Baking

Rhubarb and Blood Orange Custard Danish

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

A while back, while hunting for danish inspiration photos on Pinterest, I stumbled across a beautiful recipe on Hint of Vanilla for a Rhubarb Danish (check out her blog, not only is it amazing, but she’s Canadian!). The shape of the danish was unique, and the piping of the cream with the St. Honoré tip was beautiful. Quite frankly, her danishes (what is the plural of danish?) look so good you might as well stop reading this now, and just head over to her blog – trust me, it’s better!

I’ve been wanting to try her recipe, or at least a variation of it, ever since. As I was buying rhubarb for my skillet cake (as well as to infuse some gin, like our sloe gin) I decided to buy a whole kilo and experiment. Since I was sending these with Richard to his work, I knew I couldn’t pipe cream on top, like the original recipe. So I decided to add creaminess with a pastry cream, piped under the rhubarb, flavored with blood orange and vanilla! After all, orange is a great complement to rhubarb, and I was buying them anyways for other recipes.

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

As I was making this recipe on my two days off, and was trying to cram like 8 recipes in those days, I tried to go the lazy route. I had seen puff pastry and pie dough in the grocery stores, and assumed that you could probably buy ready to roll croissant or danish dough. Wrong… wrong, wrong, wrong. I had hoped to spend my days off doing so many things, and didn’t want to make danish dough. It’s not hard, just time consuming.

So because I already had my other ingredients, I decided to just suck it up and make the dough. Except I misread my recipe twice, and had to make the dough three times (!!) before I got it right (that is what happens when I rush things). Then, of course I was trying to rush my turns, and was freezing the dough in between to chill it quickly… and forgot about it between the first and second turn. When I tried to roll it out, it was still too cold and I broke the butter sheet… gah! So please, don’t look too closely at the dough in the photos, and do what I say, not what I did.

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

The layers weren’t very nice in the end, but the flavor is still there. These two days weren’t my best because I was trying to do too much. I ended up not doing everything as well as I should have.

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

I made a half batch recipe, which makes about 7 proper danish, with scrap left over. The full recipe makes 15 danish, and the excess can be used to make the little mini bite sized ones.

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

If you find that you have extra pastry cream left over – don’t worry! It tastes amazing and you could pretty much just eat it with a spoon… or dip fruit in it… or pipe it into tart shells and top with fresh fruit! It’s pretty versatile.

Rhubarb and custard danish | Hello Victoria

Mmmmm… now I want to make these again, but take my time to do the dough properly! If you’re feeling up to it, danish dough isn’t really hard, just takes a good couple hours to make. However, if your shop has it for sale, you might want to take the easy route! This recipe looks long and daunting, but trust me, these aren’t as hard as they look!

Rhubarb and Custard Danish

Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins
Servings 15 Square Danish + 15 Mini Danish

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g rhubarb leaves removed
  • 40 g sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean divided
  • 1 blood orange zest and juice, divided
  • 285 ml milk
  • 375 g butter for butter block
  • 250 ml milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • 20 g corn starch
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 500 g bread flour
  • 50 g sugar
  • 7 g salt
  • 14 g fresh yeast 7g active dry or 4.5g instant
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g butter for dough

Instructions
 

  • For the rhubarb, slice each stalk in half, down the middle, and place in a dish. Zest and squeeze the juice of half the orange, and cut open half the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds. Place the zest, juice, vanilla seeds, and pod in the dish with the 40g sugar and rhubarb. Toss to evenly cover the rhubarb and allow to sit for at least an hour.
  • For the pastry cream, combine the milk, sugar, zest, from the second half of the orange, and remaining vanilla seeds and pod. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer, and remove from the heat. Cover and allow to seep for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once the cream has infused long enough, whisk the egg yolk with the cornstarch, and pour in some of the milk mixture to thin it out a little. Bring the milk to a low boil and slowly pour into the cornstarch mixture, while whisking vigorously.
  • Return the whole mix to the pot and bring to a boil over a medium heat, while whisking the whole time. When you feel the mixture start to thicken, briefly remove from the heat and whisk, to prevent the egg from over cooking. Then return to the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, continue to cook for 10 seconds to ensure that the corn starch is cooked out.
  • Remove from the heat, and stir in 2-3 tbsp of the blood orange juice. Pour through a sieve onto a large piece of cling film. Wrap the pastry cream in the cling film to make a little parcel and allow to cool in the fridge. If you have extra juice, pour it over the rhubarb.
  • To make the danish dough, the method depends on which kind of yeast you are using. If fresh, add it to the cold milk; if active dry, warm the milk to 115°F (45°C) and dissolve the yeast in it first; if instant, mix in with the flour. Depending on your yeast, place the ingredients in the bowl in the following order: milk, egg, sugar, flour, salt, and butter (in small pieces).
  • Mix the ingredients together until they resemble a shaggy mass, and then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough slowly for 2 minutes, just to get the ingredients combined and the butter worked in, then up the speed to fast for 8 minutes. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, make the butter block. Wrap the butter in cling film, and pound with a rolling pin. Continue pounding the butter, and folding the edges over, until you can fold the butter and it doesn't crack. Shape the butter into a 20cm square and set aside at room temperature until the dough is ready.
  • To encase the butter, roll the dough out to a 20cm rectangle, on a well floured surface. Cut a cross into the dough and pull out the corners. Roll them out while keeping the middle slightly raised. Brush off any extra flour, and place the butter block in the middle.
  • Cover the butter with the dough flaps, one at a time, brushing off the extra flour, and pinch to completely seal.
  • To make the first turn, gently press the dough with a rolling pin to merge the layers together, and then roll out in one direction to 45 cm long. Fold the top third of the dough down, brush off the extra flour, and fold the bottom up to cover. You should have a rectangle of dough with three layers. Cover in cling film and allow to rest for 30 minutes. You can speed up the rest time with a brief turn in the fridge, but need to make sure that the butter stays soft.
  • For the second turn, roll the dough in the opposite direction as before (rolling the open ends out) and complete the turn as the first. Allow to rest for 30 minutes again.
  • Complete the third turn, same as the second, and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a well floured surface to just larger than a 21 cm x 70 cm rectangle and then cut the edges of the dough to 21 cm x 70 cm. Cut the dough into 30 squares, 7 cm x 7 cm. Using a round cookie cutter, cut 15 circles from half the squares.
  • Remove the rhubarb from the dish and line up the stalks on a cutting board. Using the same circle cutter, cut circles of the rhubarb, using a small sharp knife if necessary. Cut 15 circles of rhubarb and the chop up any remaining rhubarb to top the scrap pieces.
  • Brush a little water around the edges of the full squares and top with the ones with the circles cut out. Pipe a bit of the cream in the middle and top with the circles of rhubarb.
  • For the scrap circles, pipe on a small mound of cream, and top with some of the chopped rhubarb.
  • Place all the danish on parchment lines trays and sprinkle with some turbinado sugar (demererra sugar) if you like. Cover the trays with upside down plastic bins, or loosely with cling film, and allow to proof for 1.5-2 hours, or until well puffed and you can start to see the layers.
  • While the danish are proving, preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C).
  • Bake the danish for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. rotating after 10 minutes if necessary.
  • Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on racks. If desired, make a simple glaze with water (or milk) and icing sugar, and drizzle over the top.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Salmon Burgers with Basil Lime Aioli

Salmon burgers with basil lime aioli in squid ink brioche | Hello Victoria

When I was originally planning this post, I had intended to do both the squid ink brioche and burger recipes. But see, I’m not convinced that the brioche recipe is a winner yet. I might try doing it again with different ink (I bought one that was more of a paste, and another that was really liquid) and then see if I can make a good enough bun to justify the extra effort of making them. This recipe was a bit difficult to work with, and the resulting burger was a tad crumbly.

For now you can simply enjoy the look of black burger buns, and the recipe for these amazing salmon burgers.

Salmon burgers with basil lime aioli in squid ink brioche | Hello Victoria

I first had these burgers at a friend’s house, for a potluck BBQ dinner party. The only salmon burgers I had ever had prior to that, were just salmon steaks, not ground salmon. I’ve made these plenty of times now, and never deviate from the original recipe, because it’s just that good!
The sauce really makes it too… something about the combo of basil and lime really works with salmon. It also makes a mean dip for chips/fries! (more…)

Roasted Garlic No-Knead Bread: Troubleshooting Your Bread

Roasted garlic no-knead bread | Hello Victoria

Richard’s Aunt gave us this Le Creuset pot as a gift a few weeks back!

Originally, when I decided to make this bread, I wasn’t thinking I would photograph it in any way. After all, the whole no-knead bread thing had been done many times and was all over Pinterest. I didn’t think anyone would care to read another post about it. It’s why I have no pictures of the beginning of the recipe.

But then, I realized that despite the simplicity of this bread, there are still some ways in which people might have trouble; and I could help! Also, I can show you how to take this humble bread recipe, and jazz it up with additions! Like roasted garlic!!

Roasted garlic no-knead bread | Hello Victoria

The great thing about this recipe, besides how simple it is to whip up, is that its flavor opportunities are limited only by your imagination. My first bread I did plain, and then experimented with a lemon and rosemary bread, and now roasted garlic. Richard wants me to try caramelized onions next. Mmmm… perhaps one with dried figs and a balsamic reduction? (more…)

Rhubarb and Blood Orange Semolina Cake

Rhubarb and blood orange semolina cake | Hello Victoria

In the early months of the year, the produce options can feel a bit limited. Berries are crazy expensive, stone fruits are even worse, and everything feels a bit dull. However, what some people don’t realize is that winter is citrus season!

Now is the time to experiment with blood oranges, grapefruit, bergamot lemons… etc. Not only is citrus in season, but here in England forced rhubarb is upon us! You might not be able to find it at every grocery store (mine didn’t have it), but Borough Market is currently in supply.

I’ve always loved rhubarb, even as a kid. I remember my mom picking my sister Bethany and I big pieces from her plant, and we would dip the ends in sugar and eat them. We were weird.

Rhubarb and blood orange semolina cake | Hello Victoria

But I digress… back to the recipe!

I’ve been getting tons of recipes and inspiration from Waitrose’s monthly magazine. It’s free for people who sign up for their Waitrose rewards card, and chock full of great recipes. I’ve made a lot so far, and haven’t had a bad one yet! (more…)

Perfecting Northern Irish Wheaten Bread

Norhtern Irish wheaten bread | Hello Victoria

Jump to recipe

Last year for Christmas, Richard and I spent a month traveling (side note – am I the only one who always tries to spell this travelling?) around the UK. We spent time in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and even drove through Scotland (albeit without stopping) while visiting his family! For some reason, one of the things we remember most is getting stuck in the wind and rain outside of our hotel beside the Giant’s Causeway after a fire broke out. Not exactly the most fun we’ve had, but the reward was worth it!

Giant's Causeway | Hello Victoria
Giant’s causeway

We were in the middle of a wonderful breakfast at the hotel, when one of the dryers in the laundry caught fire, and we were told we had to go outside right away. Unfortunately it was in the middle of December, and of course we forgot to wear our winter coats to the dining room. After freezing outside for a while, we were brought into the nearby visitor centre to wait until the firemen cleared the building. Luckily nothing was damaged.

Giant's Causeway | Hello Victoria
a few photos from our trip last winter

As we were checking out after breakfast, they asked us if we had managed to finish our meal before the fire. With the exception of a cup of tea or two, we had, but we asked them if they could do us a favour in lieu of the rest of our meal. Would they be willing to share their wheaten bread recipe with us? I doubted they would as restaurants/chefs aren’t normally known for that sort of thing, but lo and behold, the chef not only gave us the recipe, but a loaf of bread (still warm from the oven) to take with us!

(more…)

Rocky Mountain Flapjacks (Starbucks Flax Bars)

Seeded flapjack recipe | Hello Victoria

My first job after high school was working at Starbucks. It was a pretty great job because the hours were good, the people I worked with were friendly, and you got an insane amount of free coffee per shift.

People have always raved about the Starbucks oat bars (flapjacks here in England), but there was another bar that they used to carry that was my favorite. The coffee shops where I lived used to serve what they called a flax bar (flax seeds = linseeds), which had all kinds of seeds as well as some great citrus flavor. I’m not sure, but I think it wasn’t available everywhere except maybe the west coast of Canada, because I can’t seem to find a copycat recipe anywhere!

Seeded flapjack recipe | Hello Victoria

So I did what any sane person would do – I read ingredient lists online for a company that used to produce them for the local Starbucks (they still make them for their own store). That way, I would know exactly which seeds they contained, and in what order (to determine quantities). Then, I took a flapjack recipe from a friend and altered the amounts of oats/seeds it contained, adding a bunch of citrus zest! (more…)