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Archive for the ‘Pastry’ Category

Pumpkin Pie

Every year I tell myself, that this year I am going to make a Pumpkin Pie myself. But every year I resolve to to a store-bought pie which is pretty good and so quick and easy. But if you make the pie crust ahead-of-time and store it in the freezer then it’s really not too much trouble making the pie yourself, not to mention, how wonderful this Pumpkin pie taste. The filling has an added wonderful orange flavor which really compliments the pumpkin and it is light in texture. I was contemplating making my own pumpkin puree as well but was concerned with getting the correct water content in the puree and possibly ending up with a soggy pie crust, so I opted for the canned puree, which is just fine. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

For pie crust (makes two pie crusts)

350 grams all-purpose flour ( 12.3 oz or 2 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

226 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (8 oz or 2 sticks)

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water (60-120 ml)

For the filling

15 oz canned pumpkin puree (425 grams)

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoon grated orange zest

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons dark rum

Directions:

For the pie crust: Cut up butter and place in refrigerator until ready to use. Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor, process of combine. Add cold butter to flour and pulse until butter is the size of small peas. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water in a steady stream through feed tube, only until dough starts to clump together when pinched. Careful not to overmix. Turn dough onto countertop and quickly work it together into a ball. Divide into two equal portions and flatten each portion into a 5 inch (12 cm) disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. At this point you can also freeze dough for up to 1 month. Defrost dough in refrigerator overnight before using.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to fit into a 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish. To prevent dough from sticking to countertop keep lifting and rotating dough. Roll dough onto rolling pin and lift dough into pie dish. Gently press dough into place, do not pull dough as this will cause shrinkage. Trim dough with a knife around the outer edge, fold excess dough inward to form an edge and crimp edge to create a scalloped look if desired. Chill dough before blind baking.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). After dough has chilled, place pie dish onto a baking sheet. Using a fork prick holes in the bottom and sides of dough. Line pie with parchment paper and fill 3/4 full with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights and bake for another 5 minutes.

For the Filling: Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, orange zest, eggs, cream, milk and rum,  making sure egg whites are broken up. Pour filling into pre-baked pie shell and cover pie edges with foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake for 55 – 65 minutes or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Place baked pie on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream. Store leftovers in refrigeator. Enjoy!

Source: Pie Crust – Joy of Baking. Pumpkin Filling – Barefoot Contessa, Foolproof

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Kringle with Marzipan Remonce

Danish Kringle is so delicious and it’s also surprisingly quick and easy to make. I recently made this one with a Marzipan remonce which was a big hit. Kringle also freezes really well so it’s one of those desserts you can easily make ahead and just pull out of the freezer, thaw, bake and serve. Enjoy!

Kringle (makes 2 Kringler, serves 12-16)

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 deciliter water (3.4 fluid oz or 100 ml)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 25 grams cake/fresh yeast)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

a pinch of salt

150 grams salted butter, cut into small cubes, room temperature

325 grams all-purpose flour

For the Remonce filling:

100 grams butter, room temperature

100 grams sugar

100 grams marzipan, room temperature and broken into small pieces

Other optional fillings: 

50 grams golden raisins

25 grams blanched almonds, chopped

Garnish:

1 egg, for egg wash

Pearl sugar (or regular sugar)

slivered almonds

Directions:

To make dough: Using hot water, confirm that the water is between 100 to 110 degrees F (no more than 110 degrees). Pour warm water into a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and sprinkle yeast over water, let sit for 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, eggs, a pinch of salt, butter and flour. Using your hands, mix all ingredients until dough comes together. Dough may feel a little tacky and there may still be small pieces of butter, that is OK. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea-towel, place bowl in a warm location and let rise for 1 hour.

To make Remonce filling: Beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add marzipan and continue to beat until completely smooth.

Rolling out dough: For easy clean-up, place two long pieces of plastic wrap (cling wrap) onto your work surface. Sprinkle plastic wrap with flour and give the dough a quick soft kneading, sprinkle with a little more flour until dough is soft and elastic, and no longer sticky. Divide dough into two equal portions and form each piece of dough into a log. Working with one log at the time, roll out the log (on top of the plastic wrap) to approximately 30 x 15 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 (optional). Fold the ends over about 2 cm (almost 1 inch) then fold the outer 1/3 of dough over the middle and then the other outer 1/3 of dough over the middle again. Holding onto the plastic wrap, roll dough rectangle over so it’s now placed upside-down (seam side down). Carefully place dough rectangle onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process with second piece of dough. If planning on baking both Kringler at this time, allow both dough rectangles to rise for another 15 minutes on the baking sheet before baking.

Freezing: If you are planning on freezing the unbaked Kringle, wrap it up in parchment paper and then foil (or a large zip lock bag if you have one). When ready to bake, thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours, then place on parchment paper at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.

Baking: 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

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Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

While I have been reading up on Buttermilk biscuits I discovered there are many different ways to make biscuits. Should you use butter versus shortening, all-purpose flour vs White Lily flour, different opinions on how to handle the dough, cutting vs dropping the dough and if you choose to cut the dough, how to cut. Not to mention the wide range in baking temperatures. Who knew biscuits were so controversial. In any case, I do know that it is important not to over-mix and to handle the dough as little as possible. Also using cold butter clumps makes sense to me since that is the way you get the wonderful flakiness in Wienerbrød. In this particular method I used here, I cut the dough ball in half and placed one half on top of the other, reshaped into ball and repeated this process 3 times. Did it make a big difference? I’m not really sure, but it didn’t hurt the dough. And so in conclusion, I love these Buttermilk biscuits. They are soft and buttery and flaky with a slight  crunch to the bottom, which I like. There is nothing better than homemade, right-out-of-the-oven flaky Buttermilk biscuits!

Buttermilk Biscuits (makes 9-12 biscuits)

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold or frozen, grated (84 g)

2 cups all-purpose flour (265 g)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk, cold (236 milliliter)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C), line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Use a box grater to grate cold butter, place grated butter in freezer while you prepare dry ingredients.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Place grated butter into flour. Using a pastry blender cut butter into pea size pieces. Add cold buttermilk, using a wooden spoon stir mixture just until dough comes together, do not overmix. Place dough onto a floured surface, gently pat dough into a ball. Cut dough ball into half, place one half on top of the other and gently press into a ball again. Repeat cutting the dough ball and placing one half on top of the other, shaping into a ball 3 more times.

Gently shape dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Cut dough into 9 or 12 squares, place dough onto prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Transfer baking sheet directly from the refrigerator to the preheated oven, bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve while warm. Enjoy!

Buttermilk Biscuit

Source: slightly adapted from Girl versus Dough

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Sarah Bernhard Kager

Sarah Bernhardkager

Sarah Bernhardkager are famous danish cakes developed by pastry chef Johannes Steen in Copenhagen, Denmark back in 1911. The cakes are named after the famous french actress Sarah Bernhard who visited Copenhagen in connection with her book release and so the cakes were created in her honor. The Sarah Bernhard cake is a macaroon cookie topped with a rich genache, covered with melted chocolate and the original cake was decorated with a small candied violet flower. The cake is a decadent treat.

Making Sarah Bernhard Cakes

Making Sarah Bernhard Cakes

This recipe makes approximately 40 macaroon cookies. The extra cookies can easily be stored in a cookie tin with a tight fitting lid and used later. The process for making the cakes is long, but fairly easy. I would advice to break up the process into two days, either make the cookies on day one and then make the ganache and assemble cakes on day two or vice versa. I also simplified the chocolate coating by using Ghirardelli dark melting wafers which is so much easier than tempering chocolate and it taste eaqually wonderful. If you cannot find the Ghirardelli wafers in your local store it can be bought online.

Sarah Bernhard Cakes – makes 15 cakes

Ingredients:

For the Macaroons:

150 gram hazelnuts (5.3 ounces)

300 g sugar (10.6 oz)

approx 3 egg whites, at room temperature

For the Ganache:

4 deciliter heavy whipping creme (13.5 fl oz)

250 g dark chocolate, with about 66 % cocoa content (8.8 oz)

For chocolate coating:

300 g Ghirardelli dark melting wafers (10.6 oz)

Directions:

To make hazelnut macaroons: Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a food processor combine hazelnuts and sugar and process until you have a fine crumble. Lightly beat egg whites with a fork to break up whites  a little. With the processor going on low speed, slowly add egg whites until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Drop spoonful’s of hazelnut mixture onto baking sheets, no more than 4-5 cm (1.6 to 2 inches) in diameter, beware that the mixture will spread out. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until they start taking on a golden color. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet before moving cookies to a cooling rack. Once cooled down, store in a cookie tin until ready to use.

To make ganache: In a small saucepan, heat whipping creme until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop chocolate finely and place into a bowl. Pour whipping creme through a sieve and then back into saucepan, heat to simmer once again and remove from heat. While stirring chopped chocolate in the center, pour creme in a thin stream into chocolate and continue to stir until you have a smooth, shiny chocolate. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Assembling cakes: Remove ganache from refrigerator and stir until smooth. Spoon a small amount of ganache onto a macaroon cookie and using a small icing spatula or a butter knife shape the ganache into a rounded cone shape. Set cookie aside and repeat with remaining macaroon cookies until ganache is used up. To cover cakes with melted chocolate, place melted chocolate into a microwave bowl and microwave chocolate in 10 seconds increments, stirring chocolate in-between each heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Careful not to overheat, as chocolate will then burn and it become nu-usable. Over the bowl of melted chocolate, place a cake onto a fork and spoon melted chocolate over the Sarah Bernhard cake. Once covered, gently tap fork to allow excess to drip off. Place cake onto a piece of foil or parchment paper and allow chocolate to set. Repeat with remaining cakes. If melted chocolate starts to harden, place back into microwave for 10 seconds to soften back up. Once the chocolate has hardened on all cakes, store cookies in a container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator. Cakes can be served cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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Fastelavnsbolle with Remonce and Raspberry Cream

Fastelavnsbolle with Remonce and Raspberry Cream

It is that time of year again, time for Danish Fastelavn. I have written about the details of this fun children’s holiday before and I have baked the traditional Fastelavnsboller which you can see here and here, but this year I figured I would make a quick and easy, yet equally delicious, version of my previous recipes. So this is a short-cut to Fastelavnsboller made with store-bought croissant dough which is filled with remonce and baked. The filling is a raspberry cream but you can use any filling you desire. I hope you enjoy this short-cut.

Fastelavnsboller short-cut

Fastelavnsboller short-cut

Fastelavnsboller (makes 6)

Ingredients:

1 store-bought roll croissant dough

1 egg, for glazing rolls

1 tbsp cold water

For the Remonce:

50 g butter, room temperature

50 g Marcipan

50 g sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla sugar

For the Raspberry Cream:

2 dl heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp confectioners sugar

2 tbsp raspberry jam

red food coloring, optional

For decorating:

confectioners sugar

1 tbsp freeze-dried raspberries, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make Remonce: beat butter, marcipan, sugar and vanilla sugar until smooth and creamy (4-5 minutes). Set aside.

Unfold croissant dough and cut into 6 equal squares. Drop a teaspoonful of Remonce on each square. Fold corners into middle, pinch seams shut, turn over and gently form into a round roll using your hands. Place seam side down onto a prepared baking sheet. Beat 1 egg with water and brush rolls with egg wash. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet.

To make Raspberry Cream: combine whipping cream and confectioners sugar, beat to a soft whipped cream (beaters are starting to leave tracks in cream). Add raspberry jam and red food coloring (optional), stir to combine. Load cream into a piping bag with a decorative piping tip (or you can use and cut the tip off a zip-lock bag).

Cut top off baked roll, pipe cream onto the bottom roll and place lid on top. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and crushed freeze dried raspberries. Enjoy!

Source: Odense Marcipan

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Mørdej - Shortcrust

Mørdej – Shortcrust

Shortcrust dough is very quick and easy to make and it’s used for both sweet and savory dishes (pies, tarts and quiches). This particular dough has sugar in it, so I would reserve it for a sweet dish. The process I describe here is using a food processor, but if you don’t have a food processor, the dough can also be made simply by using your hands. If you choose this method, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the butter from heating up. Then add the egg to bring the dough together, careful not to over-work the dough. Hint: when I roll out the dough, I roll it out on a piece of cling wrap. It makes for easy lifting and moving of the rolled out dough.

Making Mørdej

Making Mørdej

Ingredients: (makes enough dough for a 9 or 11 inch pan – 23 or 28 cm)

300 grams all-purpose flour (10.5 oz)

175 grams butter, cold (6 oz)

75 grams confectioners sugar (2.6 0z)

1 egg

Directions:

Place flour, butter and confectioners sugar into a food processor and process until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg and pulse only until dough starts to come together, careful not to over-work dough. Place dough onto your work surface and press dough into a flattened disc. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Once ready to use, roll dough out to the desired thickness. Spray pan with baking spray and fit the dough against the bottom and sides of pan. Trim the dough even with the top of pan or fold dough into a border. Re-refrigerate dough for another 10-15 minutes before baking.

Baking time and temperature will depend on what you are filling the pie/tart with. Follow your recipe for baking time and temperature.

If you want to blind bake (pre-bake) the dough before filling it, preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F). Place parchment paper or foil over dough, fill with rice, beans or pie weights to prevent dough from bubbling up. Bake for 20 minutes, remove paper and weights and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until golden. Cool crust before filling.

Source: adapted from Kager til Kaffen

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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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Best Kranskage

Best Kranskage

I was making Kransekage again the other day and decided to try a new recipe. It turned out to be the best tasting Kransekage recipe I have come across so far. It is less dense than the Kransekage I posted about earlier, the dough is softer so you can pipe it out and the finished product is slightly more “cake-like”. That being said, if you intend on making a Kransekage tower like I did for our 25th wedding anniversary, I would not used this recipe because it does not hold its shape as nicely as the other recipe.

Pipe marcipan out with a large plain round tip and shape into triangle.

Pipe marcipan out with a large plain round tip and shape into triangle.

The original directions asked you to pipe it out using a triangular tip, which I don’t have. So I used a large round plain tip (#809) instead and shaped the marcipan into it’s classic triangular shape with my wet fingers. When you do this, careful not to use too much water on your fingers and keep rinsing and wetting your fingers to avoid the marcipan from sticking. Also the Kransekage cookies seemed to brown faster than the other Kranskage recipe so keep a very close eye on them (lower your oven temperature by 10-20 degrees, if needed). And finally, the original recipe called for Odense Bagemarcipan which I am not able to get here in the US so I used my regular Odense Original 60 % almonds (used to be called Ren Rå marcipan). These cookies are really wonderful and I hope you enjoy them. 🙂

Best Kransekager

Best Kransekager

Kransekage (makes 15 pieces)

Ingredients:

For Cakes:

250 gram Odense Original marcipan (used to be called Ren Rå)

125 gram sugar

55 gram pasteurized egg whites

For Glaze:

40 gram confectioners sugar (sifted),( plus more if needed)(1.4 oz)

15 gram pasteurized egg whites(0.5 oz)

For the chocolate:

55 gram bittersweet chocolate

Directions:

Double up two large baking sheets for extra insulation to avoid burning the bottom of cakes. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C).

For the cakes: Pour egg whites into a small dish and add sugar, stir and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Using your stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cut the marcipan into smaller pieces and add egg whites/sugar mixture, beat until you have a completely smooth mass without any lumps (5+ minutes). Scrape dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip and pipe out logs onto baking sheet that are finger length (about 8 cm/3 inches). Wet your fingers with a little water and gently press each log into a rounded triangle, continue to wet fingers as needed but careful not to get marcipan too wet. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until golden.  Allow to cool completely.

For the glaze: Beat together confectioners sugar and pasteurized egg whites on high-speed for at least 5 minutes. The glaze should be pretty thick and no longer flow together when beaters are stopped, add more sifted confectioners sugar if needed. Load glaze into a plastic bag and snip off tip to create a very tiny opening. Begin decorating, moving the tip back and forth across the logs making sure to extend the tip out over the edge to allow the glaze to droop down the outside in a loop style fashion. Allow glaze to dry completely before dipping ends into chocolate.

For the chocolate: Chop chocolate into small pieces and melt over a water-bath of gently simmering water. Dip each end of Kransekager into melted chocolate and place on baking sheet. Allow chocolate to set (to speed up this process place Kransekager in refrigerator for 10 minutes, take out and bring back to room temperature. Store Kransekager in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Source: Odense

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Kransekage Bites

The last day of the year has arrived and I wish all of you a Happy New Year and since it’s New Years Eve today lets wrap up the year with some traditional Danish Kransekage.

Kransekage is a classic Danish pastry made with Marzipan. It is often eaten for New Years, Weddings, Anniversaries, Baptisms – occasions when a celebration is in order. Kransekage can sometimes be made into quite elaborate presentations such as my Anniversary cake but other times they are made as small triangular bite-size pieces of Kransekage, equally delicious!

You can also make them into small Kransekage Tops as in the picture at the bottom of the page. If you choose this, don’t refrigerate the marzipan dough as it will be softer and more manageable at room temperature. Place dough in a pastry bag with a large star tip, but I have to forewarn you that it will take a lot of strength to press the dough out of the pastry bag onto the parchment paper. Another thing you can do to your Kransekage, which I did not do here, is to dip the bottom in some chocolate. Very delicious! I hope you have a safe and happy New Year. 😀

Kransekage Bites (makes 10-12 pieces)

Ingredients:

Cake:

250 gram Marzipan (cut into slices)(8.8 oz or 8 3/4 oz)

75 gram confectioners sugar(2.5 oz or 2 3/4 oz)

20 gram pasteurized egg whites(0.7 oz or 3/4 oz)

Glaze:

40 gram confectioners sugar (sifted),( plus more if needed)(1.4 oz)

15 gram pasteurized egg whites(0.5 oz)

Directions:

For the Cake: In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, place 75 grams confectioners sugar and 20 grams pasteurized egg whites. Start the mixer on low and add marzipan pieces one by one. When the cake mass is homogeneous, remove from mixer and place in a zip lock bag. Store in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until the following day.

Double up two large baking sheets for extra insulation to avoid burning the bottom of cake. Use parchment paper. Preheat oven to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Note: when rolling out marzipan, wash and dry your hands as often as needed to avoid working with sticky fingers. If marzipan feels too sticky use a small amount of confectioners sugar to work into dough. Sprinkle work surface lightly with confectioners sugar. Roll dough into a long log approximately 1 1/2 cm (0.6 inch) in thickness. Cut log into finger length pieces (8 cm/3 inches). With two fingers lightly pinch and press down on each log piece to form a soft triangular-shape. If needed, use an icing spatula or a regular spatula to loosen marzipan from tabletop by pressing down hard while sliding spatula under the log. Place each triangular log on parchment paper and bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Allow logs to cool completely on a rack.

For the glaze: Beat together sifted confectioners sugar and pasteurized egg whites on high-speed for at least 5 minutes. The glaze should be pretty thick and no longer flow together when beaters are stopped. Add more sifted confectioners sugar as needed. Load glaze into a plastic bag and snip off tip to create a very tiny opening. Begin decorating, moving the tip back and forth across the logs making sure to extend the tip out over the edge to allow the glaze to droop down the outside in a loop style fashion. Allow glaze to dry at room temperature for a couple of hours before storing Kransekage Bites in an airtight container. Enjoy.

Kransekage Tops

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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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, serves 12-16)

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 deciliter water (3.4 fluid oz or 100 ml)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 25 grams cake/fresh yeast)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

a pinch of salt

150 grams salted butter, cut into small cubes, room temperature

325 grams all-purpose flour

For the Remonce:

115 grams butter

115 grams sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Other fillings: optional

50 grams raisins

25 grams blanched almonds, chopped

Garnish:

1 egg, for egg wash

Pearl sugar (or regular sugar)

Directions:

To make dough: Using hot water, confirm that the water is between 100 to 110 degrees F (no more than 110 degrees). Pour warm water into a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and sprinkle yeast over water, let sit for 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, eggs, a pinch of salt, butter and flour. Using your hands, mix all ingredients until dough comes together. Dough may feel a little tacky and there may still be small pieces of butter, that is OK. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea-towel, place bowl in a warm location and let rise for 1 hour.

To make Remonce filling, place butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until almost all melted. Add sugar and cinnamon. Remove from stove and stir until all sugar is melted with the butter. Butter and sugar may be separating, that is OK as it will come back together as it cools. Allow to cool, place in refrigerator if needed. The end result should be like a thick paste.

Rolling out dough: For easy clean-up, place two long pieces of plastic wrap (cling wrap) onto your work surface. Sprinkle plastic wrap with flour and give the dough a quick soft kneading, sprinkle with a little more flour until dough is soft and elastic, and no longer sticky. Divide dough into two portions and form each piece of dough into a log. Working with one log at the time, roll out the log (on top of the plastic wrap) to approximately 30 x 15 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 ends over about 2 cm (almost 1 inch) then fold the outer 1/3 of dough over the middle and then the other outer 1/3 of dough over the middle again. Holding onto the plastic wrap, roll dough rectangle over so it’s now placed upside-down (seam side down). Carefully place dough rectangle onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process with second piece of dough. If planning on baking both Kringler at this time, allow both dough rectangles to rise for another 15 minutes on the baking sheet before baking.

Freezing: If you are planning on freezing the unbaked Kringle, wrap it up in parchment paper and then foil (or a large zip lock bag if you have one). When ready to bake, thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours, then place on parchment paper at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.

Baking: 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

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