Being from Wisco, you know about cheese curds and beer, but kringle is also another staple here in the cheese state! This Chocolate eclair danish kringle was so fun to make! It is filled with a creamy vanilla custard and topped with a sweet chocolate glaze. Anyone that is an eclair lover, will be a lover of this kringle. And once again, I made another awesome hybrid dessert!
The History of the Racine Kringle
Racine kringle is the official pastry of Wisconsin. It is a tradition that was brought over by the Danish immigrants in the mid-19th century. A kringle is 32 layers of flaky, buttery dough filled with a variety of fruits and nuts and baked until golden brown. They offer about several varieties such as pecan, almond, raspberry, cherry, apple, strawberry, and cream cheese. These kringles are sold at about every grocery store in Wisconsin and select bakeries across the state. But don’t worry, in case you don’t live here, they ship them worldwide!
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to test the water by making a danish kringle. I actually decided to make this after my kids had polished off a raspberry racine kringle over this past weekend. I said, why the hell not! So I combined my favorite chocolate eclair and kringle. Poof another hybrid was born! It wasn’t a perfect shape (I am sure that takes a few attempts) but the flavor was amazing!
Chocolate Eclair Danish Kringle
First Step: Mixing the kringle dough together
The process of making a kringle dough is labor time intensive. The recipe I used was adapted from Melissa Clark. I used my own custard filling and chocolate glaze recipe.
With a food processor, combine both flours, sugar, Red Start yeast and salt. Pulse a few times to blend. Add in the chilled butter chunks and pulse about 10 times or until the butter chunks are broken down by half.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Pour flour mixture into the bowl, and with a spatula to stir together until nearly all the flour is moistened. Use your hand to quickly knead the dough to bring it together. Transfer the dough to a work surface and pat into a rectangle. Wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
Second Step: Rolling out the kringle dough
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a roughly 8×15 inch rectangle. Fold the two short sides of the rectangle toward the center, folding the rectangle into thirds, like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, then roll out again into an 8×15 inch rectangle; fold into thirds again. Wrap dough in plastic, wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Roll the dough out again in an 8×15 in rectangle, fold into thirds, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes two more times. Wrapped dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days or the freezer for 2 months.
Third Step: Making the Vanilla Custard Filling
In a medium saucepan, start by scalding the milk over medium-high heat. That just means heating the milk only until bubbles form around the edges of the saucepan, but not letting it come to a boil
Whisk your flour, sugar and salt together in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk your egg yolks together. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolks and whisk until you have a thick paste like mixture.
Once the milk is scalded remove from the heat. Slowly begin tempering the egg yolk mixture with the hot milk. To do this, add a very small amount of milk at a time to the egg yolk mixture (spoonful) while continuously whisking as you do it. You want to gradually bring up the temperature of the yolk mixture; if you simply add all the hot milk at once you will end up with scrambled eggs! Continue to add until both mixtures are combined well.
Pour mixture back into saucepan and place over medium high heat. Whisk continually as it heats. Don’t be alarmed it will be very frothy and soupy at first, but will slowly thicken up.
Once it has thickened up, stop whisking to see if it has come to a boil. Once it has begun to boil, whisk for only five more seconds and remove from heat. Pour mixture through a strainer to remove any extra lumps and mix in Lorann’s Vanilla bean paste. Cover custard with plastic wrap. Make sure to press down on the plastic wrap to make sure that it comes in contact with the surface of the custard (prevents skin from forming). Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Once the custard is completely chilled, beat heavy cream until you get stiff peaks. Fold into the custard and refrigerate until you are ready to put on kringle.
Step Four: Putting it all together and baking it!
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and cut it in half (makes two 10 inch kringles).
On a lightly floured work surface, roll each half into a 6×24 inch rectangle. Spread about 1/2 cup custard filling on each strip down the center (2 1/2 inches wide).
Fold one long side over the filling, leaving the remaining third of the dough exposed. Use a pastry brush to the open border of the dough with an egg white wash on both the long side and two short ends. Fold the second long end over the first; pinch and press the seam tightly along the length and at both short ends, sinking your fingertips into the pastry to create a tight seal.
Remeasure dough to make sure it’s at least 24 inches long (you may need to stretch back out). Form into an oval, then tuck one end into the other. Pinch and press seam together, then transfer oval to prepared pans and flip over so it is seam side down. Repeat same process with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush pastries with egg white wash. Then bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate sheet pans from front to back and top to bottom half way through.
Once the pastries come out of the oven, take the one sheet pan with the other pastry on it and press down gently to eliminate any air pockets between the pastry and filling. Transfer to wire racks and allow for complete cooling.
Step five : Making the chocolate glaze
Ah Hah! The easiest part! Mix together the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla bean paste and milk until you get a smooth and silky consistency. Set aside until kringle is done.
After pastries are cooled, spread glaze on top. Serve and Enjoy!
Fun Fact of the Day!
The word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want! Hot Damn, how many times have any of you been in this situation? I swear, this is literally me everyday when I am having a conversation with someone!
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