Sunday, June 29, 2008

A pastry by any other name is still a pastry…

And therefore, MMMMMMMMMM… good. This month's challenge was obviously inspired. I happen to be on vacation in the United States and I was excited to be using kitchen utensils that I haven't had for the last 2 years. What better way to make use of them then to make a Danish Braid. I was getting all my ingredients together and for the life of me couldn't find any cardamom at any grocery store in the vicinity. I looked at every store in the city. Kinda of odd that I can find cardamom in Korea but not here. Anyway…. I had to kinda fudge that part of the recipe and just added a little spice to the dough. (to be honest can't really remember what I added….but there were some brown speckles in the dough) I will say making dough with a mixer is a whole lot easier than by hand. Those of you who did use hands I say BRAVO!!!

photo 1

My biggest issue was rolling out the dough the first time after it had been chilling.

photo 2

Now I'm gonna be honest…that is not my hand, and I feel I owe it to my reading public to be completely honest.
This is my hand

photo 3

I had to call in a guest roller outer. One thing I learned in this challenge is that sometimes physical size makes a difference. I'm about 5'4 on a good day. My mom is about 5'10 ¼ on a bad day. I begged her to come in and roll it out for me…(she rolls like no other) and she said she's so good at it because she has leverage. Well that is absolutely true!! (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) Once I had added the butter and it had been "fold & rolled" a couple times I was better able to roll it out. At first it didn't start out so rectangular, but by the end it was perfectly rectangular. I just forgot to take a picture of it. Oops.

photo 4

I split the dough in half and on one day used the instructed apple filling. It was fantastic in texture and taste.

photo 5

The dough was not what I had expected it to be and I had wanted to make a savory filling, but then I changed my mind and made another sweet filling. Apricots are in season and I knew they needed to be in the braid. I made a cream cheese filling with cream cheese, a little sugar & vanilla, a little egg beaters and a pinch of flour. I then sliced the apricots in half so that you could see them through the braid. It was fantastic. So fantastic they ate it before I got back to photograph it. Argh!!!! I loved this recipe and am anxious to make smaller sized pastries to take to get-togethers. Thanks to Kelly and Ben for picking out such a great recipe…and thanks to all Daring Bakers for making me look like I know what I'm doing in the kitchen.

photo 6

- Amber


Dolores said...

How special that your mom was able to assist with this one. And your apricots peeking from behind the braid are beautiful. Great job!

Jen Yu said...

What a beautiful braid. You did such a good job on this challenge. Bravo!

Kelly said...

What a great mom - lending a hand to help with the rolling. The result is one good looking braid!