ( 220 C).

Cut margarine into small cubes. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and confectioners sugar. Place dry ingredients in a food processor. Add margarine and egg and pulse until dough starts to come together and let go from walls. Remove from food processor and press together to form a ball of dough. Do not overwork. Wrap dough in cling wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour to chill. You can also leave dough in refrigerator until the following day.

Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into half. Quickly with your hands, form dough ball into a rectangular shape. Place on floured surface and roll out to a 9 x 14 inch rectangle. Roll dough back up onto your rolling-pin and lift onto lined baking sheet. Repeat with second half of dough. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes until golden along edges.

Once the dough comes out of the oven things will move a little fast so make sure glaze, raspberry preserves and sprinkles are ready on your counter. While dough is baking, make the glaze by mixing confectioners sugar and water together. Stir up the seedless raspberry preserves until smooth and pliable and have sprinkles ready.

As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, spread raspberry preserves over the first cake. This will be the bottom piece. Gently slide a flexible plastic cutting board under the second cake and lift it up. Then slide it off the cutting board onto the first raspberry covered cake. If the cake crack a little don’t worry, the glaze will cover it up. While the cake is still warm, start spreading the glaze out over the cake. Add the sprinkles quickly before the glaze sets. You may have to do this as you go along. Let glaze set a little but while the cake is still warm, cut into rectangular pieces. Enjoy!

Cut up while still warm

Source: adapted from Arla

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