Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Puff Pastry Danish Ring
Puff Pastry Danish Ring
Who wants a piece of this?
What a Tasty Delight!
Wouldn't this be great with a Cuppa Joe in this cold weather ?
Well this dessert came about because I borrowed a book from the library which had many delicious looking doughs from a Jewish Bakery.
I have seen many recipes for makingpuff pastry from scratch and quite frankly was not interested in trying to replicate them. Simply because I didn't believe it was that easy and was sure it was quite time consuming.
Why bother when I could buy it right?
This recipe was huge so even though it was some what time consuming gave me 3 large portions of dough so I could freeze it!
Each portion was literally double what I buy in the store.  WIN WIN
So, the first portion I did not freeze but made fruit filled pockets and they were a hit, but like many doughs I can taste an after taste.
The 2nd dough I defrosted the night before in my fridge and no after taste! Success! However I still think it is time consuming so I suggest you try this recipe with bought puff pastry and you can still have the same elegant dessert with less fuss. If you still want to try the dough I will send the recipe to you!
But here is the filling! Easy Peasy
1 pkg. puff pastry, defrosted in fridge
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 cup mixed dried fruit (raisins, currents, apricots,  cranberries, blueberries, dried cherries or candied citrus peel)
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each all spice, ginger, nutmeg
1 cup toasted chopped nuts (almond, walnut, hazelnuts, pistachio)
milk or egg wash for brushing
sugar: coarse or fine

 Place lightly floured dough between 2 sheets of wax paper approx. 18" long. Roll out dough using a wooden rolling pin to approx. 12" x 16" rectangle. Why wood? a heavy marble rolling pin will squish the dough too much and you will not get a nice "puff".
As you roll, frequently peel the wax paper and flip the whole pkg and peel the bottom sheet as well.  Why? This will prevent the dough sticking to the paper and it will continue to stretch it to desired size.
When dough has been rolled to desired length, peel off both sheets flipping one after another and remove the top wax sheet. Why? When rolling the dough to shape into a log it will roll without sticking.
With a spatula spread the shortening evenly onto the dough within 2" on all sides.  Sprinkle on sugars, coffee, spices, then dried fruit ending with the nuts. 
Experiment, use whatever you have in the pantry. Fresh fruit would be great too.  Just don't over do it or the filling will ooze out.
Starting with the wide end towards you, using the wax paper to roll. Lift and tightly roll the pastry away from you. Take the time to tighten the roll using the wax paper. Don't get it stuck in the roll!
Continue rolling and tightening with the wax paper so the warmth of your hands doesn't heat the dough. Roll and pinch the edges. Using the wax paper, roll the dough into a cylinder and twist the edges and at this point it can be frozen ahead of time or...
refrigerate for 1 hr and up to 2 days. 
Remove from wax paper and place on an ungreased baking sheet, seam side down.
Shape into a circle pinching edges together tightly. This will not be perfect.
Cut 2" slashes into the dough leaving 1" from centre . Do not go through the the other side. See picture. Gently slide the edges out slightly so you create a spiral.
Brush the top of the dough with milk or some egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in a preheated 350F until golden for approx. 40min.
Enjoy with love.

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