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Recipe: Saffron Log with almond cream (Saffransrulltårta)

November 29, 2018 | Leave a comment

Saffron Log with almond cream (Saffransrulltårta)

In Scandinavia, saffron plays at big role at Christmas time – especially in Sweden where saffron buns are served throughout December for Sundays in Advent and other gatherings. We usually use saffron for sweet things, not savoury. From buns to biscuits, lots of things are beautifully bright yellow and with a fragrant bite.
You can vary the fillings in this ‘rulltårta’ as you prefer – lots of berries go really well with saffron – raspberries, blueberries, lingonberries and fruit such as pears go really well. You can even omit the cream and just add jam (bilberry jam is ideal for this).
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Swedish
Keyword: almonds, saffron
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 75 g butter
  • 0.5 g ground saffron you can grind your own in pestle & mortar or buy pre-ground
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 130 g caster sugar plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 130 g plain flour

Almond filling

  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 4-5 tbsp custard
  • 200 ml double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • flaked almonds to decorate
  • Optional: one ripe pear peeled and chopped in to small pieces.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6.
  • Line a baking tray and draw an approx. 30cm x 25cm rectangle with a pencil on the baking parchment, then turn it over (alternatively, line a swiss roll tray of the same size). Melt the butter in a small pan and set aside to cool slightly. Add the saffron to infuse.
  • In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar for 6-8 minutes, until tripled in volume, thick and leaving a trail for three seconds. There is no other raising agent in this recipe so this stage is super important – and any knocking of the batter will cause the roll not to rise.
  • Very carefully, pour the melted saffron butter down the side of the mixing bowl, add the vanilla and fold them into the sugar and egg mixture until just combined. Sift over the flour and, using a figure-of-eight motion, carefully fold it in until fully incorporated. Take your time here; if you knock out the air, your cake base will be flat.
  • Pour the cake mixture onto the baking paper – it should be thick enough to hold its shape – allow it to go about 1cm outside the traced edge. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until soft and springy to touch (baking time can vary by oven)
  • Meanwhile, lay a damp tea towel on the counter with a sheet of baking parchment on top. Dust all over with caster sugar.
  • When the cake comes from the oven, cut the edges to the lines drawn on the paper then carefully turn it over onto the caster sugar and remove the backing paper. Roll the warm cake carefully using the damp tea towel – this will help the cake retain its shape. Leave wrapped until completely cool.

To make the filling

  • Mix the ground almonds, caster and icing sugars with a tbsp of water and extract into a paste, then add the custard. In a separate bowl, whip the cream stiff with the vanilla. Fold the two together, carefully.
  • Unroll the cooled cake. Spread the filling layer across the base. Scatter over the chopped ripe pear pieces, if using. Roll the cake back up carefully, wrap in the baking parchment and chill for a few hours before serving. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with flaked almonds.
    Torsleff Vaniljesukker – Vanilla Sugar 100g
    £3.19
    Kockens Saffran – Saffron 0.5g
    £4.09
    Odense Mandelmassa – Almond Paste 50% Almonds 200g
    £3.89

Lucia Saffron Buns (lussebullar)

November 23, 2018 | Leave a comment

Lucia buns (Saffron buns / Lussekatter)

Every year on 13th December, the Nordic people celebrate the day of St Lucia, the festival of light. On this day, originally the longest night of the year according to the Pagans, we rise early to bring in the light and break the spell of the darkness.
Processions of people singing walk, wearing long white robes tied with red sashes, through towns, holding candles and singing in the light. At the front, a Lucia bride – traditionally usually a girl but nowadays it can be both boys and girls – lead the way wearing a crown with real candles.
In Sweden and Norway, saffron flavoured wheat buns are often eaten on this day (in some places in Denmark, too). These buns have many names, the mopst common being Lussebullar (Lucia buns) or saffransbullar (saffron buns) or Lussekatter (Lucia cats – referring to the curled up shape of the buns, like a sleeping cat). We also enjoy these buns at our famous Glögg parties throughout the days of Advent. If you like saffron, you will really enjoy these – they are delicious alongside a hot cup of mulled wine.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time1 hr 42 mins
Servings: 30
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 50 g fresh yeast or
  • 25 g dried active yeast
  • 1 g saffron powder (if using strands, grind and soak in the milk beforehand)
  • 400 ml whole milk
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml plain skyr quark or greek yoghurt, room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 175 g butter soft and room temperature
  • 800 g plain bread flour
  • handful of raisins
  • beaten egg for brushing
  • 3-4 large baking sheets greased and lined with baking parchment

Instructions

  • If using fresh yeast, add the yeast and milk to a mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved, then add the saffron powder. If using active dried yeast pour milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together with a spoonful of the sugar. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly. Add the saffron powder.
  • Pour into a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Add the sugar and mix together for a minute or so, then add skyr, quark or Greek yogurt, salt and egg, and mix well.
  • Gradually add the softened butter in pieces and begin to add the flour gradually while mixing, making sure to incorporate the lumps of butter. You’ll need around 800 g or so of flour, but the exact amount depends on how the dough feels. Keep mixing until you have a dough that is still sticky, but doesn’t stick to your finger too much when you poke it. Too much flour makes the buns dry – and saffron is extremely drying, so do watch it.
  • If you’re using an electric mixer, knead for about 5 minutes or knead by hand for 10 minutes. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 30–40 minutes in a bowl covered with clingfilm).
  • Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Cut the dough into 30 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece in your hand into a long cylinder strip, then transfer to the baking sheets and mould into an ‘S’ shape (see picture). Add a single raisin to the centre of the point where the ‘S’ shape curves (two raisins for each bun). Leave to rise again for 25 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
  • Brush gently with egg and bake them in the preheated oven for 10–12 minutes. The buns should have a slight tinge of brown on top but not be dark. Leave to cool under a damp tea towel (this prevents them from becoming dry).
  • If you don’t eat them all in one go, freeze immediately as they go stale quickly.

Notes

This recipe is taken from Bronte Aurell’s new book ScandiKitchen Christmas (RPS, £16.99). Photo by Peter Cassidy.
    Blossa Vinglögg 10% – Mulled Wine 750 ml
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    £12.29 £6.40
    Kockens Saffran – Saffron 0.5g
    £4.09
    Kungsornen Vetemjol Finaste Kärn – Wheat Flour 2kg
    £2.59

 

Recipe: Danish pancake balls (æbleskiver)

October 9, 2018 | Leave a comment

Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)

Technically a little challenging the first few times you make these, but well worth the effort, these little pancake balls are super delicious and fun to make.
Danes love eating Æbleskiver on Sundays in advent and all through December - this recipe is from Bronte Aurell's cookbook 'Fika & Hygge' (Alternatively, we stock ready made ones in the cafe during Christmas season, so pop by and grab a bag or two).
You can vary your pancake balls as you see fit - we've made them with saffron, chocolate sauce, savoury (Noma famously used to make one with a little fish sticking out of them)... But these are the most traditional version.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Danish
Keyword: gbbo
Servings: 30 pancakes
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 300 ml buttermilk
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 medium lemon grated zest of, to taste
  • 50 g butter melted for frying
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • raspberry jam for dipping (optional)
  • You need: an 'æbleskive' pan Japanese takoyaki pan. If you use a frying pan, they will look like mini pancakes instead. You can get basic pans on Amazon.

Instructions

  • Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk, double cream and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients including the cardamom.
  • In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff using a handheld electric whisk on high speed.
  • Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites and lemon zest. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.
  • Place the pan over high heat to warm through and add a little melted butter to the pan to stop the pancakes from sticking. If you are using an æbleskive pan, carefully add enough batter to each hole so that it reaches about 0.25 cm from the top. If you are using a normal frying pan, add spoonfuls of batter as you would if making normal small pancakes. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the edges become firm then, using a fork or knitting needle (knitting needle is easier!), gently turn the pancakes over to cook on the other side. If you have filled the holes too much, this can be tricky – you’ll get the hang of it after a few.
  • Once browned on both sides (3–4 minutes per batch), keep the cooked æbleskiver warm in the oven until you have finished frying.
  • Serve dusted with icing sugar and a little pot of raspberry jam for dipping.

Recipe: Danish Baking – Othello Layer Cake

September 13, 2018 | Leave a comment

Othello Layer Cake

This is a beautiful cake to serve for afternoon fika on the weekends or a small birthday gathering. A bit of a faff to decorate, but once the marzipan is on, it's almost done. And yes, it's absolutely worth it.
Course: Cake
Cuisine: Danish
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

ALMOND LAYER:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 75 g ground almonds
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract

FILLING:

  • 400 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • 75-100 g raspberry jam

ICING:

  • 100 g icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • 50 g good-quality 70% dark chocolate melted and still warm.
  • 150 g store-bought good-quality marzipan
  • a large baking sheet greased and lined with baking parchment
  • a piping/pastry bag fitted with a plain nozzle/tip

Instructions

  • (If you are making the sponge layers, complete these first and set aside).
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
  • To make the almond layer, whisk the egg whites until stiff, add the other ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread the almond mixture into a circle the same size as the cake bases (20 cm/8 inches diameter) on the baking parchment on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for around 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool.
  • Whip the cream until stiff with the icing/confectioners’ sugar. Reserve 1 heaped cup of the whipped cream for decoration. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the pastry cream until smooth, then refrigerate.
  • Make sure your prepared layer cake bases are completely even in size. If not, trim to fit. To assemble, place the almond layer on a serving plate and spread a thin layer of raspberry jam/jelly on top. Add a third of the pastry cream mixture, and spread evenly. Repeat the cream and jam/jelly addition again with the first and second sponge cake layers.
  • Turn the third and final sponge cake layer over and add a thin, even layer of jam/jelly. Place it, jam side down, onto the pastry cream on the layer below. Ensure the whole cake is even and stable. Use a little of the leftover whipped cream and a spatula to even the filling around the edges so the sides are straight. If you find this tricky, refrigerate and then do it.
  • To make the icing/frosting, add the icing/confectioners’ sugar to a bowl along with 1–2 tablespoons of hot water and mix until smooth. Add the warm, melted chocolate. If it is too thick, add a bit more water. Too thin, a bit more sugar. You want a smooth, thick yet spreadable consistency. Spread a generous layer on top of the cake to the edge.
  • Work the marzipan with a little icing/confectioners’ sugar, then roll it out to a piece long enough to fit around the sides of the cake and the same height as the cake exactly. Do it in two lots if you find this easier.
  • Cut the edges of the marzipan so they are sharp, then wrap around the cake and secure with a dab of water. Put the reserved whipped cream in a piping/pastry bag and pipe dots of cream all around the top edge, hiding where the chocolate ends. Refrigerate before serving.

Notes

The recipe for this can be found in our book Fika & Hygge by Bronte Aurell – photo graph here by Pete Cassidy, published by Ryland Peter and Small.

Recipe: Danish Baking – Layer cake

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As Danish as the Little Mermaid and Lego, Lagkage (Layercake) is served for birthdays, anniversaries, coffee mornings and any other time where there is an excuse.

Danish layer cakes come in many different forms – from the super simple made at home to the fancy-pancy ones in the bakeries. Only your imagination set limits for fillings and toppings, so we thought we’d share a few of the basics here – and a fancier version too, known as Othello Layer cake.

The Layers

Danish lagkage is usually always 3 layers of sponge. Most people can’t be bothered baking their own, so they buy 3 ready made layers – we sell these in the shop, so you too, can cheat! Find them here.

If you are making your own, the recipe is below. You don’t need any tins for this as you simply use baking paper to trace the shape.

The filling

Pastry Cream is the most common filling – in Danish, known as Kagecreme. We have added the recipe to make your own, but we do also have a cheat’s version which is really lovely – and is simply an add-milk to powder (500ml per sachet, and stir). Available here.

Sometimes, the filling is flavoured with cocoa.

Fruit

Usually, some form of berries or fruit is added. The most popular is strawberries or raspberries. Many add sliced banana when they are making a kid’s birthday layer cake.

Decorating

For a homely layercake, simply assemble the layers and top with a thin layer of icing (make from icing sugar and a little hot water until treacle consistency and then poured over the top. Some add chocolate icing or ganache. Piping of whipped cream all around the edge is usually done – although you can leave the sides ‘naked’.

These cakes are not tall –and they are light to eat because the sponge is Genoese and not a heavy sponge.

Basic lagkage layers

Servings: 3 layers

Ingredients

  • 25 g butter melted and set aside to cool
  • 4 eggs
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
  • 3 baking sheets greased and lined with baking parchment. Use a 20-cm/8-inch diameter plate to draw three circles on the baking parchment. Use a pencil.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
  • Beat together the eggs and sugar on high speed in a stand mixer or using a hand-held electric whisk. Beat until the mixture reaches ribbon stage – you will be able to see the traces of the mixture when you move the whisk – and the traces should stay for a good 6-7 seconds. This can take up to 5-7 minutes – the mixture will almost triple in volume.
  • Combine the flour, salt and vanilla in
a separate bowl. Sift into the egg mixture, bit by bit, carefully folding using a figure-of-eight movement until incorporated. Pour the cooled melted butter down the side of the bowl and fold carefully again, trying not to knock out air. This is really important – if you knock out the air, your layers will not rise.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the parchment circles on the baking sheets spreading right to the edges of each circle with the back of a spoon. If they go over a bit, don’t worry, you can cut these bits off afterwards.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 5–7 minutes or until light golden brown
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing the baking parchment. If the parchment sticks, slightly dampen the paper side with cold water and the paper will come off easily. Trim any untidy edges using a sharp knife.

Notes

If you want to secure a rise and feel nervous about the rise, add 1 teaspoon to the flour for a slight lift.

How to assemble:

On your serving plate, add layer 1. Add pastry cream in about 1cm layer. Add chopped fruit or berries, then the next layer of sponge. Add another layer of pastry cream and more fruit – and then the final layer of sponge. Cover the top with a water-icing and pipe whipped cream around the side. Add flags and candles.

If you want to make a fancier version, you can find the recipe for Othello Layer Cake here.

If you want to make the Swedish Princess Cake, the link to our recipe is here.

Recipe: Smash & Kvikklunsj Brownies

September 6, 2018 | Leave a comment

Vaniljekranse med appelsin

Ahhhh, is it Christmas yet? Well, seeing as our new book is out end of September, we thought we’d post one of the lovely biscuit recipes. It’s a take on a traditional Danish Christmas biscuit called Vaniliekranse – the real version of those ones you often find in the tins of Danish Biscuits with pictures of the Little Mermaid on the front. But obviously much, much better. Bronte decided to flavour these a bit with orange – but if you want the traditional version, simply leave it out. These cookies may spread in the oven, and it is quite hard to get them to keep their pattern, so we usually chill them before baking. Buy the new Christmas book here.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 170 g granulated sugar
  • 200 g butter at room temperature
  • 275 g strong bread flour
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • seeds from 1 whole vanilla pod/bean
  • 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
  • a strong piping/pastry bag and a medium star nozzle/tip

Instructions

  • Mix the sugar and butter (only briefly until just combined), then add the remaining ingredients and mix until you have an even dough (you can do this in a food processor or by hand). Do not overmix. Your dough needs to be soft enough to push through a piping/pastry bag nozzle. It is a hard dough – in Denmark, most people use a metal case to push the dough through the nozzle. A fabric piping/pastry bag is also good. If you find this difficult but have a good-sized nozzle, you can simply push the dough through the nozzle with your thumb, one at the time.
  • Line several baking sheets with baking parchment. Pipe out rolls 8–10 cm/31/4 –4 in. long, then carefully connect into circles and place on the lined baking sheets. Make sure the rolls are no thicker than your little finger, because they will spread a bit during baking. Place the baking sheets in the fridge if you have space so they can firm up as much as possible before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
  • Pop a chilled baking sheet of cookies in the preheated oven and bake for 8–10  minutes, or until the slightest tinge of golden brown appears at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before eating.
  • Repeat until everything is baked. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe: Kagemand – Danish Kids Birthday “Cake Man”

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Ask any Dane about a traditional birthday cake and chances are they’ll try to explain the Cake Man or Cake Lady. What on earth is that, you ask? It is exactly as described: a cake base, in the shape of a boy or girl, decorated with lots of sweets and treats. While it’s mostly a kids’ cake, adults do like it too.

These cakes have never really travelled – we’re not quite sure why. They didn’t even make it to Sweden or Norway – it is a truly Danish thing that has stayed there. For many years, we’ve had Danish ex-pats ask us to make these and ask us for the recipe – and now, finally, we’ve made one of each and decided to pop the recipes up here as part of our Danish Baking Feature that we’re doing in August and September this year (Sweden and Norway will follow later).

There are several traditional bases you can choose, depending on what you like. Here, we give you the recipes and basic instructions for:

  • Danish Pastry base (Wienerbrød)
  • Brunswick Bun base (Brunsviger)
  • Sweet rolls base (Boller)
  • Choux pastry base (Vandbakkelse)

To be fair, you can actually make it any which way you want – and cut it into whatever figure, but these are the most traditional versions – and, as is the tradition, decorated with the help of a kid, usually the birthday child in question. Thank you to Elsa, 8 (nearly 9) for the help with these Cake men (quite a few sweets went into her belly instead of making it onto the cake, it has to be said). By the way, Elsa says to remind you all that her birthday is September 23rd and she’d like a telescope, Hogwarts Lego and tickets to the Alan Walker Concert at the Roundhouse in December (?!).

These recipes can’t be found in our books – although a lot of the base recipes can (we will make sure to make this clear later in this post).

Few points to note:

  • The size of one of these Cake Men is so that it fits on one of the wide oven trays – approx. 40 x 50 cm and these recipes fit that.
  • It’s helpful to draw out your base shape on the baking paper before you pipe or shape.
  • This is a kid’s cake – get them involved! This is not a cake where you will win awards for presentation, but a wonderful birthday treat where the birthday child can help out, whether he or she is 2 or 10.

Danish Pastry Cake Man

Makes 1 – although there is likely to be a little excess of dough. Make some extra pastries.
Course: Cake
Cuisine: Danish
Servings: 1
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

Instructions

  • This dough is the hardest of all the options to work with and few people tend to attempt it at home seeing as the local bakers make these to order all the time. However, making Danish Pastry might be on the tricky side, but the taste is worth it.

Follow the steps to make the dough.

  • Turn your oven to 225C fan.
  • Roll out the dough, carefully, to a rectangle size approx. 40 x 30 cm. Cut it into 3 strips lengthways. Pipe or spread a line of remonce filling in the middle – add some raisins too if you want – and then close the packet, folding the sides over the remonce, just. Flatten slightly – and – importantly – turn over so the fold is underneath. We do this because we don’t need the layers to flake up for this one, but if you prefer the flaky version, leave with fold up. It will look less neat, but give a flakier result.
  • Prepare a baking tray – ideally with slightly raised sides as it might leak butter into your oven otherwise.
  • You can either cut pieces of the dough (a stick man, for example) or –as we did here – make two C’s and put them together back to back to form arms and legs. We then used the last piece to make a round shape for the head, with the last bit as the neck, connecting in the middle of the two Cs.
  • Leave to rise for 10-15 minutes, brush with egg and then pop into the very hot oven. Bake until done – 20-25 minutes, but do check as oven times vary depending on your oven.
  • Remove from oven to cool down. Meanwhile, make the icing. Around 150g icing sugar to be mixed with enough hot water to form a liquid icing, consistency of thick treacle. Once done, remove a little to another bowl and add a few teaspoons of cocoa to colour it brown – you may need to add a bit more water. Spoon into piping bags.
  • Roll ¾ out the marzipan in a circle – this is the face. We find it easier to decorate the face with the chocolate icing before we move it to the kagemand. Add a tie, shirt or whatever else you fancy.
  • Use the white icing to make a pattern on the cake and then decorate with sweets while the icing is soft.

Brunswick Bun base (Brunsviger Kageman)

This base is essentially an open cinnamon buns. Shaped as a little man or just baked in a massive tin and sliced, this cake is very popular all over Denmark.
Course: Cake
Cuisine: Danish
Servings: 1
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

You can use the same based dough as cinnamon buns

For the topping

  • 85 g butter softened
  • 120 g dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden/light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a dash of vanilla sugar or extract
  • Lots of candy and some candy laces to decorate
  • 100 g icing sugar to decorate

Instructions

  • Line a big oven tray (40 x 50cm approx.) with baking paper.
  • Make the dough as directed. When it has rested, knead through. Draw your desired shape on your baking paper – please remember this dough rises and spreads, so leave good spaces.
  • Shape your cake-man, then flatten it down so it is around 1 cm thick only. Leave to rise for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat all the topping ingredients in a saucepan and allow to come right to the boil, then turn it off. Whisk well to combine to a smooth topping.
  • Using your fingers, poke holes all over the bun – this is for the topping to fall into. Using a pastry brush, add a general amount of topping all over – but reserve about 1/3 and set aside. Leave to rise again for another 10 minutes while you heat your oven to 200C.
  • Pop the cake in the oven – it will have filling spilling, this is normal. Bake for around 20 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and immediately use the rest of the topping, as needed all over, to ensure every bit is sticky and gooey. Leave to cool for a bit.
  • Decorate with sweets and treats and make an icing using icing sugar and enough hot water to make it the thickness of treacle. Pipe a face on the bun – we also like to outline this one with icing as it is otherwise quite a dark bake.

Notes

Recipe for Brunswick Bun can be found in Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge.

Bun Cake-Man or Cake-Lady (Bollemand og Bollekone)

So, when the parents think the other cakes have too much sugar or are too much of a fuss to make, they go for this option. We do love this – it is very cute, made out of little sweet buns.
You CAN use the same dough as for cinnamon buns – but it is quite cardamom flavoured and some  younger kinds don’t love that. Instead, this recipe for birthday buns from our book Fika & Hygge is really great. Depending on how big you want your bun-man or bun-Lady to be, you can stick with a small recipe as noted here – or double up and then just made extra buns with any leftover dough. They will be eaten, don’t worry.
Course: Cake
Cuisine: Danish
Servings: 1
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 50 ml single cream
  • 25 g fresh yeast or 13g active/dry yeast
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 400 g white strong bread flour
  • 1 teaspooon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 80 g butter softened
  • beaten egg for brushing
  • a large oven tray lined with baking parchment

Topping:

  • 100 g icing sugar
  • lots of sweets and candy laces for hair.

Instructions

  • Mix together the milk and cream and heat to finger-warm (around 36–37°c). If using fresh yeast, add the yeast and warmed milk-cream to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved.
  • (If using dried/active dry yeast pour the warmed milk and cream into a bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and whisk together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy. Pour into the stand mixer with a dough hook.)
  • Add the caster sugar and stir again, slowly adding half the flour mixed with the salt, bit by bit. Add the egg and softened butter and keep mixing. Slowly add the other half of the flour. You may not need all the flour or you may need a bit more, but keep mixing until you have a slightly sticky dough that is starting to let go of the sides of the bowl. This should take around 5–7 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise for around 35–40 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead through with your hands, adding only a little more flour if needed.
  • Cut the dough into equal pieces (as many as you need for your bun-man or lady – usually 14, with one being bigger (for the head)) and roll them into uniformly round balls. Place on the prepared baking tray with a bit of distance between, but still in the shape of your bun-man or bun-lady – then flatten down slightly. Cover again and leave to rise for a further 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
  • Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake in the preheated oven for around 10–12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Leave to cool before decorating. Make a simply icing by mixing icing sugar with drops of hot water until you have a treacle consistency icing. Use a piping bag to make your patterns and the face, then decorate with sweets and treats.
  • To eat, break off a bun, cut open and spread on copious amount of butter.

Choux Cake-man (Vandbakkelse)

Finally, the Choux version of the Kagemand. This version, luckily, does not require splitting and filling with cream like éclairs, so it is pretty straight forward. You do need a piping bag and a large piping nozzle though, or is looks even more messy.
Course: Cake
Cuisine: Danish
Servings: 1
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 250 ml water
  • 125 g butter
  • 125 g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 eggs

Other

  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • Sweets and treats and candy laces for decoration

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, add the water and butter and bring to the boil to melt the butter. 
  • Meanwhile, sift the flour onto a piece of baking parchment with the salt and sugar. Mix the eggs together in a bowl and set aside.
  • When the butter has melted, whisk and then add the flour mixture in one go and whisk vigorously until everything is combined. Take off the heat, too.
  • Your mixture will start to let go of the sides of the pan. Leave to cool down for 15-20 minutes (speed up by moving to a colder bowl).
  • Meanwhile, line a big baking tray and pencil in the shape of your cake-man or cake-lady. Turn the oven to 200C fan.
  • When the mixture has cooled slightly, you can add the eggs. Using a wooden spoon, add one egg at the time and beat until incorporated. You may not need all the egg: You need so much so that the mixture can form good peaks, but too much and the peaks will flatten down and your choux will be flat. This is the tricky bit.
  • Once done, move to a piping bag with a large nozzle. Pipe your choux onto the stencil on the baking tray.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until done, but do not open the oven door at all for the first 20 minutes and ideally as little as possible during the last, as your choux can collapse.
  • When baked through, remove from oven and prick a few holes in it to allow the steam to escape. Leave to cool, then make the icing by adding drops of hot water until the mixture is treacle like texture. Remove a spoonful of icing and mix with cocoa to make a dark colour for making eyes etc. Add icing to piping bags, decorate with sweets and treats and of course the all important candy lace hair.

Recipe: Danish Baking – Custard Crowns (Spandauer)

August 31, 2018 | Leave a comment

Danish Baking – Custard Crowns (Spandauer)

You see these everywhere across the world – but make them at home and you’ll know the real taste. These are absolutely divine. Granted, it takes a bit of work – but freshly baked Danish pastries, well, there is nothing quite like it.

Ingredients

  • 1 portion of Danish Pastry dough see our blog
  • 1 portion of Remonce filling see blog
  • ¼ portion of pastry cream or raspberry or blueberry jam, if preferred (see blog)
  • 1 egg for brushing
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped hazelnuts
  • 100 g icing sugar

Instructions

  • On a lightly floured surface, carefully roll out the dough and cut into 12–14 squares of around 10 x 10 cm each.
  • Place a generous teaspoon of remonce almond paste into the middle of each pastry square, then carefully fold each of the 4 corners in to meet in the middle, using the sticky remonce to hold the corners down. Use your thumb or a fork to secure the pastry. Place the pastries on the prepared baking sheets, then cover with cling film and set aside to rise for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
  • Brush the tops of each pastry with a little of the beaten egg mixture. Add a teaspoon of your preferred filling (pastry cream OR jam) into the centre of each square. Lastly, add a sprinkling of chopped toasted hazelnuts to the centre as well.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for around 10–15 minutes or until golden brown, then remove and allow to cool before decorating. You may need to bake these for longer – it really depends on your oven, but they need to be baked through. Please note there is likely to be some butter spillage – keep a tray to catch the spill during baking.
  • To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with
 1–2 tablespoons of hot water, adding more if needed. You are looking for the consistency of runny honey. Fill the piping/pastry bag and pipe a loose spiral of white icing/frosting around the edges of each cooled pastry (too soon and the icing will melt).

Tip:

  • You can make one batch of pastry dough and make two kinds of pastries – simply half this recipe to 6-7 Custard crowns and use the rest of the dough for your other choice. Please note you must NOT roll up the dough and re-roll out, this will ruin the layers.

Notes

Want the book? Get your hands on a signed copy of Bronte Aurell's Fika & Hygge right here.
Photo by Pete Cassidy - recipe here is a part extract from the book. Best get the best selling book for 90 delicious baking recipes from all over Scandinavia.

Recipes: Pastry cream, marzipan and more

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Danish baking re-uses a lot of the same components for pastry making, fine patisserie and general cakes. Here we have added a few of the main go-to recipes for:

  • Marzipan, homemade
  • Pastry cream / custard
  • Remonce filling

If you find this post but not what you were looking for, let us know – we will continue to add to this. Email iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk

Make your own 50% marzipan for baking

It’s super easy to make marzipan at home. This recipe works well for baking – it does contain raw egg white.

In a food processor, add 200g ground almonds and grind again until very fine (store bought is usually not that fine, so give it a bit more). Add 100g icing sugar and 100g caster sugar and a tsp of almond extract – and 30g egg white (1 medium egg). Blitz again until a paste forms. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate minimum 1 hour before using.

Pastry Cream (Kagecreme/marsan)

Making your own pastry cream is easy. Use it for anything from filing for cakes to baked in pastries. Use leftover pastry cream heated on top of cakes and crumbles, too.
The difference between custard and pastry cream is the amount of starch used (pastry cream is quite a lot thicker). Also, custard if often served runnier and warm, where as pastry cream is usually cold (but can be both). You can thin out pastry cream and heat if you want to use it on crumbles and other desserts.
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Servings: 600 g
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod/bean seeds scraped out
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 30 g cornflour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 25 g butter

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, heat the milk with the scraped out seeds from the vanilla pod/bean. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar and add the cornflour. Whisk until well combined.
  • When the milk has just reached boiling point, take off the heat and pour one third into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Once whisked through, pour the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk. Return to the stove and bring to the boiling point, carefully. Whisk continuously as the mixture thickens, for just under a minute (this will remove the corn flour taste as well as thicken it), then remove from the heat and stir in the salt and butter.
  • Pour into a cold bowl and place a sheet of baking parchment on top to prevent the cream from forming a crust as it cools. Refrigerate before using. The mixture will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.

Remonce Almond Paste

This filling is often used in pastries and cakes in Denmark. Also known as Lord Mayor’s Filling (Borgmester blanding), on account that it is used in a famous version of Kringle called Borgmesterkringle.
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Servings: 300 g

Ingredients

  • 100 g marizpan – minimum 50% almond.
  • 100 g butter slightly softened
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • a bit of vanilla sugar or extract (few drops)

Instructions

  • Grate the marzipan and add to the food processor, mix in the rest. Mix well. Filling is ready to use.

Recipe: How to make REAL Danish pastry

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Danish pastry as we know it – layers of buttery yeast dough – came to Denmark in the 1850s with bakers from Austria. These bakers came to cover a long, nationwide baker strike – and in the process, taught the homegrown bakers a thing or two about pastry. Over time, the dough changed slightly – and became the Danish Pastry we know and love today.

In Denmark, Danish Pastry is actually known as Wienerbrød – literally: Vienna bread. In the rest of the world, it’s ‘Danish’.

At first, making your own Danish pastry can be a bit daunting – but it needs less folding than say a croissant dough, so in some ways it’s actually easier. It’s only folded three times – making it a total of 27 layers.

A word of warning: It will leak butter during baking, so be prepared for this and add a tray to cover spillage. But is it worth it? Oh yes, very much.

There are several components needed in Danish pastry making- all recipes are on this blog but not all in this blog post. We also advise you to invest in Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge which has all you need for Scandinavian baking – available on our website as well as on Amazon and all good booksellers. Recipes may vary slightly from here, but the basics are the same. Note that in Bronte’s books both general and US measures can be found.

We’ve borrowed some of the photos from the book here with credit to photographer Pete Cassidy.

Basic Danish Pastry Dough (Wienerbrød)

Ingredients

  • 25 g fresh yeast or 13g active dry yeast granules
  • 150 ml whole milk finger warm no more than 36c (97–98°F)
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 50 g butter softened
  • 350 g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg - plus 1 yolk

For the layers:

  • 350 g butter slightly softened (not too soft)
  • 25 g plain flour.
  • a baking sheet lined

Instructions

  • If you are using fresh yeast, add the yeast and whole milk to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved.
  • If using active yeast granules, pour the milk into a bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly.
  • Pour into the mixer with the dough hook attached.
  • Stir in the sugar and softened butter, then mix the flour with the salt and start to add, bit by bit. Add the egg halfway through along with the remaining flour. Keep mixing with the dough hook for a good 5 minutes. The resulting dough should still be a little bit sticky.
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead through, adding more flour as needed until you have a stretchy, workable dough and then roll the dough out into a big square 35 x 35 cm.
  • For the filling, mix the butter with the flour into a just mouldable ball using your hands. It’s important this mixture ends up being a similar consistency and workability to the dough – this will make it easier to roll. If your hands are too warm, use a rolling pin and beat the butter flat between two sheets of baking parchment. Flatten the butter out to a square around 25 x 25 cm, then place this butter square onto your dough at a 45 degree angle so that the dough corners can fold back in to cover the butter.
  • Carefully fold the dough corners over the butter until you have completely enclosed it – a bit like making an envelope! Dust with flour and very carefully roll out the package to a rectangle around 30 cm x 50 cm, then fold the layers the short way twice so you end up with a rectangle approx 30 x 15 cm (3 layers with butter). It is important that you roll carefully so that the butter stays inside the pastry package at all times.
  • Place the dough on the prepared baking
sheet, cover with clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. This will help the butter chill so you can keep working it.
  • Repeat the folding process: roll to a rectangle and fold back on itself – you now have 9 layers of butter. Again, rest the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes, then repeat the rolling process again so you end
up with yet another rectangle in 3 folds with 27 layers of butter in total. After a final rest in the refrigerator, your pastry is now ready to shape into whatever pastry you want to bake.
  • At any stage during the making of Danish pastries, if your hands or the dough get too warm, step back and cool things down a bit, as this can spoil your end result.
  • Danish Pastry baking time varies depending on your pastry size and weather you are making a kringle, Kagemand (Birthday ‘Cake man’) or individual pastries – but as with puff pasty, baking it through is essential as nobody likes a soggy bottom bit of the pastry. Usually 200C (400F), Gas Mark 6 works – but if it is getting too brown too quickly, turn down a bit and/or cover with foil.

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