Sunday, June 29, 2008

Braiding along with the Daring Bakers

This month the Daring Bakers braided some beautiful Danish braids! I was of course, one of them!

Underneath those braided layers lays a ginger frangipane with a chocolate swirl. Not even Rapunzel had a braid like this one!

Ben and Kelly were our wonderful hosts and they did a great job choosing this challenge. Danish pastry is such a nice thing for everyone to try at least once and I'm sure that even the ones that would not have dreamed of doing this in a million years were very pleased and proud with their braid! So thank you Ben and Kelly!

DANISH BRAID

Adapted from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking (for 2 braids)

Dough

  • For the dough (Detrempe)
  • 1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1-1/2 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 saltFor the butter block

  • (Beurrage)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
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. Cover and take to the fridge for at least 30m. 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.

I'ts time for that filling...

Ginger frangipane

  • Ginger pastry cream
  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 gr (1 oz) sugar
  • 15 gr (0.5 oz) corn starch
  • 15 gr (0.5 oz) butter
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (about 80 gr/2.8 oz)

Peel and cut the ginger into chunks and add to the milk. Let the milk come to a boil and leave to infuse the ginger for at least 30m (but you can do this up to 1 day in advance). Mix with a wisk with the yolk, corn starch and sugar, bring again the milk to almost boiling point and add little by little to the yolk mixture. Return everything to the heat and mixing allways with a wisk let it come to a full boil and thicken for 1-2 minutes. Take out of the stove, discard the ginger and add the butter in chuncks. Mix until the butter is melted and well mixed in and cover with plastic wrap to avoid a skin. Let cool completely before adding to the frangipane.

  • Frangipane
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) butter
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) icing sugar
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) almond meal
  • 1 egg
  • 50 gr (1.8 oz) corn starch
  • 60 gr (2 oz) ginger pastry cream

Beat the sugar, butter (softened), almond meal and corn starch. Add the egg and beat more until incorporated. Mix in the pastry cream with a spatula or wooden spoon. Keep in the fridge until it's time to use.

  • Chocolate swirl
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) dark chocolate
  • 2-3 tbsp cream

Cut the chocolate into small pieces (or use chips) Take 1 minute to the microwave with the cream. Mix until all the chocolate is melted and you have a nice uniform and shiny cream. If not there yet take 10 sec. more to the microwave or more if you need.

Let's put everything together now:

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 frangipane down the center of the rectangle, put the chocolate cream over it and swirl. 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.

Grease 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 ( 200 ºC). 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 (180ºC), 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.

And look what I did with the leftover chocolate cream and some of the scraps of the dough:

Pan au chocolat

And with the rest of the scraps, leftover pastry cream, fresh pinapple and pisctachios:

Pineapple filled carrée pasty

"Rapunzel let down your braid, I wanna eat it"

The dough tasted amazing I had to forbid myself to eat it raw. I mean with vanilla, orange and cardamom, how could it not tasted great? I also liked my filling, I'm a sucker for frangipane and the chocolate swirl was a nice touch I think. But my favourite was the little filled carrée pastries, they were so cute and the pineapple made them so fresh.

So if you're filling like seeing more than 1000 braids check my fellow Daring Bakers! See you next month!

78 comments:

silicone_spatula said...

that looks great. good job!

Ann said...

Really beautiful pastries and braid!

Jenny said...

Mixing it by hand looks messy but fun, I just used a mixer. Love your flavor combos, and I'm going to have to make pain au chocolat with my other half of dough!

Jeanine said...

Wow, great job on your braid as well as the smaller pastries. Wonderful job on all the pictures a well, I enjoyed them. :)

Aran said...

what a beautiful braid!!! and fantastic photos!!!

Cakelaw said...

Ginger frangipane with a chocolate swirl? Yum!!!

Candace said...

Kudos to you for mixing this by hand! I bet the filling was fantastic... Frangipan is food of the gods!

Jenny said...

This is an awesome post! I love your take on the danish braid, it all looks gorgeous! I love following the step by step photos, one of these months I'll get motivated to do it! Great job!

prettytastycakes said...

This is beautiful! I love your photos, too!

Leslie said...

Amazing!!! I cant believe you did it woithout a mixer! Bravo!!!
I can believe you were able not to eat the raw dough! I didnt have enough will power!!!
I had to put "eat me " on one of the little pastries because I usually smake my husbands hand if her eats my goodies before I give him the OK...so I wasnt awake when he got home..I just thought it was a cute way for me to let him know he could eat it!

Love, TasteSpotting said...

"Rapunzel let down your braid, I wanna eat it" - too cute! love this submission to TasteSpotting!

Tanya said...

I love your filling! I must try that some day. You did a beautiful job and hats off to you for making the dough by hand!

Cakespy said...

Ooh the pastries look awesome...and that braid looks like absolute perfection!!

Robyn said...

Your braid looks gorgeous and your photography was great too! Good for you doing it by hand.

Prudy said...

Que hermoso! En serio! Those are amazing. All I can do is bow down.

Lori said...

Rapunzel- you did and excellent job. I love your pictures and your braid looks great!

Angela said...

A ginger frangipane? Wow! The braid and pastries are wonderful.

farida said...

Beautiful looking Danish Braid! Great job!

morgana said...

Wooooow!! It looks really delicious. Good job!

BC said...

Ginger frangipane is an inspired choice. it looks fantastic.

Sarah said...

Oh yum! I'm so bookmarking this post to come back and use your ginger cream recipe! YUM!!

Best,
Sarah

Zita said...

Ginger cream with cardamom sounds so delish... great tutorial pics :)

Kelly said...

What a colourful site. I love all the pictures you took illustrating the steps of the process.

sleepingbearinthekitchen said...

No, Rapunzel never had such a braid and boy do I bet she is jealous!!! Your filling choices are making me weak at the knees, I would have no clue which to consume first...so how about a plate of each, please!!
Great job!!!!!!

~Amber~ said...

Your pastries are beautiful! Congratulations on a job well done.

Kevin said...

Your braid looks really good. Nice pastries!

Andreia Sousa said...

Olá!

Sim, sou portuguesa. Agradeço a visita e os comentários.
Devo dizer que fiquei intrigada com o recheio e vou experimentar a receita que partilhaste. :)
Muitos parabéns também pelas fotos!
Andreia

HoneyB said...

What an awesome job! I love your photos and your braids look delicious! AND what you did with the scraps was great!

giz said...

It's so easy to tell that you're a perfectionist. And those fillings - oh my - gorgeous.

Ben said...

Your braid (and other creations, too) look beautiful and that filling, oh my, GREAT job!

Thank you for baking with us :)

Brownie said...

Beautiful! And what a tasty combo! I love ginger and chocolate.

Erika said...

Gorgeous! I am getting hungry...

Chris said...

Wow...my mouth watered more and more with each picture! Fabulous job you did. :)

PAT A BAKE said...

Wow..gr8 looking braid. You did an awesone job with this one. Luved ur pixs too.

Jacque said...

Mmmm, what nice pictures, they tell the story beautifully. Your danish and pastries sound postively delish!

onespicymama said...

Your braid looks fantastic! I love the little pastries and chocolate ...YUM!!

Rachel said...

Interesting flavours and pretty pretty danishes..

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your brais and Danish Pastries looks fabulous! I love your filling!

cheers,

Rosa

seamaiden said...

Wow- those are some amazing fillings and beautiful pastries! I'm jealous! heh heh.

-Sea

Suzana said...

Que linda trança! Ficou o máximo e aposto que deliciosa com o gengibre e o chocolate. E as fotografias são muito exemplificativas de todo o processo!

Bj

Sweet Tooth said...

I like the Rapunzel part - and agree with the fact that I would rather take a bite than climb such a braid ;-)

Ahmad said...

I would LOVE to eat that pain au chocolat. As in right now. I'm so hungry LOL!

Somehow I think there'd be nothing left of it but crumbs by now ;)

A&N said...

Unbelievable! And how could you possibly call yourself clumbsy???
You are so gutsy!
Superb danish! Thanks a lot for the pictures :)

Lorrie said...

ginger! i love it! your braid and photos are amazing.

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

WOW...fab job you done here girl! Great flavours & wonderful braid...certainly would give Rapunzel a serious complex!! Love the smaller pastries too!!! YUM!!

Madeleine said...

Que rico!!! ese relleno me encantó y más porque el jengibre me fascina!!!!

Buenas ideas para las sobras de la masa!! :) me acabas de dar una idea! jeje!

Saludos!!!!

breadchick said...

Beautiful braids and I always love "hands in the dough" pictures! Well done.

Sophie said...

We'd like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me, sophiekiblogger@gmail.com, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details. (Click on my name in the message header link to visit our blog. :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Thank you! Obrigada! Gracias! All your comments made me so happy, braids everywhere are looking great, I'm proud to bake with all of you!

Renee said...

Beautiful braids! Your photography is amazing.

Hannah said...

Lovely! And your step-by-step photos are really wonderful, too.

Tanya said...

I tagged you for a meme! Click on my blog and see my post "Tag, I'm It."

Y said...

Ginger frangipane and chocolate! Oh, that almost makes me want to make danish pastry again just so I can use that flavour combination!

pea & pear said...

I think my computer is going to crash from me drooling on it!!! Your pastries look so yummy and the combination are perfect, I would love to try pineapple danish, delish!!
Ali

Lisa Michele said...

Oh wow, those pastries and the braids look perfect and utterly mouth watering! The photos are absolutely phenomenal too. What kind of camera do you use?

That said, how does one enter the Daring Baker's Challenge? :) I LOVE a challenge!

Lisa said...

What a beautiful looking braid! And your fillings look scrumptious!

Teanna said...

Wow that just looks amazing. You are a pastry chef? Did you attend culinary school?

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Thank you all again, your comments make me really happy!

Lisa- You have to email Lisa and Ivonne who are the foundres of DBers. I'll email you with their email or you can check the DB's blogroll site, it's on my sidebar.

Teanna- Yes, I attended pastry school. I went into a kind-of pastry university in Spain.

Hendria said...

Wow....you did a wonderful job...!!!!

JMom said...

what an awesome job! You're right, I'm one of those people who would never have picked this recipe on my own, but was I glad I did it! I love your frangipane filling :)

Tartelette said...

Yeah for hand mixing and kneading! Yours turned out perfect!

ingegerd said...

Great job!!Its looks beautiful!!I did it by hand to..I like your blog!!

Katrina said...

Yours looks great! I love that kind of bread, it's so buttery and bad for you! ;) Great pictures. I'm looking up your instructions for ganache and am going to give it a try. Never made it before. I'll let you know how it goes.

Emiline said...

Have I told you how beautiful your braid is?
Because it is.

Angie said...

oh my word ... that looks so decadent! Wonderful job!

Lesley said...

Ginger pastry cream? Pain au chocolat? WOW! Your photos are superb, the best I've seen yet!

Luna21 said...

Bem.. esses recheios devem ter resultado mesmo bem.. Têm um óptimo aspecto!! Parabéns =)

Adicionei um link para o teu blog no meu..

Jen Yu said...

Wow, you made so many pastries with so many wonderful fillings... mmmmm. They all look incredible.

Katy said...

that looks wonderful -- and i LOVE the step by step pictures!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I think you did an amazing job. And pastry filled with pineapple?? Where do I sign? :)

Rita, you are far too kind, my dear, thank you for the award!

genkitummy said...

pineapple and pistachio pastries sound wonderful!

Miss Ifi said...

*laughs* that is true.. even Rapunzel doesn't have a braid as beautiful as yours... and yummy too!!!
Congratulations on your yummy challenge!

creampuff said...

Love the demonstration photos and your braids are amazing! Nice job!

Lunch Buckets said...

ginger frangipane with a chocolate swirl? the mind boggles!

Dolores said...

Beautiful braid. In the two weeks I've been reading through the DB blog roll, your ginger frangipane is one of the most unique and intriguing fillings I've found. Great job!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Thank you!

Dolores, that was so nice of you!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Without a mixer! That's a daring baker for sure. And that ginger frangipane, oh I would so love to have tried that. Beautiful braid.

Jaime said...

your braid is beautiful! well done!