Sunday, April 17, 2016

Recipe: Strawberry Mascarpone Danish

When I walk into cafes, my eyes go directly to the glass case of pastries on display, always searching for croissants or cinnamon rolls. It's really difficult for me to choose something savory when everything that looks amazing is usually
sweet. But in the end I get the best of both worlds as my husband is usually prone to pick out something savory and I something sweet. We had one of these mornings during a trip to Boston last March. We stepped into this really cute cafe, with wooden floors and furniture, caged lighting, floor to ceiling windows, and white subway tile. It was both minimal and warm. But my gaze was quickly distracted by the display of pastries. It had been a while since I had seen such a diverse selection. Without much hesitation, I was sold on the strawberry mascarpone croissant shining amongst the others with it's bold red color.

Do you ever have those experiences where you try something so delicious that you can't forget about it? It becomes so ingrained, like a favorite memory. This tends to happen to me when I travel. My favorite chocolate croissant is tucked away in a cozy and tiny Montreal bakery, my favorite quiche currently resides in a patisserie in downtown Chicago, my favorite avocado topped toast is in a trendy coffee shop in San Diego, and now I can say that my favorite strawberry mascarpone croissant (which really looks like a danish) is just a few blocks away from the MIT campus in Boston. Every now and then I try to recreate some of my favorite cafe and restaurant dishes. Therefore, a few weeks after my trip to Boston, I worked on creating a tasty Strawberry Mascarpone Danish and I am very excited to introduce the recipe to you. I like to think these have a very nice balance of sweetness and as always, they pair quite nicely with a cup of coffee or tea, whichever you may prefer.


Ingredients for the dough: 
I used Alexandra's Kitchen recipe for the dough.

Ingredients for the filling:
- 9 oz diced strawberries
- 8 oz mascarpone
- 6-8 mint leaves, cut into small strips
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Ingredients for egg wash:
- 1 egg
- sugar for sprinkling (I like to use organic cane sugar rather than granulated sugar)

To make this recipe, follow Alexandra's Kitchen recipe for the dough. For the filling, mix the mascarpone, powdered sugar, and lemon zest together. In a separate bowl, mix the diced strawberries with the strips of mint. After cutting your dough into squares, place them on a parchment lined baking tray. Spoon a dollop of the mascarpone mixture onto each square and top with the strawberry and mint filling. Pinch the four corners of the dough together (as mentioned in the steps in Alexandra's Kitchen recipe), then let them sit for 1.5 hours. Half an hour before the danishes go into the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Before putting the danishes in the oven, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Then bake for 15 minutes. When danishes are done, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Let them rest for a few minutes before eating, so the mascarpone filling has time to set.

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