Danish is made with a yeast dough that is spread with butter, rolled out, turned, shaped and filled with cream cheese and jam. After it is proofed and baked, it is immediately brushed with cold sugar syrup, cooled, and drizzled with white icing.
Cream Cheese Filling
6 oz cream cheese
2 TBS sugar
1 1/2 TBS flour
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp lemon juice
vanilla extract to taste
Blend all ingredients well.
Cold Sugar Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Place water and sugar in saucepan, bring to a boil and stir to dissolve. Chill in refrigerator.
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, softened
Place flour on counter top and work in the butter with your fingertips. Fraisage the dough with the heel of your hand until a dough is formed.
2 TBS dry yeast
1/3 cup of warm water (110 degrees F)
1 cup lukewarm whole milk
2 large eggs at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 3/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375
In a large bowl, combine yeast and water with a pinch of sugar. Let sit for 5 mins until foamy. Stir in milk, eggs, sugar, cardamom and salt. Mix well to combine. Add flour gradually, beating with a wooden spoon until smooth and shiny. Turn onto a floured surface and work the dough lightly to bring it together. Roll into a 14 inch rectangle and fold into thirds as you would a business letter (this completes your first turn). Wrap in plastic and chill for approximately 20 minutes. Roll it into a rectangle again, fold and chill. Repeat this process 2 more times for a total of 4 turns, chilling the dough after every 1 to 2 turns as necessary to keep it from getting too soft. Return it to the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll it into a large square 1/4 inch thick. Cut it with a bench scraper and shape it as desired. Below are examples of shapes with cream cheese filling plus jam in them:
-- Make a small square ( approx 3 inch x 3 inch), top with cream cheese then jam, pinch two corners inward.
--Make a long snake, (approx 9 to 10 inches), roll into a coil shape, top with cream cheese filling and jam.
--Bearclaw: cut a rectangle approximately 4 inches wide, 8 inches long. Put filling in the middle and fold it over. Make cuts as shown.
After you have shaped the danish and placed it on a baking sheet covered with parchment, place plastic wrap over the danish and allow it to proof until doubled in size. Brush with dorure (1 egg beaten with a splash of milk or water), and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately brush with cold sugar syrup. Allow to cool, and drizzle with icing.
White Almond Icing
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 1/2 TBS whole milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 TBS rum
Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Add more milk or sugar to achieve a runny consistency.
Dip your fingers in the icing and drizzle across the pastry in a fast back-and-forth motion.