6/29/2008

Danish Dough

Danish Braid



Or Boxing with a Danish in the Kitchen.

I finished my challenge, and I would like to say it was easy but it was not, the day I chose to make my Danish dough was so hot (over 40°C) that I did not make turns but rounds. Anyway, it was really difficult to keep that stubborn butter in the dough but I enjoyed making this dough a lot, I laughed like crazy because every time I put the rolling pin over the dough the butter squeezed out of it like tooth paste, I fell like an alchemist, making butter from dough. The result, to my surprise was a very flaky, crispy dough outside and a soft and spongy dough inside, I filled it with “casatta filling”. The scent of the dough while baking made us sooo hungry and it was sooo delicious . I also made small pastries filled with cheese and olives, cheese sticks, ham, and platain marmelade.
Thanks Kellyof Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s cooking? for this gorgeous recipe.

First round: Faery won, I don’t understand why they call this dough a Challenge??, this was easy…
Second round: Faery won again, easy peasy.
Third round: Faery was weak, she was trembling and about to fall, but she recovers and manage to keep the butter in the dough.
Fourth Round: Faery is frightened; the dough is looking at her in a very ugly way, Faery struggles with the dough but, again, she kept the butter in the dough.
Fifth Round: Faery is decided to win and she knocked down that dough and sent it to the refrigerator for a long rest.
I am sure there will be Danish Dough part I II III IV … in my kitchen
What…what is that music… Rocky’s movie music…ooooh noooo

P.S. I do not like boxing matches, live or on TV. I am a very peaceful Faery …









Original Recipe:

DANISH DOUGH
Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough
IngredientsFor the dough (Detrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugarZest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom1-
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
For the butter block (Beurrage)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
DOUGH
Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Without a standing mixer:
Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well.
Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even.
Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges.
When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.
Butter Block
Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight.
The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Apple Filling.
Makes enough for two braids.
Ingredients
4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into
¼-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 - 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.
Danish Braid
Makes enough for 2 large braids.
Ingredients
1 recipe Danish Dough.
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves.
For the egg wash:
1 large egg,
plus 1 large egg yolk
Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover.
Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.
Egg Wash:
Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.
Proofing and Baking.
Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown.
Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

6/13/2008

Moist Chocolate Cake

Easy Moist Chocolate Cake

This cake is so delicious and moist, and the scent of it is simply amazing. I could not believe I did it without a recipe. The Mexican style chocolate is kind of my grand mother's technique for making hot chocolate and the Mexican chocolate with almonds but all mixed in a Faery casserole. It seems this Faery is learning to cook...







Ingredients:

295 gr cream (1 small can).
1 cup sugar.
4 large eggs.
½ cup corn oil. (I used light corn oil).
2 cups self raising flour.
½ teaspoon baking soda.
175 gr dark chocolate.
1 tablespoon vanilla.
¼ teaspoon salt.
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice.
Zest of a small orange finely grated.

Chocolate Icing.

Ingredients.

1 can sweetened condensed milk.
175 gr dark chocolate.
½ tablespoon vanilla extract.
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice.
3 tablespoons salted butter.
Directions.

For the cake.

1- Sieve together flour, baking soda and salt.
2- Melt the chocolate and oil always stirring to avoid burning the chocolate.
3- Add the cream, vanilla, orange juice, eggs and sugar and whisk until the mixture looks homogeneous.
4- Add in the flour and whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
5- Line the bottom of a spring form pan grease and sprinkle with flour, shake off the excess, pour the mixture in it.
6- Bake at 190°C until a toothpick inserted come out clean, take out of the oven and let cool.
7- Cut the cake horizontally and pour some chocolate icing, place the other have of the cake over it and cover the top and sides with the rest of the icing.
8- Let cool, better if you put is 30 minutes in the lower part of the refrigerator
9- ENJOY .

For the Icing.

1- Melt the chocolate with the orange juice and the sweetened condensed milk, always stirring to avoid burning the chocolate, until it begins to get thick.
2- Add the butter and vanilla stir and let cool 15 minutes before icing the cake


Mexican Style Chocolate.

Ingredients.

125 gr chocolate. (I used a Colombian chocolate that has sugar in it)
2 ½ cups milk.
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon vanilla extract.
1 tablespoon corn starch.
¼ cup almonds.

Directions.

1- Dissolve the corn starch in ½ cup of milk.
2- Blend the almonds and cinnamon with the milk, put is a sauce pan and heat and the chocolate
3- When the chocolate melts add in the corn starch.
4- Cook for about 2 minutes and turn off the heat, let rest for 5 minutes and add the vanilla.
5- Serve and enjoy.

6/03/2008

Pavlova Cake.

Pavlova Cake.









Ingredients:

6 egg white.
½ teaspoon cream of tartar.
½ teaspoon white vinegar.
3 tablespoons corn starch.
1 cup white sugar.
1 taespoon vanilla essence.
Whipped cream. (I added caramel sauce to the whipped cream)
Fruits.( In my case mango, bananas and candied cherries)


1- With an electric mixer and whisk attachment whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until it forms soft peaks.
2- Gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until it stiff peaks forms and it looks glossy, then add the vinegar and corn starch finally add the vanilla.
3- Form two discs over waxed paper and place on a baking sheet, bake at 100°C for about 2 hours or until it forms a slim crust. Take out from oven and let cool.
To assembly the cake
1- Place one meringue disk on a plate and cover with whipped cream, on top of this, place the other disc of meringue and the rest of the whipped cream, decorate with the fruits .


Caramel Sauce.


For this Caramel sauce i used evapotated milk instead of cream, it is delicious.


Ingredients:


6 tablespoons unsalted butter.
¼ teaspoon salt.
1 cup white sugar.
1 cup evaporated milk.

1- Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir slowly with a whisk .
2- As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted immediately add the butter and salt to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted and it look homogeneous.
3- Once the butter has melted add the evaporated milk to the pan (Add the it all at once, keeping a bit of distance from the pan so as not to splash your hand with hot liquid) and with a wooden spoon stir the sauce for 8 minutes.Turn off the heat.
4-Let cool.

Chocolate Fudge.

Chocolate Fudge.





Ingredients:
375 gr dark chocolate chopped.
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (like Crisco).
1 cup sweetened condensed milk.
2/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
¼ cup raisings.

1- Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. (Use a water bath).
2- Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir until it is well blended and it becomes thick.
3- Take out from the water bath and add the walnuts and raisins and mix.
4- Line a square bowl with plastic and pour the fudge, level and sprinkle with chocolate rice crisp, cover with plastic and let cool then put in the refrigerator until it is hard to cut.

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding.
This is a dessert that Venezuelans enjoy so much and prepare almost every week at home especially in the evenings, it can be made with coconut milk, sugar cane or both. I did a very creamy version blending techniques like the Risotto preparation and adding cream which is not normally used in this preparation. The result: Delicious and creamy, it was comforting for we had a very gray rainy day.





Ingredients:

7 tablespoons powdered milk.
1 cup whipping cream.
2 cups water.
1 ¼ cup rice.
2 cups water (to cook the rice).
1 teaspoon vanilla essence.
1 stick cinnamon. ( about 3 cm)
2 strips of lemon rind ( about 1 centimeters wide and 3 centimeters long).
¼ teaspoon salt.
¾ cup sugar.
Ground cinnamon.

1- In heavey bottomed sauce pan put in two cups of water, cinnamon stick, lemon rind and salt, cool at medium heat until the water evaporates.
2- Meanwhile whisk together two cups of water, powdered milk, whipping cream and sugar.
3- Then add half of the milk mixture and cook stirring occasionally (like you are preparing a risotto), when you see the milk is almost absorbed add half of the remaining milk mixture and then the rest of the milk with the vanilla essence, turn off the heat, serve and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.