chocolate cinnamon snails

Happy New Year every-one. I've just had a 3 week break from work. I spent time in Brisbane with my family and have just had a week at home in Sydney doing stuff around the house. I assembled a piece of IKEA furniture on my own without swearing or shedding tears, which I consider a bit of a triumph. I finally buckled down and started to repaint my spare room which has been on my to-do list for a while. I've done plenty of painting in the past but I can't say it's my favourite thing to do especially in the middle of summer. To date I have more paint on the walls than on the floor or in my hair so it's coming along.

I received a few cook books for Christmas, one Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi was a Christmas gift from a friend, whilst the other, Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahneman was a gift to myself. You see I've been trying to track down a recipe since my trip to Copenhagen in May. I stayed in a little flat while I was there and each day I'd buy a chocolate cinnamon snail from the Emmery's on the corner. Emmery's have the recipe in their own cookbook but as I don't read Danish I decided not to buy the book. Once I arrived home I regretted my decision as the scrolls were delicious and I wanted to try making them at home. I was hoping Trine's book would unlock the secrets for me.

Unfortunately there wasn't a similar recipe in the book, but Trine gave very detailed instructions for the preparation of danish pastry. Using those instructions and a Claus Meyer recipe I found online, I cobbled together a recipe for chocolate cinnamon snails.

Making danish pastry is a bit of a process so the snails took me 2 days to make. As it's so hot in Sydney at the moment, resting the dough for 30 minutes didn't allow time for the butter to firm, so I needed to allow an hour's resting time in the fridge between each bout of folding and rolling. I let the dough rest overnight before rising early one morning to put the scrolls together. I used half the dough and the remainder is in the freezer waiting to turn into rhubarb danishes, my favourite kind.

Here's the recipe for you -
Cinnamon Snails - makes 12
500 g of cold flour (stored in the freezer overnight)
30 g fresh (15 g dried) yeast
60g sugar
7 g of sea salt
50 g softened butter
250 ml cold water
1 egg
200g cold butter

50 g almond meal
125 g brown sugar
125 g softened butter
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp golden syrup
4 tsp ground cinnamon

12 chocolate buttons

Combine flour, yeast, sugar and sea salt in a stand mixer. Add 50 gm softened butter, the egg and water and mix for 3-5 minutes to form a smooth dough. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight. Meanwhile, beat remaining butter between two sheets of baking paper with a rolling pin to soften, roll into a 15cm square, ensuring edges are even, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 30cm square, stretching corners out slightly. Lay butter square in centre of dough at a 45-degree angle. Fold corners of dough over butter to enclose, pinch to seal, then roll out to a 25cm x 45cm rectangle. With a short side facing you, fold bottom third up, fold top third down to cover, wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate to rest (1 hour). Starting with a short side facing you, repeat the rolling, folding and resting twice.

Beat almond meal and brown sugar in a bowl ensuring there are no lumps. Add the softened butter, the lemon rind, golden syrup and cinnamon. Take care not to over mix the filling.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place the dough on a floured board and roll it out into a rectangle about 40 x 25 cm. Spread almond mixture evenly over pastry leaving about 5cm free at the top end. Start rolling up from the bottom end; just before you complete the roll, brush the top edge with a little water to secure it to the roll. Cut the roll into 12 slices. Place the snails on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Cover with a tea towel and set aside until doubled in size (1-2 hours).

Preheat oven to 220C. Bake the snails for 12-14 minutes. Take the snails from the oven and immediately place a chocolate button in the centre of the snail. Let the snails cool on the baking sheet. Adapted from this recipe.

I've had 2 of the snails now and whilst they're absolutely delicious they're not the same as the Emmery's snails. Maybe it's flour I used; maybe Emmery's use some sourdough as part of the raising agent; maybe they use marzipan in the filling. I'm not sure but at least now I've learned how to make danish pastry!

P.S I baked another snail for a special treat. Instead of topping it with chocolate, I iced it with some glace icing made with icing sugar, buttermilk and a tiny dab of butter. The buttermilk iced snail was absolutely delicious.

I hope you all had a good break from work and are feeling refreshed for the New Year.

Bye for now,


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