I baked two kinds of Danish pastry this time for the signature challenge on GBBO. The first were white chocolate and blueberry kites. The others were swirls, filled with a homemade chocolate and nut spread. I used a mixture of walnuts and almonds, but other nuts would work really well. Also, I would have liked slightly more swirl in my swirls, simply because I rolled when it was too thick…still tasted awesome though!
Makes 24 Swirls
For the pastry:
- 500g (4 cups) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g (2tsp) fast-action dried yeast
- 10g (2tsp) salt
- 80g (1/3cup and 1tbsp) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 60ml (4tbsp) water
- 125ml (1/2 cup) full-fat milk
- 250g unsalted butter (1 cup), chilled
For the filling:
- 200g nuts (1 and 1/3 cups) (I used walnuts and almonds but any nuts, from peanuts to hazelnuts or brazil nuts, would work well)
- 50g (1/3 cup) dark chocolate, 50% cocoa solids
- 50g (3 tbsp) honey
- 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 100g (1/3 cup) honey
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
1. Prepare the dough. Pour the flour into a bowl of a stand mixer (attached with a dough hook). Add the yeast to one side of the bowl, and salt and sugar to the opposite side.
2. Heat the milk until it is tepid, and mix with the eggs and water. Pour onto the flour, and then mix on a low speed for 2 minutes.
3. Pull the dough off of the dough hook, and then increase the speed to medium, and mix for a further 6 minutes.
4. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel. There are two options for proving.
5. The first of these is to place the dough in the fridge, and leave overnight to prove. This greatly increases the flavour of the dough.
6. The second if you are short of time (or in the Bake Off tent!) is to prove for at least an hour in a warm place, until it has doubled in size.
7. Whilst the dough is proving, use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into a rectangle about 25cm x 15cm. Place the butter between two sheets of cling film prior to rolling. Place in the fridge until needed.
8. Once proved, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll out to a rectangle 40cm x 20cm. Place the butter in the middle of the dough, then bring the exposed pastry up around the butter, so that it is fully encased. Crimp the edges to seal in the butter, then place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
9. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, with the shortest ends facing you. Roll out the dough to 40 x 15cm rectangle, then fold the bottom third of the pastry up, and the top third down (like a leaflet). Return to the freezer for 10 minutes.
10. Repeat the rolling, folding, and freezing process two times. After the final folding, chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
11. Prepare the nut butter by blitzing the nuts in a food processor until fine. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl in a microwave by heating it for 30 second blasts, stirring well after each blast.
12. Pour the dark chocolate, oil and honey into the food processor, and blend until a smooth butter is achieved.
13. Roll out the dough to a 40cm x 30cm rectangle. Spread on the nut butter, leaving a 2cm gap around the perimeter of the rectangle.
14. With the long side of the dough towards you, roll the dough up like a swiss roll. Chill for 30 minutes.
15. Slice the roll up into 2.5cm slices – use your sharpest knife possible! One contestant (Val) suggested using floss to get the best cut – could be worth a go. Place on two or three baking trays, covered with baking parchment. Cover then prove (room temperature) for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
16. Preheat the oven to 220c (200c fan)/425F/Gas mark 7.
17. Bake the swirls for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Place on a cooling rack.
18. Whilst baking, make the glaze by heating together the honey and icing sugar. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze onto the swirls whilst warm.