Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vandbakkelser - Another Choux Paste Idea

I'm hoping by now you've mastered the delicate art of dumping flour into a pot of boiling water and butter and adding some beaten eggs a little at a time, and transforming that mass of gooey dough into little puffs of golden deliciousness.  Oh, was that too much hyperbole?   Sorry, well, not really.   I love this stuff.   And the versatility of Choux Paste, continues to amaze me.    I'm going to show you how to make a last minute, fancy kinda dish you can make for unexpected company.   My mom used to throw these together at a minutes notice, well, more like a half an hour or so notice.   They are called Vandbakkelser. 
Vanbakkelser


You have to understand the way I grew up.   A good Danish household always has at least one kind of cake and two kinds of cookies to offer for afternoon coffee.   Just in case you get company.    You have to be prepared.   And none of that store bought stuff either.    We always had a tin of cookies, maybe not always a choice of cookies, but there was something that we could put out on a pretty plate and offer guests.     I grew up on a farm, and while Mom baked bread every week,  she also  made sure to have a cake at least or cookies on hand so Dad could have a treat in with his lunch box.  But sometimes we got unexpected guests and she would be out of cake or cookies.  So she would whip this up and serve it.    And I forgot the name for these til I talked to my brother, and asked him.  My bad.     But I can tell you I've made my share of these over the years, and every time I make it, people gobble it down.   (can you guess I've been caught out a couple of times as well, without something for afternoon coffee).

 By the way, thanks Mom, I appreciate you.   And Dad too, since he made the awesome stir spoon I use.   I love the feeling of connectedness I get when I use it. 

Make your basic choux paste recipe, recipe follows at the end as well.   Divide the dough into two, and then just make two long loaves using a spoon to spread it out a little on a parchment covered baking sheet.



Make sure you have enough room in between each of the loaves.    They do spread out a little.  Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, it should have puffed up nicely, but don't open the oven door (like I just did, dang it, it will fall!)


check it through the glass door with the light on.    Bake an additional 20 minutes or so, and you can turn down the heat to 375 deg for an additional 10 minutes if it's not too brown.  Take out and let cool on a rack while you prepare the glaze.

Then take them out, let them cool while you prepare the glaze.    And here's where you can have so much fun.   Measure out about a cup of confectioners sugar into a small bowl.   Add a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice and stir.   If it's too stiff, add another few drops of juice, until it reaches a pouring consistency.   (and if you're me, I add a few drops of Grand Marnier or another complementary liquer if it's a little stiff.)

Pour over the loaf, and then cut into slices, that are on the diagonal, or however you want to cut them.

As you can see, I cut first and then poured but that's OK, it still tastes good.
Now go pour yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea and prepare to take a break with me, but you'll have to pardon me if I go ahead and start without you. 
Vanbakkelser


yield: 2 Vanbakkelser or 24 Cream Puffs or?print recipe

Choux Paste for Vanbakkelser

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 25 MINStotal time: 45 mins
This is probably the first coffee 'cake' I ever learned how to make, and the best part is you can use the dough to make Fastlavnboller or Cream Puffs or even fill the puffs with a savoury filling.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup flour, all purpose, scooped out and leveled.
  • 1 cup eggs,  (stirred together with a fork and measured into the cup, about 5 large eggs)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat water and butter together, bring to a boil.    Take off of heat and dump the flour in and begin to beat it together.    It will be rather lumpy at first but keep beating vigorously.   It does come together.  Keep beating it until it forms a large ball, then place back on medium heat and keep beating it, until it stays together and leaves a thin film of dough on the bottom of the pan.    This tells you that a lot of moisture has evaporated, and it will accept more of the egg.   Take off of the heat now.  Add about 1/4 of the eggs to the dough and beat together.   It will look very strange at this point, cause it separates and looks rather nasty, but keep beating and as soon as the egg has incorporated into the dough, dribble a little more in, and work your arm vigorously again, beating the egg in.   (at this point you can use a mixer bowl and beat it in with that, but I don't like the dough as well when it is done this way, I find it softens it too much, but then again, if you can't beat the egg in by hand, use your KitchenAid, but dribble the egg in a very little bit at a time).   Add the egg, a dribble at a time, beating vigorously with each addition.    If the humidity is high, you may not need all the eggs,  but if it's dry you will.    I've been making this for many years and can tell from the feel of the dough if I need all the eggs or not.    The pastry should just hold its shape when lifted with a spoon. Divide the dough into two, then place each half on a parchment paper covered baking sheet, making a loaf shape. Make sure you have enough room in between each of the loaves.    They do spread out a little.  Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, it should have puffed up nicely, but don't open the oven door (like I just did, dang it, it will fall!) check it through the glass door with the light on.    Bake an additional 20 minutes or so, and you can turn down the heat to 375 deg for an additional 10 minutes if it's not too brown.  Take out and let cool on a rack while you prepare the glaze. Then take them out, let them cool while you prepare the glaze.    And here's where you can have so much fun.   Measure out about a cup of confectioners sugar into a small bowl.   Add a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice and stir.   If it's too stiff, add another few drops of juice, until it reaches a pouring consistency.   (and if you're me, I add a few drops of Grand Marnier or another complementary liqueur if it's a little stiff.) Pour over the loaf, and then cut into slices, that are on the diagonal, or however you want to cut them.
Created using The Recipes Generator
I've been waiting for this for awhile.   And my coffee's getting cold...
Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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