Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Cardamom almond twists

I have become a huge fan of Scandinavian baking and desperately trying to find a connection with Hungarian baking to fit in with this blog. Well both regions have an undeniable love of baked goods and seem to eat a lot of sweet pastries so that is it. Having discovered the scandi style cardamom scented dough that tends to often have an almond paste filling in the end product (check Ikea food halls if you have not tasted them before), I wanted to do more of the same flavour. These cardamom almond twists remind me of the Kringle wreath I made before Christmas, it is from the same book Scandilicious Baking. This is the first time I made a cold fermented dough, left to prove overnight in the fridge. The end result was a really easy to handle dough with the perfect texture, so I will try this again. Saves time having to wait around hours for the dough to prove. This recipe makes 20 twists and they freeze well too. Thaw them completely before eating and warm up in an oven for 5 minutes, they will be soft and fresh tasting, a great little bite to go with your coffee on a cold winter day. I took the last two post's pictures outside in the snow, it was such a treat afterwards to finish off the hot chocolate with one of these twists!

For the dough:
325ml whole milk
50g butter
500g plain flour
75g caster sugar
1,5 tsp ground cardamom 
2tsp fine sea salt
7g dried yeast
1 egg, beaten

75g soft butter
50g ground almonds
50g marzipan (or Scandinavian almond paste if available)
50g caster sugar
3tbsp créme fraiche
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of fine sea salt

To finish:
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
flaked almonds for sprinkling

To make the dough first scald the milk with the butter by heating it until almost boiling. Let it cool to lukewarm temperature. This according to Signe gives a softer finish to the buns. Sift the dry ingredients together, mix, add the beaten egg and the warm milk and knead until you get a good slightly sticky dough. Place in a large lightly oiled plastic bag in the fridge overnight to cold ferment. (I imagine you could prove the dough in a warm place for 1-2 hrs until doubles in size to replace overnight fermenting). When ready to bake, let the dough come to room temperature and in the meantime make the almond filling. Mix all the filling ingredients in a food processor until it is a creamy almond paste. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 30x50cm rectangle. Spread the filling evenly on one half length ways and fold the other half over (so now you have 15x50cm rectangle) pressing the edges down to seal in the filling. A little water might help sticking them down. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into about 20 strips. Pick them up one at a time, twist the ends in opposite direction 3 times, make a round shape, tucking the end under and placing them on a lined baking sheet. When all done, place them in a warm place to rest and rise for another 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C, glaze the twists with a beaten egg, sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through and sound hollow when tapped on the base.

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