Raspberry Danish Twist - Entenmann's Style

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Entenmann’s Style Raspberry Danish Twist

Makes two danishes, or one large one

Ingredients: 

For the danish-

  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 packet (7 g) active rise yeast
  • 3 cups (450 g) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting or as needed
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla powder, or 1 vanilla bean (split, and seeds scraped out)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 egg yolk plus one teaspoon of water, for the egg wash

For the icing-

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1½ Tablespoons milk or water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or ½ a teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Grease two 8 x 6 baking dishes and line with parchment paper. You can also make one large danish in a 9 x 11 baking dish.

Heat the milk until warm to the touch but not too hot, about 100°F. Add the sugar and active dry yeast to the milk, and allow the yeast to proof for 5-10 minutes. The yeast will get foamy and bubbly, if it doesn’t your milk may have been too hot or too cold and it is best to start again.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combined the flour, salt, and vanilla powder. Alternatively, you can make the dough by hand, you will just need to mix and knead for longer.

Add the milk and yeast mixture to the dough, along with the two eggs. On medium, mix until a very shaggy dough is formed. Next, with the mixer still on medium, add the room temperature butter one cube at a time; allow each piece of butter to incorporate before adding the next. Once all of the butter is incorporated, the dough will appear smoother and stickier. Switch the paddle attachment for the dough hook, and mix on medium speed for 5-6 minutes, or until a soft, smooth, elastic dough is formed. It will start out looking very sticky and wet, but will ball around the dough hook towards the end. If it looks too wet and does not start forming a ball, you can add a few tablespoons of flour to help with the consistency.

Gently transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl (it will be very soft and pour out), and cover it with a damp clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise until roughly doubled in size,1-2 hours, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it in half. You can make two 8 x 6 raspberry danish twists at this time, or freeze half the dough for future use (just allow it to defrost and come up to room temperature). Dust a clean surface with flour, then take one half of the dough and divide it into three equal balls. Roll each ball into a strand that is about an inch longer than the length of the baking dish, then gently twist each strand and fit them in lengthwise into the baking dish. Cover with a lightly damp clean kitchen towel, and let the dough rise again for another 15-20 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add the jam to the danish. Between the 3 strands of dough, you’ll make two strips of jam, each about a ¼ cup of worth of jam, or ½ a cup per danish (if using a larger dish, simply evenly add jam between each strand). I gently nudge the stands apart, and with a spoon, fill with jam between the strands. Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until deep golden brown on top. Rotate once halfway through baking.

Once baked, allow to cool on a rack. While the cakes are cooling make the icing. Once mostly cooled, you can ice the cakes by drizzling the icing free form with a spoon, or you can fill a small ziplock back with the icing, and snip off a small piece of the corner to ice in any design you prefer.

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Flourless Almond Cake (Gluten and Dairy Free)


Passover always inspires me to try new flourless cake recipes. This year I wanted to make something classic, simple, and light for seder. This recipe comes from Claudia Roden, the acclaimed author of multiple Jewish cookbooks (among other accomplishments).

I served this almond cake with a mix of berries that had been macerated in a little Chambord (raspberry liqueur) and honey. I also served it with whipped coconut cream. The mild creamy coconut goes really well with the subtle almond flavor in the cake... but don't get me wrong, this cake is good all on its own.

The cake is crispy and delicate on the outside, and kind of gooey and crumbly on the inside. It makes a really wonderful crackly sound when you cut into it. As it bakes, the top puffs up and as it cools it sinks back down into the cake. The recipes is very similar to how one makes a flourless chocolate cake.

If you do not like the combination of almond and citrus I would omit the zest from this recipe. I think you could also get away with adding other flavorings to the batter (maybe coconut extract, actual coconut, or even cocoa powder/chocolate).

The recipe for this cake comes from Spain, and it is perfect for any meal that requires a dessert without flour, dairy, or too much work.


Flourless Almond Cake
Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Claudia Roden's
Serves 10-14

1/2 lb. blanched almonds (or 1 3/4 cups), finely ground
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon almond extract (or less depending on your preference)
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Finely grind the blanched almonds in a food processor. Don't grind them too fine or they will start to form a paste.

Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper (11-inch works too). Grease the pan really well (I used non-dairy Earth Balance... you could also use margarine, butter, or even coconut oil to grease the pan).

With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until a smooth pale yellow cream is formed.
Add the zests and almond extract and beat some the mixture until everything is well-incorporated.

Mix in the ground almonds.

Using a stand-mixer, electric mixer, or whisk, and using a very clean and dry bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (like you would for classic meringue).

Carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk and almond mixture.

Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is firm (no jiggle), and golden brown. Let the cake fully cool in the pan.

Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar if desired.

The cake actually tastes even better the next day and can be made 1-2 days in advance.

Enjoy!



Berry Trifle


I made this red, white, and blue dessert for the 4th, but I don't see any reason why one shouldn't want to make this at any point when berries are in season. Actually, you could make this all year with whatever seasonal fruit you find delicious and complimentary to cake and cream.

The thing about trifle is there are a lot of cheats and its endlessly versatile. Certainly, there are trifle purists out there who know better than I do, but in my humble opinion, make trifle however you please. If you aren't in the mood to make things from scratch, you can buy pre-made pound/sponge cake and whipped cream (or whipped topping). If you don't feel like using traditional jelly or custard, you can skip those things (I did). If you don't have fancy liqueur on hand, use fruit juice instead. Then it's just a matter of layering the things you have chosen to use in a dish or bowl. It's nice if the serving dish you're using is clear so that you can see the pretty layers, but anything that will hold cake, fruit, and cream will suffice.

For this recipe, I made my own lemon pound cake (recipe below), I chose to drizzle the cake with Chambord instead of Cointreau (raspberry liqueur instead of orange liqueur), and I made a whipped cream with very little sugar. The mix of subtle lemon and raspberry flavors worked well together, and although certainly decadent, there's something refreshing about this this dessert.

Berry Trifle with Lemon Cake
Serves 10-12

1 8-inch loaf lemon cake (or vanilla pound cake), cut into 2 x 2 x 1.5-inch pieces
1 16-ounce container organic whipping cream (you'll end up with extra)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 quarts strawberries
3 pints blueberries
2 pints raspberries
6 tablespoons Chambord (or Cointreau, or another fruit liqueur)

Start by prepping your trifle ingredients.

Wash your berries, and lay them out to dry on paper towels. Trim the ends off of the strawberries.

Cut your cake into squares or any shape you like best.

In a stand mixer or using a handheld blender or whisk, whip together 1 16-ounce container of organic whipping cream, with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1-2 teaspoons sugar. I don't like super sweet whipped cream, if you prefer yours sweet, add more sugar. You can taste the mixture as it whips and add more accordingly. Once whipped, reserve in the fridge. You can substitute homemade whipped cream with a store bought whipped topping.

In a trifle dish or medium sized glass bowl, or whatever thing you want to put all these delicious ingredients into, start layering your ingredients in the following way:

  1. Layer the cut up cake in the bottom of the dish. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of Chambord over the cake. 
  2. Slice strawberries and layer them evenly over the first layer of cake.
  3. Put another layer of cut up cake over the strawberries. Drizzle the cake with 3 more tablespoons of Chambord. 
  4. Add a layer of blueberries on top of the cake
  5. Add a layer of whipped cream onto the berries 
  6. Add another layer of sliced strawberries onto the whipped cream
  7. Add another layer of whipped cream onto the strawberries
  8. Decoratively top the the cake with raspberries, remaining strawberries and blueberries



Chill 2-3 hours before serving, or up to 8 hours. 
Scoop and serve!

For the Lemon Cake...
I adapted Ina's recipe and it makes 2 loaves. I only needed one loaf for the trifle, so you could halve this recipe, or make the whole thing and have the joy of an extra cake in the house.

Lemon Cake
Very slightly adapted from Ina Garten

Makes 2 (8-inch loaves)

for the cake:
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temp
zest of 4-5 large lemons
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 (8.5 x 4.25 x 2.5-inch) loaf pans.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (you can also do this with a hand mixer).

Don't skip this step. Having your ingredients at room temp, and taking the time to whip your sugar and butter into something light and fluffy are two key components to successful cake baking.

With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, and then add the lemon zest. Beat together for another 30 second or 1 minute.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. In another bowl combine 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the buttermilk and the vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Blend until just incorporated and be careful not to over mix at this stage. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a cake tester (or bamboo skewer) comes out clean)


While the cake is baking, combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with the remaining 1/2 cup of of lemon juice. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the mixture until the sugar has fully dissolved. Turn off the heat and reserve.

Once the cakes are done, allow them to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Take them out of their pans and place them on a cooling rack set on a sheet pan. Spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes while they are still warm. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

Cherry Almond Cake


It took me a while, but I figured something out: making cake is easy. Once I got over that whole pastry-is-an-exact-science-and-there-is-no-wiggle-room-or-disaster-will-ensue thing, I found that I've gotten a lot more creative and comfortable with the whole idea of making baked desserts. I learned a few key things: 1) the temperature of your ingredients is critical, 2) most cakes are just combos of eggs, butter, sugar and leveaners, you can be slightly off about all those things and stuff will probably come out ok, and 3) keep an eye on things, because no two ovens or batters are the same.

There's one caveat to this whole ease business... baking started to get A LOT easier for me once I had the right gear. My favorite piece of gear is the stand mixer. The stand mixer makes me feel like I'm cheating at baking. But even without a pricey stand mixer (thank you older brother for the gift!) cake isn't hard. If you have a hand mixer, or lots of upper body strength and a whisk, you'll be just fine.

On Sunday I got in a cake making mood. That day, cherries were the stars of the Hollywood Farmers' Market and I couldn't resist them. I grew up with a cherry tree in my back yard, and as early as six years old I could be found climbing said tree and picking and eating sun-warmed cherries directly off unstable branches.

I brought home the cherries, and thought about classic cherry pairings. Almonds immediately came to my mind. I figured I could make a pretty basic cake, replace some of the flour with ground almonds, add some almond extract, and throw some cherries in there. I knew the cherries might sink to the bottom of the cake, but I didn't care. I wanted to keep this easy. If you want to add a step, you can make the batter without cherries, add it to the baking dish, dust your cherries in flour, and lightly place them on top of the batter. They will sink less that way, but I honestly couldn't be bothered.

If you can't get fresh cherries, frozen cherries are pretty awesome. I really like this brand, and I snack on them all winter. They'll work in this recipe, so you don't even have to sacrifice your perfectly good-as-is fresh cherries.

Long story short: this cake is crazy good.


Cherry Almond Cake
Serves 12 (or 1)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature (very important)
1 cup organic cane sugar (regular white sugar works too)
2 eggs, room temperature (very important)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely ground almonds (or almond meal or almond flour)
1 cup milk (2% or whole)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (add a full teaspoon if you like extra almond flavor)
2 cups cherries, halved and pitted
1/3 cup raw sliced almonds
raw sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C

Grease a 9 x 11 baking dish, and line it with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixture with a paddle attachment on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. If you use regular white sugar this will take 3-4 minutes. If you are using organic cane sugar it takes about 5-6 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer to beat the butter and sugar. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar and beat them well for another minute or two.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the ground almonds into the flour mixture. I ground my almonds in a coffee grinder, you could also use a food processor, or you could just use almond meal or almond flour.

Turn the stand mixer to low, and add a third of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Add a third of the milk. Alternate the dry ingredients and the milk until everything is fully incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix your batter at this stage. Gently fold in the almond extract, vanilla extract, and the cherries.

Pour the batter into the baking dish, and top it with the sliced raw almonds and raw sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a cake-tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Let it cool in the pan. Serve for breakfast, lunch, or dinner... it works for all three.