Chocolate Danish

Chocolate Danish

Scandinavian Baking
Columbus Leth

This pastry is the one I bake for a family birthday breakfast table. This has become an important tradition; I started doing it when I became a mother, when I lived in London and could not find proper wienerbrød anywhere. For my son’s first birthday I baked my first Danish pastry, because it was utterly impossible to think he could have a birthday without one for breakfast! This was years before I knew I was going to be a cook. Back then I just loved to bake and spent most of my free time doing so.


Quantity Ingredient

For the pastry cream

Quantity Ingredient
300ml single cream
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
3 egg yolks, to glaze, plus 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour

For the rest

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Basic Danish pastry dough
00 grade, or plain flour, to dust
200g best dark chocolate, at least 60% cocoa solids, chopped
20g butter


  1. Bring the cream to the boil with the vanilla pod in a saucepan, then turn off the heat. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together until fluffy and light yellow in colour. Pour a little bit of the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then pour all the egg mixture into the saucepan. Set the saucepan over a low heat and whisk until the cream starts to thicken. Take care not to boil and whisk continuously to avoid burning. When it has thickened, remove from the heat and leave to cool, placing a sheet of cling film directly on the surface to prevent a skin forming.
  2. Roll out the Danish pastry dough on a lightly floured work surface into a big rectangle measuring 60 x 40cm. Now cut it into 10cm squares. Place 1–2 tsp of the pastry cream in the middle of each square.
  3. Now form the pastries: take each square and fold the corners into the middle over the cream until all four meet. Close all the dough seams completely by pressing them together so the cream is encased. Now pull the new four ‘corners’ of the dough up as well, to make a very tight ball of pastry around the cream. Turn each bun upside down, so it is smooth-side up, and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Cover with tea towels and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Brush the pastries with the egg to glaze and bake them for 15–18 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl fitted over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, then leave to cool slightly. Spoon a little chocolate glaze on each pastry and spread it out with a spoon to a circle that stops 5mm from the edge of the pastry. Leave the chocolate to set, then serve right away.
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