Step into the world of exquisite pastries with our Cherry Almond Danish, a delightful marriage of sweet cherries, almond goodness, and buttery flakiness. This coffee cake is not just a treat for the taste buds; it’s a journey into the realms of comfort and indulgence. Join us on this culinary adventure as we guide you through the process of creating a masterpiece that’s perfect for brunch, dessert, or any moment you crave a touch of sweet sophistication.
For the Dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F/43°C)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
For the Filling:
1 cup cherry preserves
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup sliced almonds
For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Activate the Yeast:
In a bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Let it sit for 5-7 minutes until frothy.
Prepare the Dough:
In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add warm milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Mix well. Add the activated yeast mixture.
Incorporate Flour and Eggs:
Gradually add the flour, mixing until a soft dough forms. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.
Knead and Rise:
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Roll Out the Dough:
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle.
Spread the Cherry Preserves:
Evenly spread the cherry preserves over the rolled-out dough, leaving a small border around the edges.
Add Almond Goodness:
Sprinkle almond meal over the cherry layer. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top for added crunch and visual appeal.
Roll and Shape:
Roll the dough tightly, starting from one long edge. Pinch the seam to seal. Place the rolled dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, shaping it into a circular form.
Bake to Perfection:
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the Cherry Almond Danish is golden brown and cooked through. Allow it to cool on the baking sheet.
Prepare the Glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled Danish.
Slice and Serve:
Once the glaze sets, slice the Cherry Almond Danish into generous portions. Serve and savor the layers of flavor and texture.
Yeast Activation: Ensure the water used for activating the yeast is at the correct temperature (110°F/43°C). Too hot or too cold water can affect the yeast’s performance.
Rising Time: Allow the dough to rise in a warm place. A doubled-in-size dough indicates proper rising.
Almond Meal Magic: Almond meal not only adds a rich almond flavor but also absorbs excess moisture from the cherry preserves, preventing a soggy dough.
Creative Shaping: Feel free to experiment with different shapes for your Danish. Braids, spirals, or even individual pastries offer a touch of creativity.
Chocolate Drizzle Delight:
Elevate the sweetness with a chocolate drizzle. Melted chocolate, white or dark, can be drizzled over the glazed Danish for a decadent twist.
Citrus Zest Burst:
Add a burst of citrus flavor by incorporating orange or lemon zest into the glaze. The zesty kick complements the sweetness of the cherries.
Enhance the nuttiness by mixing finely chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, into the almond meal before sprinkling over the cherry layer.
Almond Flour Dough:
Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour for a keto-friendly dough. Adjust the quantity as needed for the desired consistency.
Substitute granulated sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener in both the dough and the glaze.
Opt for a lower-carb filling by incorporating a mix of berries, such as raspberries and blueberries, instead of cherry preserves.
Coconut Flour Alternative:
Explore a low-carb option by substituting coconut flour for all or part of the all-purpose flour in the dough.
A Sweet Symphony in Every Bite
The Cherry Almond Danish we’ve crafted together is more than a coffee cake; it’s a sweet symphony that dances on your taste buds. From the pillowy dough to the almond-infused layers and the burst of cherry preserves, each element plays a crucial role in creating a pastry that’s both indulgent and comforting.
Whether you choose to stick to the classic recipe, experiment with creative variations, dive into keto adaptations, or embrace the low-carb alternatives, know that you’re partaking in a culinary experience that transcends the ordinary. The Cherry Almond Danish invites you to savor the layers of flavor, celebrate the textures, and relish the joy that comes with creating a delightful pastry from scratch.
So, preheat your oven, gather your ingredients, and let the aroma of baking Danish fill your kitchen. Whether shared with loved ones over brunch or enjoyed with a cup of coffee as a sweet escape, this Cherry Almond Danish promises to be a blissful treat for any occasion. Indulge, create, and immerse yourself in the sweet symphony that awaits in every blissful bite!