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Archive for March, 2015

Hasselnød Kage Med Nougat Creme

Hasselnød Kage Med Nougat Creme

I just hosted a Danish dinner party for my Danish friends and since it is close to Easter I wanted to make a dessert with a seasonal feel to it. I came across this layered cake and not only does it look like a pretty Easter cake but it has all the good things in it that is popular in Danish baking; hazelnuts, Nougat and Marzipan, what’s not to like? As for the special ingredients, I buy Nougat and Marzipan online (I use Odense Ren Rå Marcipan), and the hazelnuts I found in a specialty grocery store.

Process hazelnuts, make meringue and fold in ground hazelnuts, bake

Process hazelnuts, make meringue and fold in ground hazelnuts, bake

A little note about hazelnuts. Hazelnut is a sweet nut with a dark brown skin covering which is bitter and if left on, it may leave unpleasant little left-over pieces in your mouth. So when hazelnuts are used for baking, you may want to remove this skin covering, although it is not absolutely necessary.

Melt Nougat in hot cream, cool, mix whipped cream with Nougat to make frosting

Melt Nougat in hot cream, cool, mix whipped cream with Nougat to make frosting

This is not a difficult cake to make, maybe a little time consuming, and it is one of the best layered cakes I have ever made (with the exception of my all-time favorite Othello layered cake of course). I think you will really love this cake!

Hazelnut Cake With Nougat Cream  (serves 12-14)

Ingredients:

For the cake:

100 g hazelnuts, out of shell (3.5 oz)

175 g Odense Marzipan (6.2 oz)

100 g confectioner sugar (3.5 oz)

30 g all-purpose flour (1 oz)

6 egg whites, room temperature

125 g sugar (4.4 oz)

For the frosting:

6 deciliter heavy whipping cream, divided into 2 and 4 deciliters (20.3 liquid ounces, divided into 6.8 and 13.5)

300 g soft Nougat (10.5 oz)

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1 tablespoon boiling water

Decorations:

Cadbury mini chocolate eggs

Directions:

To removed skin on hazelnuts: preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until skin begins to crack and is golden. Remove from oven and wrap nuts in a clean dishtowel, let sit wrapped for 10 min. Using the towel, rub the nuts vigorously until the skin comes off. Set nuts aside.

Cut out two pieces of parchment paper to fit two 9 inch (23 cm) spring-form pans. Place parchment paper in bottom of pans and spray with baking spray, set aside.

Preheat oven to 280 degrees F (140 degrees C).

Place hazelnuts, marzipan, confectioners sugar and flour in a food processor and process until ground finely.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks, add sugar and whip until you have a thick meringue.

Add ground hazelnuts to meringue and gently fold-in until you have a homogeneous batter. Divide the batter equally between the two pans and bake for 1 hour. Allow cakes to cool in pans.

Place 2 deciliter whipping cream into a small saucepan and heat to just a simmer. Cut Nougat into pieces and add to hot cream, melt while stirring. Heat 1 tablespoon water in the microwave until boiling (10-15 seconds), add instant coffee and stir to resolve. Add coffee to Nougat mixture. Place Nougat in refrigerator to cool completely.

When ready to assemble cake, whip remaining 4 deciliter whipping cream until beaters start leaving traces in cream. Add cooled Nougat mixture and mix to combine. Place first cake onto serving platter. Spread a layer of Nougat cream over cake. Place second cake on top and spread remaining cream on top and down the sides of cake to cover. Decorate with chocolate eggs if desired. Continue to cool in refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Removing skin off hazelnuts

Removing skin off hazelnuts

Source: Odense Marcipan

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Rugbrød uden Surdej

Rugbrød uden Surdej

Making and maintaining a Sourdough starter can be really overwhelming and intimidating to a lot of people, so I have been on the lookout for an alternative, and here it is. No Sourdough starter needed! However, it does need yeast, but the only thing you have to be aware of when using active dry yeast, is that the liquid temperature must be between 100-110 degrees F. If the temperature is above 110 degrees, you’ll kill the yeast. Do you have one of those small meat thermometers? Good, use it to check the liquid temperature. If you have a digital thermometer, even better.

Making Rugbrød dough

Making Rugbrød dough

Now you need a warm spot to allow the dough to rise and in the summertime that may not be a problem, but your house may not be very warm during the winter. To solve this problem I usually use my oven. It’s a small enclosed space and if you turn on the oven to 200 degrees for 30 seconds and then shut the heat off, it will be enough heat to turn the oven into a little warm space for the dough. But remember I said seconds, not minutes, and make sure you turn the oven OFF.

Dough rising in bowl x 2 hours. Dough rising in bread pans x 30 plus minutes.

Dough rising in bowl x 2 hours. Dough rising in bread pans x 30 plus minutes.

As for the outcome of this bread, I was really pleased with it. The bread turned out moist and super delicious, yet you have the wonderful chew of the seeds. A great bread without the hassle of making and maintaining a Sourdough starter. What’s not to like.

Rugbrød Uden Surdej – Rye Bread Without Sourdough (makes 2 loafs)

Ingredients:

250 g cracked rye (8.8 oz)

750 g dark rye flour (26.5 oz)

325 g whole wheat flour (11.5 oz)

7 dl warm water (23.7 fluid oz)

7 g active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)

2 dl buttermilk (6.7 fluid oz)

2 tablespoon dark syrup

1 1/2 tablespoon sea salt

50 g sunflower seeds (1.8 oz)

50 g flax seeds (1.8 oz)

50 g sesame seeds (1.8 oz)

Directions:

Spray two bread pans with baking spray, set aside. I used a Danish size 13 x 4 x 4 inch (33 x 10 x 10 cm) and an American size 9 x 6 x 3 inch (22 x 15 x 7 cm).

Place cracked rye into a bowl and pour some boiling water over, enough to cover. Let sit for 25 minutes, then pour into a sieve and allow to drain for 5-10 minutes.

Take a small amount of the 7 dl warm water, maybe 2 dl or so (6 fluid oz), place into a small dish and make sure the temperature is between 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C). Sprinkle active dry yeast over water, give a quick little stir and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.

To a large mixing bowl, add remaining warm water, yeast/water mixture, buttermilk, dark syrup and sea salt. Using the dough hook start mixing on medium-low speed. Add sunflower, flax and sesame seeds. Add drained cracked rye. Then add whole wheat flour and dark rye flour in 1/3 increments, scraping down sides as you go along. Once flour is fully incorporated, increase mixer speed to medium-high and mix for 6 minutes.

Scrape down sides of bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea towel and place in a warm location to rise for 2 hours. Divide the dough equally between the two prepared bread pans (approx 3/4 full). Place back into warm location, cover with  tea towel and allow to rise to the rim of the bread pan, approx 30-50 minutes. Before baking, pierce the dough with a thin skewer 15-20 times. Brush top of dough with an oil/water mixture and bake in a 400 degrees F preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. If your bread begins to brown too fast, place a loose piece of foil over pan and finish baking. After baking allow bread to cool to a slightly warm temperature. Place bread inside a plastic bag. The condensation inside the bag will help soften the hard outer crust. Once completely cooled, remove the bread from the moist bag, wipe the bag dry before placing the bread back into the bag. The bread is now ready for slicing or freezing. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Klappeklappekage

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Homemade Bounty Bars

Homemade Bounty Bars

In Denmark you can buy Bounty candy bars which is a coconut filling covered in chocolate. Essentially it’s like a Mounds or Almond Joy candy bar. Since my husband and I are both big coconut lovers, we have been dragging these chocolate bars across the Atlantic ocean for years. But guess what, you can make them yourself and they are so easy to make. Not to mention, they taste just like a Bounty bar. So now we can stop dragging them back to the US and we’ll have more room in our luggage for my Danish liquorice.

Homemade Bounty Bars with cracker base

Homemade Bounty Bars with cracker base

I made a little variant here from the traditional Bounty bar because Joe suggested that he would like a little crunch to the bars, so I added a Graham cracker base which turned out really good. The only disadvantage to the addition of a cracker base, is that the base do get soft with 2 days. So if you are planning on having them around the house for a week or so, then I would leave out the crackers.

Bounty Bars

Ingredients:

240 g (8.5 oz) unsweetened coconut, fine shred

396 g (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

300 g (10.6 oz) chocolate, melting wafers

4-5 sheets graham crackers (optional)

Directions:

In a bowl, combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk. Stir to combine.

If you are not using graham crackers: simply just take a small amount of coconut mixture and shape into a rectangle (mine were 6 x 2.5 x 1.5 cm or approx 2.5 x 1 x .5 inches) or whichever shape your heart desires. Place in refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

If you are using the graham crackers: they come in sheets with four crackers. Using a serrated knife, gently saw the sheets into crackers at the perforated line. Take a small amount of coconut mixture, place on top of cracker and shape to fit the cracker. Repeat with remaining coconut and crackers. Place in refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

Melt chocolate wafers either over a water-bath or in the microwave (10 second increments). Once melted, place each bar on a fork and holding it over the bowl, pour a spoonful of melted chocolate over, making sure sides are coated. Then dip the fork with the bar still on top of it, into the melted chocolate to coat the bottom. Slide the bar off the fork onto a baking sheet and allow to set. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Madling

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