I started seeing these all over social media the past couple of weeks. How had I never heard of them!? Once I discovered their Swedish origin I knew I had to bake up a batch. The Swedes know their pastry, you guys. They don’t mess around.
The challenge for the Daring Bakers this month was Easter Bread, which was perfect. Easter was on the 20th this month, so of course you’d make your Easter bread and serve it at your Easter meal and then post about it a week later. Unless of course you’re like me and procrastinate most of the challenges until just a few days before the posting date! So while I did make an Easter bread for Good Friday, this bread is just for The Daring Bakers and was made well after Easter.
The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world.
I chose to make a Dutch Easter bread called Paasbrood. I noticed many similarities in Easter breads as I searched for one to make. Many had dried fruits, like raisins, and many were braided either in long loaves or circles. This Dutch bread has raisins, and candied fruit peel (which I did not use) and is twisted into a long loaf. Oh, and it’s stuffed with almond paste! I couldn’t imagine anything better.
I found a recipe that looked reliable here, and I changed just a few things. I used pre-made almond paste instead of making my own. I also used a mixture of all-purpose flour and almond meal in the bread dough. I could not find candied fruit peel, and to be honest I didn’t try all that hard. I also added in some cinnamon with the cardamom. As a result this bread was very similar to the Hot Cross Buns I made last week, with the exception of the almond filling. The dough was pretty easy to deal with and had good texture and flavor after baking. The almond paste, which I was totally excited about, wound up being a little much for me. Maybe I should have used less of it. I divided a 7 ounce tube in half, rolled the halves into long ropes and put them inside each piece of dough.
When I ate a piece of the bread just after glazing I found myself breaking up the paste a little and kind of spreading it out onto the bread instead of taking a bite of mostly almond paste. And while the flavor of the bread was terrific, I wasn’t all that impressed with the almond paste filling. Maybe it just needed to be less concentrated. Or maybe I should have made my own so that the texture would’ve been different. But overall the bread was nice and toasting a slice and spreading a little butter on it is a really nice way to enjoy it.
Adapted from Taste.com
Makes 1 loaf
I made SmittenKitchen’s raspberry buttermilk cake a few weeks ago. The cake was so lovely that I decided to try it with some different additions. Since I had blueberries, half a bag of raw blanched almonds and a tube of almond paste already on hand…that’s what I used. The other ingredients in the cake are readily accessible in a bakers kitchen; 1 egg, 1/2 stick butter, sugar, flour, buttermilk (You can make your own!) baking soda, powder, salt and sugar. Easy.
Buttermilk Cake #1
The first cake I made was a blueberry almond cake and it was, in my opinion, incredibly delicious. Tart and juicy blueberries in a sweet, tender and moist cake with crunchy almond paste crumbs on top. The blueberries sank into the batter as it baked, but the almond paste stayed on top so it was able to get a little brown and crunchy. I sprinkled regular granulated sugar on top as well. I did not use lemon zest in the cake. I thought it might not combine well with the almond, but it would probably be great.
I get so worried about overcomplicating a dish that I tend toward simple flavors and fairly normal ingredients. If you want something crazy, make this. It grosses me out a bit, but my 7th grade Texas History teacher, Mr. Dennis, made this for us as a Christmas treat when I was in his class, and it was good…so maybe Velveeta cheese is better for more than Cheater Queso? If you’d like to make a bit more work of your queso…try this. After reading this post and drooling on my keyboard, I might have to try it as well.
Back to buttermilk…the possibilities are endless with this cake. This recipe is definitely one I will be experimenting with. It lends itself to fruit additions perfectly, but I would be willing to try chocolate pieces and various nuts as well. Pecans and walnuts would be tasty.
Buttermilk Cake #2
I absolutely love almond, so next I tried a cake with chopped almonds in the batter and a sprinkle of the almond paste on top as I did this last time. I used 1/3 white and 1/3 brown sugar in this cake, 2 ounces of chopped toasted almonds in the batter and about 2 ounces of crumbled almond paste on top.