The last couple of weeks have been challenging and being struck down with flu has just added to the frustration, not feeling particularly inspired to get into the kitchen. Until recently I have not been a fan of Twitter, my Facebook account was deleted some time ago as it became too distracting, Twitter, due to its limited message size, seems to provide a source of inspiration on the foodie front and is the reason for this latest post.
I am a massive fan of Yotam Ottolenghi, and Middle Eastern inspired food in general. Yotam recently ‘tweeted’ from Copenhagen a picture of an interesting looking pastry called KRINGLE, I saw this post and decided to do a bit of detective work, and see what this treat was all about.
The word originates from the Old Norse kringla, meaning ring or circle and denotes the traditional shape of this pastry, made using either Puff or a Yeast based dough. Trying to find some recipes and guidance for making Kringle I looked to Google and found a number of different approaches and shapes to this tasty pastry, mostly by clicking through the ‘images’ search results, rather than web which did not seem to have so much too offer.
If you decide to investigate as I did, you will find variations from many countries including Denmark, Estonia, Holland & Wisconsin (home to many Danish people apparently), here is my 1st attempt which did not go quite to plan!!
The recipe I used is HERE, and is based on a combination of Puff Pastry but INCLUDES yeast, be prepared to be patient as it will take 3 days to make, most of this is resting time and should not be hurried if you are to get the best results. You might note an extra spice in the heading picture, Mahleb, an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry, Prunus mahaleb the St Lucie cherry, which I added to the pastry mix.
I must have been tired when I started the construction element of my 1st Kringle as I go it completely wrong! You follow a similar method to making Puff Pastry, flattening Butter and folding it into the Dough mix, and leaving it to rest in-between folds in the fridge overnight. This is where I made my 1st mistake and things went downhill from here. If you compare mine, to the instructions on the web links on this page you will see where I went wrong.
There are a number of interesting variations on preparing Kringle, I used one HERE to get an idea on the techniques to create interesting shapes.
You need to treat this beast with respect, and timing/resting is important. You can see the butter beneath the surface after the third day, but you will also notice ‘islands’ of butter which is not what you are looking for. This happened as a result of not doing the folding correctly and trying to fix the problem in a hurry!!!!
After the resting and rolling you can cover the centre of the Kringle with whatever you wish, I opted for a Butterscotch, Sultana and Pecan Nut mixture. I had originally intended to add some Apple, but it was getting late in the day and decided to omit this ingredient at the last minute. The Butterscotch was made from Egg Whites, Light & Dark Muscovado Sugar and Butter.
Now for my next mistake, this was not going to plan at all!
My Butterscotch mixture was way to0 wet, and I should have chilled the pastry further to make it less pliable. Once you have applied the filling you roll lengthways (front to back looking at the picture above), and then cut down the middle to create two tales. Don’t cut all the way as the next stage is to plait the two ends top to bottom and then join together. The technique is in the link above and should create a ring of Pastry, with the cut sides facing upward.
As everything was too soft and wet, my effort to create a beautiful masterpiece failed miserable and I ended up creating what looks like a pair of trousers!
Despite the odd shape and bungled folding the end result tasted absolutely fantastic which was a relief, considering the multiple mistakes I had managed to accrue over the weekend!
This pastry is well worth having a go it, you can play around with the flavours to your hearts content, or go for some simpler shapes to start off with, just put Kringle into Google and select the images to find loads of information on how to make them.
Till next time,