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Prep 15minBake 12-15min (per batch)Makes about 20
These macaroons are commonly crumbled and used in the traditional Danish Lagkage (layer cake), a traditional Danish birthday cake. They are wonderfully crisp on the outside while being mor-ishly soft on the inside and are truly addictive as a ‘sweet’ treat. While not traditional, I’ve taken the liberty of adding a sprinkling of flaked almonds for extra texture.
100g almond meal 100g pure icing sugar, sifted Good pinch of bicarbonate of soda 2 egg whites, at room temperature Pinch of salt 25g (¼ cup) flaked almonds, to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Put the almond meal, icing sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a medium bowl and mix until evenly combined.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites and salt in a medium clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Add the almond meal and icing sugar mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until evenly combined.
Use two metal teaspoons to spoon slightly heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined tray about 4 cm apart to allow for spreading. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and then bake in the third top of the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden and aromatic.
Cool the macaroons on the tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 20 macaroons in total.
These macaroons will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Danish pastries are possibly Denmark’s most well-recognized food specialty, even though it is Austria that should actually be credited for originally creating them! Traditionally based on a leavened puff pastry (basically a puff pastry made with a yeast dough) the making of them is quite an involved process. Luckily, the pastry used here is a short-cut one with chunks of butter already incorporated into the pastry when initially mixed which cuts out the process of interleaving it with the pastry dough as you fold it – if you haven’t made puff pastry before, this is a great recipe to start with.
125ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
250g (1⅔ cups) plain flour
185g butter, chilled and cut into 2 cm cubes
1 egg, at room temperature, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons caster sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
5 tablespoons good-quality raspberry jam
2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted, to decorate
125g (1 cup) pure icing sugar
1 tablespoon boiling water
¼ teaspoon natural almond extract
Put the milk in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Put the flour and butter into the bowl of a food processor and use the pulse button to process until the butter is cut into 1 cm pieces (make sure your don’t process any further). Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the egg, sugar and cardamom to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour and butter mixture and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix until it is just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands. Knead for 30 seconds or until smooth. Shape into a rectangle and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the out until about 40 x 25cm, keeping the edges as straight as possible. With a long side nearest to you, fold the right third of the dough in to cover the centre third and then fold the left side in also. Turn the dough clockwise a quarter turn. Fold the dough into thirds as before to make a small rectangle. Flip the dough over on the bench and repeat the rolling and folding process again. You will finish with a small rectangle. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Roll out the pastry with a lightly floured rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about (30 x 35cm) and about 5mm thick. Cut in half to make two 15 x 35cm rectangles. Spread the raspberry jam down the centre to cover the centre third of both rectangles. Cut the pastry diagonally into 2cm-wide strips down both sides of the jam and then fold the strips, alternating form each side, into the centre over the jam. Transfer the pastries on the lined tray. Cover loosely with a slightly damp tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 minutes or until the pastry is ‘puffy’.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool on the tray.
To make the Icing, put the icing sugar in a medium bowl and stir in the water and almond extract to make a smooth pouring consistency. Drizzle over the cooled pastry and sprinkle with the almonds and set aside to set. Serve at room temperature cut into slices.
This Danish Pastry is best eaten the day it is baked but will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.