Sunday, July 6, 2008

Braid? What braid? Not the best looking Danish in town

I absolutely lurve Danish, and have been so keen to try my hand at making it for such a long time, so I was overjoyed with June’s challenge and the prospect of consuming my own sweet Danish, freshly baked from the oven. I didn’t skip a heartbeat when it came to deciding on the filling, sweet sweet cheese, of course. Mmmmmmmmmm. My absolute favourite! A wonderful friend and mentor of mine when I was an adolescent, made cheese Danish for me and I just thought she was a goddess to be able to make something that fancy looking and divine tasting. Her perfect sweet little pockets of pastry and cheese, were simply sublime. Now it was my time to rise to great pastry heights. Just a shame I keep on overlooking (amongst all the detail in the recipe) some essential factor. I pledge to learn to read things more thoroughly for future challenges. I do have a bad habit of nodding off through written or verbal instructions, I’m a kinesthetic/tactile learner. Theory has always made my eyes glaze over and the main way I learn is to try things out hands on and learn from my mistakes. Yet another mistake to learn from.

The pastry for this months challenge was not as tricky as I first imagined, it sounded labor intensive but was quite a cinch to bring together. And what a tasty little number, the cardamom and orange zest is such a lovely combination. I was happy with the pastry and it tasted fantastic in the end, but the important factor I forgot, was that it was indeed a motherload of pastry and I only needed half of it for the Danish. Cluelessly I rolled it all out late one night after work, too focused on working out the whole braid arrangement, overlooking the potential for more Danish action. Drats. Same with the cream cheese recipe, I just grabbed it from a recipe book and did not calculate what the quantity was appropriate for, so I piled it all in on my motherload of dough and sadly my braiding could not hold it all in. I think I should have considered stapling or suturing it all together. Instead of a pretty little braid, I ended up with something that looks more like some one having open abdominal surgery. Good thing looks are not everything and taste certainly made up for my dismal attempts at braiding.

What I learnt making Danish.

Too much cream cheese filling can indeed be a bad thing – who would have thought.


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