Thursday, May 21, 2009

Birthday-cake Danish

Third in line of favorite laminated pastries are Danish. Not just any Danish will do though. Pinwheels and bear claws are best used as doorstops. This what I believe makes a good Danish:
.Crisp, flaky crust, soft, airy interior.
.Ratio of dough to filling should be 70%-30% to 60%-40%, in other words, there should be just enough filling so that each time I bite into the Danish, I get some of it. When there is too little filling it just feels like you are eating this chunk of dough. When there is too much filling it will just fall apart on you making one moist mess.
.Danish should be filled post-bake not pre-bake. See, here's my beef: when bakers put the filling inside the danish before baking it (usually something that resembles pie filling, or pastry cream... why would you put pastry cream, which is already completely cooked, inside a Danish, to cook it even further? no sense whatsoever) it inhibits the expansion of the danish during baking, and it turns the nice flaky Danish into a soggy wet pastry. Why would you go through all of the trouble of laminating, only to end up with a limp piece of bread? I fill my danish AFTER they are baked, ensuring the integrity of the Danish for at least a day.
This particular Danish, the birthday cake Danish, uses a method that is very special. We take a circle of dough, then place a sphere of baked flourless chocolate cake down the middle. We then place this over plastic wrap, and wrap it into a sphere, where the cake is completely enveloped by the dough. We let it sit overnight in refrigeration so that the dough and the butter in it can get to know each other well, then we take the plastic wrap off, score it, place it inside an aluminum tube lined with silicone paper and bake it. Once it is baked and cooled off, we fill it with sweet mascarpone, flavored with real vanilla pods. We garnish it with a dot of gold and rice paper. I know this danish may look enormous, but when it is just baked, it weighs only 100 g. It tastes just like birthday cake. At least to me.


  1. Where was this when I just had my birthday! That looks awesome!

  2. I had that birthday danish on Monday at APBC. I stopped by kitchen to say hi to you but you were not there. Anyway that was really good and I wondered how you shaped that danish and now I know that^^. This site is looks like a pasty lab. Have a great day.