Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cinnamon Chip Danish


This dish-- this.... this cinnamon chip danish... this was so heavenly. Brian and I had it every morning for breakfast (practically) for like a week. Once I even had it for dessert. I just wanted more and more. It could be because I'm hopelessly addicted to cinnamon. It could be that we love pastries. I don't know. It was just... tasty, tasty, tasty. Now that I'm posting about it, I'm tempted to make it again. Maybe I'll make a cherry or strawberry danish instead?? Or chocolate? Because... I mean, right now I really want chocolate. But it's Spring!! It's time for fruits and berries and amazingness!!

But whatever!! Cinnamon chip danish, you are my hero. Actually, I watched Inglorious Basterds twice in the week that I made this, and I kept thinking of the scene where he orders Shoshanna whipped cream and a danish (growing up, my best friend was named Shoshana, and I thought of her a lot because of that movie), and so every morning when I cut slices for Brian and myself I made sure to serve them with whipped cream on the side. It seemed necessary, and went well with our coffee.

It was really fun to make this. Sure, it took awhile (I made it the night before with some soup, I believe), but it was fun. I like making pastries and bread items-- I like letting them rise and kneading them and cutting the pieces and folding it to be pretty. When it came out of the oven it made me so happy-- it was so pretty. I believe I squeeled and was like "Look how pretty!". And since it was breakfast, the pictures turned out nice too. Also, Brian turned out nice to, he's below. ;)

Look at him enjoying my danish, isn't he cute? This picture makes me want to give him a hug, but he's still at work. I will give him a mental hug right now.

The inside of the pastry is cream cheese, sweetened and folded with cinnamon chips. It's rich-- definitely, and not as dry as a lot of the cream cheese filling in danishes I've had in the stores (probably the yolk --> cream cheese ratio, which looks something like this [ cream cheese > egg yolk ]). The cinnamon chips, which my mom got for me while I was at home for Christmas because I can't find them here (which is funny, because I've had this recipe in my box for like, a year and a half now, and I made this like over a month ago... oy, I'm so bad at this updating thing.)

I liked making thick slices and heating them briefly in the toaster oven and then topping them with whipped cream. Once we put butter on, but it didn't taste as good-- the other flavours were weakened. So boo on butter. Give me sugar cream!!

We would eat like, two slices each a morning, but it still lasted us about a week. By the end of the week it was kinda dry, but I wrapped it in plastic every day and tried to make it last. It was still pretty moist for staying out that long though.

I don't think I have anything else to say, but wanted to break up these images. This was so good. My mom is here (she and the rest of my fam delivered to me my furniture from Savannah where I went to school-- they also brought me a buttload of stuff for my kitchen. A box was still left at home, but I now have my kitchen scale back... means I can make french things a bit more easily, no? Hah! No more conversion for me!!)

Cinnamon Chip Danish
Recipe from The Other Side of Fifty

The Filling

6 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups cinnamon chips, divided

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and egg yolk until well blended. Set aside three tablespoons of the cinnamon chips for garnish. Stir the remaining cinnamon chips into the cream cheese mixture. Set aside.

The Dough

1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice plus enough milk to make one cup (warm to 100-110 degrees in microwave)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons honey
3 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups flour

Combine the honey and warm milk in bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until bubbly.
Add in the butter, salt, wheat gluten, and flours. Mix until the flour is incorporated.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it's all smooth and elastic, this should take about 8-10 minutes. Turn the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in volume (1-2 hours, depending on room conditions.)
Like the original poster, I preheated Brian's oven to it's lowest setting (170 degrees), then turned it off, and this is where I let my dough rise.
Punch the dough down, then turn it onto lightly floured working surface and pat it into a ball.
Roll the dough into a 12x18 rectangle. Spread the cream cheese mixture lengthwise down the center third of the dough rectangle. Cut 1-inch wide strips from the edges of the dough almost to the filling. Begin the braid by folding the top row toward the filling. Alternately fold the strips at an angle from each side across the filling toward the opposite side. Fold bottom row toward the filling and finish by stretching last strip and tucking under to seal. Transfer to baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or you can use parchment paper to cover the baking sheet.
Brush the loaf gently with a beaten egg and cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the loaf 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool.

To Glaze....

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp softened butter
enough milk to make of the desired drizzle consistency
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a dash of cinnamon

Stir the powdered sugar and butter together in a small bowl. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix. Add milk until you have the needed consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled danish and garnish with reserved cinnamon chips.

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