Tag Archives: yoghurt

Almost Dorie: lemon-glazed berry almond Danish, and a quick laminated dough

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24 October (October 24, if you’re in America) is Dorie Greenspan’s birthday. I only became interested in baking and cooking in the last few years, and only began to do things properly in the last year or so, but during this time I’ve come to love Dorie’s recipes and her writing. Besides, Dorie was described by someone as “five foot nothing” – being a short person, I heartily approve of the saying that the best things come in small packages.

Around the world, food bloggers, especially those in the French Fridays with Dorie and Tuesdays with Dorie groups, have been posting to celebrate Dorie’s birthday. It’s a giant virtual party that will go for at least a couple of days as we work our way around global timezones.

Birthday parties deserve the best cake and champers, mini kievs (like the ones Johnny might make) and crabapple hooch like Liz made. And, the best parties have a gate crasher or three. This post is a kind of gatecrasher to the Dorie virtual party. It’s not a recipe created by Dorie, but it does come from a book that she penned, collecting recipes that others had baked with Julia Child.

(Sheepishly, this was also the recipe for last week’s Tuesdays with Dorie group assignment. What can I say, non-blogging life got in the way. Sorry TWD-ers all)

The recipe is a Danish braid made with a quick laminated dough. Mine was filled with almond cream and raspberry jam, topped with slivered almonds, and covered in a tangy, puckery lemon-yoghurt glaze. The lemon glaze really completed the pastry, it somehow softened the filling and brought them together in a refreshing, spritzy kind of bear hug.

To make things pretty, I also sprinkled roughly crushed dried strawberries over the top. They added more intense bursts of sweet-tart, and flecks of colour.

Mr Gander took half of the Danish braid to work, as a way of getting to know people in a new-ish area where he’d recently started working. The Danish braid was wolfed down, and I think he’s now known as the guy who brings Danish braids to work.

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Quick laminated dough and fraisage

Rather than talk about all of the components of the braid, this post will focus on the quick laminated dough used in the braid. The recipe for the Danish braid has been published by the contributing baker Beatrice Ojakangas and is reproduced below.

Laminated dough – for croissants – was one of the more challenging recipes I’ve made as part of the TWD group. Making the laminated dough for the croissants took up most of a day, so I was pretty happy to see a recipe for a ‘quick’ laminated dough.

The quick recipe takes short cuts when putting the dough together. It didn’t require the baker to make detrempe (the yeasted dough used in lamination), beurrage (the block of butter used in lamination), and all that. Instead, it was a relatively quick process in the food processor, or even by hand. Basically, you cut butter into flour and sugar until the butter is still in visible, small chunks. Then, you roll out and fold the dough a few times – even this might be a shortcut as real Danish doughs should have 243 layers, and the quick dough didn’t seem to have as many layers.

After chilling and resting, it’s ready to be used to make Danish braids.

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‘Donut forget’ blueberry-lemon-yoghurt mini bundts

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Mr Gander knew it was the card for me. It features a girl eating food, and has a food-related pun.

Puns make me go ‘squee!’; food-related puns get a ‘double squee!’

(This is the after-effect of my English honours year, when I and other fellow Honoraries lived and breathed words, words and words, until our obsession with language got a tad out of control.)

I wanted to make donuts to go with the card, but we only had a mini-bundt cake pan. So, we had mini-bundt cakes instead, they are holey and therefore kinda donut-like, right?

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These were happy mini-bundts, based on a baked doughnut recipe from the fabulous Spoon Fork Bacon. These have wholemeal flour for substance, blueberries for smurf-y goodness, yoghurt for health and a buttermilk-like tender crumb.

It was just the right recipe for impromptu baking. The batter was absurdly easy to put together, and I had all of the ingredients in the pantry. (Actually, I didn’t have apple sauce that the recipe called for, and used the same amount of butter instead)

Instead of a blueberry glaze, I spooned over a sharp lemony icing, slightly thickened and mellowed with Greek yoghurt. Then, on a whim, I grated sunny-yellow lemon zest over the bundtlettes, the yellow standing out against the red-purple-blue stains from squishy blueberries.

The liquid glaze melted into the bundtlettes, pooled in the gaps where blueberries sank into the cake batter, and dribbled down onto the board next to stray bits of lemon zest. It was all a bit ad hoc and make-it-up-as-you-go, but the result was a crowd pleaser. We could almost believe winter is coming to an end in the Antipodes.

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Savoury galette and an almost catastrophe

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I’ll start with the almost catastrophe. As I carried two savoury galettes from the kitchen to the dining table, they slipped off the cooling rack I was holding and fell –

– one of them face down –

– onto plates I had just set out. 

The pastry mostly stayed in tact. There was a little cracking and breaking around the edges, and a few bits of crunchy, flaky pastry made a bid for freedom and landed on the table, but the galettes held together better than I could have hoped. Even the upside down galette flipped around again, tarte tatin-style, not much the worse for wear.

The cheese probably helped to hold the galettes together, but I am also giving the pastry a tick for being tough enough to cope with my clumsiness. Really, some days my feet seem to look out for potholes or uneven paving stones to trip over, or poles to walk into. And the number of times I’ve almost knocked over that bag of flour or sugar!

Catastrophe aside. the pastry was a delight to eat, and not at all like a brick (which would also survive my clumsiness). There is cornmeal, sour cream or yoghurt, and a long resting time. The result was different from your superfine Parisian pastry, it had character, crunch, colour, and a certain heft. It was a pastry that helped to set off the toppings on the galette, but also held its own. We talked about the flavour and texture of the pastry as much as the colours of (miniaturised) tomatoes on the topping.

Which brings me to the tomatoes. I saw these in the grocers and knew, just knew, they were destined for the galettes. They were yellow, 1960s orange, red, and a dark red-brown with darker streaks. They created a beautiful colour wheel on their own.

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They also had that real tomato taste, that umami taste, and only needs the tiniest amount of sugar, or balsamic vinegar, to become a complete salad. Paired with basil and mozzarella, it was a real pretty sight.

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Lemony breakfast and dessert

A house full of citrus curd is a good thing.

Which is, in itself, a good thing. Because after my festival of (free!!) citruses, I had quite a lot of lemon curd and lime and grapefruit curd in the fridge. Mr Gander raised his eyebrows and asked what I was going to do with it all.

I told him citrus curd works in mysterious ways.

First, lemon and lime/grapefruit curd cosied up to our yoghurt at breakfast. Then, there were coconut lemon tartlets. And lastly, lemon curd boogied with double cream in a quick semifreddo.

Lemons for breakfast, elevenses (yes, I was an avid reader of Tolkien) and dessert. Citrus curd gone in a trice. Mysterious indeed.

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