The life artistic – Baking up memories


Danish pastries, Danish pastries, yummy yummy yummy yummy yummy yummy yum!

(Imagine this sung to the tune from the old Danish bacon adverts, and you’ll start to understand the atmosphere that pervaded my kitchen this morning)

Nut Palmiers (2)

I woke up today with one question on my mind; what to do with the half batch of Danish pastry that was sat in my fridge?  I toyed with a couple of ideas that quickly went out of the window when I realised my apricot glaze had gone off (it was a blue mould nightmare), and eventually settled on trying to recreate these nut-filled Palmier-shaped pastries that I used to eat for *ahem* second breakfast every day when I worked in Switzerland.  I loved these things.  The originals were an awful lot bigger than mine turned out, and didn’t come glazed, but they were delicious, nutty little swirls of heaven.  Every day the younger members of the lab I was working in would go for coffee at 9:30, and every day I would get one of these and a cup of tea (unless it was apple doughnut Thursday, because, lets face it, there were apple doughnuts to be had), and then get looked at strangely by everyone for putting milk in said tea.  It was a comforting ritual for a stranger in an alien country, and it always put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Nut Palmiers (1)

Since coming back to the UK, I have been unable to find these delights anywhere.  In fact I remember scouring a few bakeries in Zurich for them too, all to no avail, which has led me to believe that these were unique to the Paul Scherrer Institut.  Schnecken are a pretty good substitute, but don’t quite have the same crumbly, buttery appeal.  I have yet to find an online recipe, picture or even an obscure blog mention for these or the apple doughnuts, so drastic times called for some drastic inventing.  Unfortunately, scales are the first thing to go out of the window at times like this, so I have no idea of the quantities I used.  I can tell you that the filling of hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, muscavado sugar and lemon oil was just about spot on.  Close enough to give me the warm feeling I was looking for anyway.

Nut Palmiers (3)

These are baked to a crisp texture, more like Palmiers than traditional Danishes, but I think the originals were definitely yeast based, so a modified Palmier recipe wouldn’t have worked.  I decided to give them a clear sugar glaze and then a drizzling of glace icing to make them a bit more special, and then started guzzling them before the icing had even set.

Voila … instant nostalgia.



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