Chocolate and Curd Cheese Cherry Almond Danish Braid

Chocolate and Curd Cheese Cherry Almond Danish Braid

Long title? It is, indeed. The hardest part of the new challenge was to choose just one or two fillings for the Sherry Yard’s Danish dough. As soon as the new challenge was announced, my mind got overwhelmed with the filling ideas, not to mention – pastry forming ideas, as well. The first braid was the attempt to combine a lot of my favorite things inside one Danish crust. It was natural to me – I like my Danish filled well: it’s not all about the crust, I believe. It seemed logical to go with fresh seasonal fruits, so I chose Bing cherries as one of the filling components. I marinated them in Kirsch which enhanced their flavor (oh, well… I just like booze in my desserts, I guess…). The cherries was placed on the chocolate (brownie-like, almond flavored) and the home-made curd cheese (with addition of sour-cream and lemon zest) fillings that I formed into the logs and placed side-by-side in the center of the rolled dough. As I mentioned, the cherries was a second deck. And toasted coarsely chopped whole almonds went on top of the cherries. After the braid was baked and cooled, I drizzled an icing sugar glaze (diluted with Kirsch again) over the top and sprinkled some toasted sliced almonds over the glaze. I really liked the outcome. All flavors complemented each other nicely without overwhelming or competing. As you can imagine, one moderate slice was quite satisfying with all this filling inside.

Cherry Kirsch Diptych

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Cinnamon Cream and Apple Twirls

Cinnamon Cream and Apple Twirls

Here is the thinly rolled Danish dough (the half of the recipe given above) spread with cinnamon cream, folded in half, then cut into stripes and twisted-coiled. The centers are generously filled with apples sautéed in butter with an addition of brown sugar, lemon and orange zest, and spices. Then the streusel topping is sprinkled on the top of the Danishes. After the Danishes have been baked orange flavored sugar glaze drizzled over completes the picture.

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Roasted Strawberry and Creamy Ricotta Danishes

Roasted Strawberries and Creamy Ricotta Danishes

Another filling is ricotta and cream cheese combined in equal proportions and run in a food processor with orange zest and just a touch of sugar. This method produces very smooth filling. The roasted strawberries went on top of the cheese mixture. The roasting makes even not-so-perfect strawberries taste great. And these particular ones were good from the start. After an hour spent in the oven, the berries had become even tastier, dark-red in color and extremely fragrant. To the still hot berries, I added some orange zest and a splash of Grand Marnier.

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Mango Pudding

Mango Pudding

If I didn’t cook from the books I buy in such abundance there wouldn’t be any excuses for my compulsiveness, at least in my husband’s eyes. But since I use the books I purchase, everybody is happy. Especially when a dessert turns out so wonderfully flavorful, creamy, refreshing, and eye-appealing. The pudding recipe is from Sherry Yard’s “Desserts by the Yard”. I must emphasize it is ridiculously easy to make, and highly addictive. Two of us gobbled up a couple of servings each and only the finally woken up consciousness forced us to stop and leave some for our kid to try. He loved it too, he ate the pudding for his breakfast next morning with very impressive enthusiasm.

I’m submitting the mango pudding photo as an entry to “Click-Yellow for Bri”, a special edition of a monthly theme-based photography contest in honor of Briana Brownlow, hosted by Jugalbandi.

Mango More

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Pineapple Coconut Cookies

Pineapple Coconut Cookies

I posted the recipe of these cookies quite a while ago. But since then I’ve got a really pretty bowl to serve them. So, here they are – new photos of my old favorite cookies.

Pineapple Coconut Cookies

Pineapple Coconut Cookies recipe…

Canadian Butter Tarts

Canadian Butter Tarts

I think I’ve lived in Canada long enough to get an idea what is considered to be a truly Canadian dessert. I won’t be exploring this subject now. It’s all covered here, if you are interested. There are no doubts regarding the butter tarts heritage. But I chose them as my entry for Sugar High Friday-Mmm…Canada not because they are qualified by their origin. I picked them because they are delicious.

The recipe below is my version of the traditional butter tarts. Don’t get me wrong, not that they are needed any improvements (they are good as they are), I made some changes to suit my own taste preferences. And you will see they’ve become even more Canadian after these adjustments. I added maple syrup to the filling and soaked the raisins in Canadian Whisky. Another thing I changed was the crust. I replaced the pie dough crust with the buttery tart crust. And since I love my crust “well-done”, nicely browned and flavorful, I prebaked the crusts before filling them. I hope I’m not going to be blamed for ruining the authentic character of those. They’ve turned out better than store-bought variety.

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