I’m hoping by now you’ve mastered the delicate art of dumping flour into a pot of boiling water and butter and adding some beaten eggs a little at a time, and transforming that mass of gooey dough into little puffs of golden deliciousness. Oh, was that too much hyperbole? Sorry, well, not really. I love this stuff. And the versatility of Choux Paste, continues to amaze me. I’m going to show you how to make a last minute, fancy kinda dish you can make for unexpected company. My mom used to throw these together at a minutes notice, well, more like a half an hour or so notice.
You have to understand the way I grew up. A good Danish household always has at least one kind of cake and two kinds of cookies to offer for afternoon coffee. Just in case you get company. You have to be prepared. And none of that store bought stuff either. We always had a tin of cookies, maybe not always a choice of cookies, but there was something that we could put out on a pretty plate and offer guests. I grew up on a farm, and while Mom baked bread every week, she also made sure to have a cake at least or cookies on hand so Dad could have a treat in with his lunch box. But sometimes we got unexpected guests and she would be out of cake or cookies. So she would whip this up and serve it. And until a conversation with my brother a little while ago, I’d forgotten the name of them, but I have it now. Vanbakkelsen. And I can tell you, I’ve made my share of these over the years, and every time I make it, people gobble it down. (can you guess I’ve been caught out a couple of times as well, without something for afternoon coffee).
Make your basic choux paste recipe, divide the dough into two, and then just make two long loaves using a spoon to spread it out a little.
Make sure you have enough room in between each of the loaves. They do spread out a little. Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, it should have puffed up nicely, but don’t open the oven door (like I just did, dang it, it will fall!)
check it through the glass door with the light on. Bake an additional 20 minutes or so, and you can turn down the heat to 375 deg for an additional 10 minutes if it’s not too brown. Take out and let cool on a rack while you prepare the glaze.
Then take them out, let them cool while you prepare the glaze. And here’s where you can have so much fun. Measure out about a cup of confectioners sugar into a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice and stir. If it’s too stiff, add another few drops of juice, until it reaches a pouring consistency. (and if you’re me, I add a few drops of Grand Marnier or another complementary liquer if it’s a little stiff.)
Pour over the loaf, and then cut into slices, that are on the diagonal, or however you want to cut them.
As you can see, I cut first and then poured but that’s OK, it still tastes good.
Now go pour yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea and prepare to take a break with me, but you’ll have to pardon me if I go ahead and start without you.
I’ve been waiting for this for awhile. And my coffee’s getting cold…