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Archive for May, 2012

Kammerjunker – Twice Baked Biscuits

Kammerjunker is a small twice-baked biscuit which is served with the Danish summer dish Koldskål. I have been promising to write a post about Kammerjunker for quite some time now and with summer right around the corner I find myself day-dreaming about cold, sweet and tart delicious Koldskål with some crunchy homemade Kammerjunker. And so here they are!

Kammerjunker – Twice baked biscuits

I have to say that the home-made Kammerjunker completely beats the store-bought kind. These turned out crunchy and so tasty that I had to fight off my husband for them. Btw he told me to tell you that they are also great with a little jam and Nutella on them (shaking her head in disbelief). They are not overly sweet like the ones from the store, which I really like, besides I find the store-bought kind more like a cookie anyway. I hope you enjoy these as much as we have.

Kammerjunker – makes 48 whole or 96 half sliced biscuits

Ingredients:

250 grams all-purpose flour (8.8 oz.)

2 teaspoons baking powder

100 grams sugar (3.5 oz.)

1/2 vanilla bean

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

100 grams butter, room temperature (3.5 oz.)

1 egg

1/2 deciliter milk (1.7 oz.)

Directions:

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and mix with a small amount of the sugar to separate the seeds. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, sugar, seeds from vanilla bean and cardamom, stir to combine. Cut butter into pieces, add to flour mixture and using your clean hands work butter and flour together until crumbly. Add egg, mix only until incorporated. Add milk and mix only until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 345 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Roll small pieces of dough into approx. 2 centimeter (0.8 inch) balls and place on baking sheet 2 centimeter apart. Bake for max 10 minutes. Remove from oven and while biscuits are still warm slice into halves using a serrated knife. Place back onto baking sheet with cut-side down.

Lower heat in oven to 200 degrees F (100 degrees C) and continue to bake for another 45 minutes to dry biscuits out. Allow to cool completely before storing Kammerjunker in a cookie tin. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Det Søde Liv

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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)

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 50 grams cake/fresh yeast)

1/2 cup warm water (4 oz) (118 ml) (100 – 110 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 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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Bruschetta

Bruschetta is so simple to make, I almost feel a little silly for blogging about it….almost. But with all this warm and sunny Spring weather we have had this year here in Virginia ,I feel inspired to share my Bruschetta with you. It’s a small morsel loaded with flavor. Between the juicy fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, crunchy bell pepper and wonderful garlic it’s almost flavor overload. I would like to recommend using a flavorful aged Balsamic Vinegar because it really makes a big difference in the outcome. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Bread – French Baguette, toasted

Tomatoes

Red Onion

Yellow Bell Pepper

1 Garlic Clove (1/2 minced, 1/2 for rubbing bread)

Basil leaves

Salt to taste

Balsamic Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Parmigiano Reggiano – shredded

Directions:

Remove seeds from tomatoes. Dice tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, 1/2 of garlic clove, place into small bowl. Chop basil leaves and add to tomatoes. Season with salt to taste. Add a small amount of Balsamic Vinegar. Toss together and drain off some of excess liquids. Set aside.

Slice french bread and toast. While toast is still hot, rub toast with the remaining 1/2 garlic clove. Top toast with tomatoes, drizzle with a little more Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil and top with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Ymerdrys

Ymer is a Danish milk product that was developed in the 1930’s. It’s similar to yogurt and buttermilk and it’s often served as a breakfast, snack or dessert. Unfortunately Ymer cannot be purchased in the US but I find that Greek Yogurt is a great substitute.

Rugbrød (Rye Bread)

Ymerdrys is a topping that is sprinkled on top of the Ymer. It is made from Danish Rugbrød (Rye Bread) and the tart and sweet taste of the bread is a perfect compliment to the slightly sour Ymer. Many years ago I purchased Ymerdrys online but I was very disappointing because it was much too sweet. Then recently I came across homemade Ymerdrys, but could it be as good as what I remember from home? Yes it can! And it is very quick and easy to make 🙂

Rugbrød (Rye Bread) crumbs

Ymerdrys is definitely one of those foods that I’ll be making on a regular basis. It’s a great source of fiber, a delicious addition to your Ymer or Yogurt and a great way to use up leftover Rugbrød. Now, Ymerdrys from back home did not have freeze dried berries in it, so that is completely optional, but I just wanted a little extra color in it and I had a bag of freeze dried raspberries sitting around waiting to be used up, besides it turned out über good. Also, when you choose your Rugbrød I would recommend choosing one that has some seeds into, it gives a little extra crunch after it’s baked.

Ymerdrys with dried raspberries

Ingredients:

200 gram Rugbrød (7 1/2 oz Dark Rye Bread)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 to 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)

Break Rye Bread into large chunks and place in a food processor. Add brown sugar. Pulse until desired consistency. Place bread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch it closely the last 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. Allow to cool on baking sheet. Place freeze dried berries into a small plastic bag and crush into small chunks. Add berries to Rye Bread and mix. Enjoy sprinkled over top of your Ymer or Greek Yogurt!

Rugbrød

Source: adapted from Miras Madblog

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