If you follow me on Twitter, (if you don't already, click here to start following me!) you may have read that I'm going to Denmark next week. Not quite a relaxed vacation enjoying nothing but Danish hygge, but it's an actual business/school trip. Nevertheless, I'm extremely excited and I'm surfing the web like a Dansk lunatic reading everything I possibly can about Danish culture and retweeting everything on Twitter. The conclusion is pretty much this: Denmark is the happiest place on earth, topping every happiness report. Not Disneyland. Bummer.
And for me, one of the biggest sources of happiness is food, so I reasoned that the Danes must have amazing food. The world's best restaurant is situated in Copenhagen, Noma. And one of my alltime favorite pastries comes from Denmark; Danish Pastry of course. And that is what I'm showing you today. I wanted an authentic Danish recipe and it turned out that (once again) all I needed to do is turn to Nigella Lawson, who borrows a recipe from Danish chef Beatrice Ojakangas.
The pastry dough is made with a processor: quick, easy & no-mess. Beatrice says; "Don't think you're cheating by taking the fast track - this is the way it's done these days all over Denmark." These almond Danish pastries were amazing! Flaky, buttery & all around perfect! Rating: 5 out of 5.
Processor Danish Pastry: Nigella Lawson - How To Be A Domestic Goddess
- ¼ cup warm water
- ½ cup milk, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups white bread flour (I used all-purpose flour)
- 1 package, ¼ ounce rapid-rise yeast or 1 tablespoon fresh yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into thin slices
- Pour the water and milk into a measuring cup and add the egg, beating with a fork to mix. Put aside. Put flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor and give a quick whizz, just to mix. Add the cold slices of butter and process briefly so that the butter is cut up a little, though you still want visible chunks of at least ½ inch. Empty the contents of the food processor into a large bowl and quickly add the contents of the jug. Fold the ingredients together, but don’t overdo it; expect to have a gooey mess with some butter lumps pebbled through it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put in the fridge and leave overnight or up to 4 days.
- To turn it into pastry, take it out of the fridge, let it get to room temperature and roll it out to a 20-inch square. Fold the dough square into thirds, like a business letter, turning it afterwards so that the closed fold is on your left, like the spine of a book. Roll out again to a 20-inch square, repeating the steps above 3 times. Cut in half, wrap both pieces and store in the fridge for 30 minutes before using, or the freezer to store.
Almond Danish: Nigella Lawson - How To Be A Domestic Goddess
- half quantity of Danish Pastry (I doubled the ingredients written below and used the entire Danish pastry dough)
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) blanched almonds, toasted (I used ground almonds)
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 2 tabelspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg white, beate lightly
Ingredients for egg glaze:
- 1 large egg, beaten with
- 2 tablespoons milk
- To make the almond filling, process the almonds and confectioners' sugar together until finely ground. Add the butter, pulse again, then the almond extract and 2 tablespoons of egg white.
- Roll out the pastry into a big square and cut into thirds horziontally. Then cut in half down the middle, giving you 6 rough squares. Take each square and put a tablespoon of the almond mixture - which you;ve shaped roughly into a sausage - onto the pastry at a diagonal. Bring up the opposite corners and pinch together, then flatten the pastry slightly. (I made various shapes)
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with the egg glaze. Leave them to rise until they double in size, about 1 ½ hour. (I did this with one batch, but they came out HUGE, so the other batch I popped into the oven straightaway and they kept their shape.)
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cook for 15 minutes or until puffy and beautifully golden brown.
- To make a glaze (optional), combine ½ cup confectioners' sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water and drizzle over the cooled almond Danish.
or Rødby, they would come in handy! I've already got some great tips!