If you don't know today's guest blogger, Pam, now is your chance to meet one of the nicest bloggers out there. Pam blogs over at Gingerbread Snowflakes, a blog devoted to "seasonal comforts" and all things Christmas. She has dabbled in various art forms including knitting, weaving and photography, to name just a few...I can hardly think of an art she hasn't tried. She has mentioned wanting to tackle woodcarving next so she can create her very own tomte and other figurines.
I bet she filled up on one of her favorite Scandinavian treats yesterday on St. Lucia Day - lussekatter! And she is here today to share another one of her favorites - palaeg chokolade!
Palaeg chokolade! A yummy Danish breakfast treat!
Once Carina introduced palaeg chokolade on Carina's Craft Blog this summer, I was determined to find it! However, since I have been unable to find it available in local markets or in American Scandinavian Shops on line, I came up with this "homemade" version! And it is delicious!
Palaeg chokolade is a very, very thin piece of chocolate designed to be placed on top of a piece of hot breakfast toast. (Personally, I like mine to be thin enough to get melty, but I believe most Danes prefer it to remain hard.)
Here is how to make this tasty Danish treat for your family during the holiday season!
TO MAKE YOUR VERY OWN PALAEG CHOCOLADE YOU WILL NEED:
3.5 oz. chocolate bar
double boiler or bowl that will rest on the lip of a saucepan
wax paper or parchment
flat cookie baking sheet
Note about chocolate: Almost any chocolate bar you like will work - milk, semi-sweet, dark. I thought I would be as "authentic" as possible by going to Ikea and buying this chocolate! It is very good by the way - but it is actually made in Spain for Ikea - so maybe not quite so authentic!
We use 70% dark chocolate in our family, but I think a semi-sweet bar or the Ikea product labeled dark chocolate (more like semi-sweet and made for Ikea in Germany) would be preferred by children as children tend to prefer a sweeter chocolate.
1. Begin by chopping your chocolate bars into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the more quickly and evenly your chocolate will melt. Place the chocolate in the top portion of a double boiler (or heat proof bowl).
2. Bring about 1" of water to boil in the bottom of the double boiler (or sauce pan). Remove from heat and let sit about 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Place the bowl with the chopped chocolate over the slightly cooled hot water.
4. Gently stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted. (Don't be tempted to hurry the melting process by using boiling water to melt the chocolate.) Be patient - the chocolate will melt!
5. Place a piece of wax paper (or parchment) onto a flat (rimless) cookie sheet.
6. Pour your melted chocolate onto the wax paper and immediately spread into a square about 10" x 12". Try to spread to an even thickness - but expect some unevenness in your slab. Your chocolate will be quite thin.
7. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden at room temperature. You will know it is ready for the next step when it looses it "wet, melted" appearance and the sheen is gone.
You will notice the chocolate is still quite pliable.
(Do not put it in the fridge to speed up the process.) The chocolate will harden at room temperature very quickly - usually within 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Select your cookie cutter, place on the chocolate slab and press down firmly making sure that all parts of the design cut completely through the chocolate.
9. Carefully remove the chocolate around the "cookie" shape before attempting to transfer the chocolate to the bread or a storage tin.
10. A dough scraper is a great tool for moving your chocolate from place to place. However, once removed from the wax paper, your chocolate pieces are easily handled by hand. They are very thin so you must be gentle but you should have no problem moving them by hand if you prefer.
TIPS THAT WILL COME IN HANDY!
Sometimes no matter how hard you try to make sure every bit of your cookie cutter cuts completely through your chocolate, there will be a corner here or there that resists your best efforts! A sharp paring knife will take care of the problem!
Simple cookie cutters work better than say a Dala Horse cutter! I figured I could live without the leg but when the head broke off, I gave it up!
Stick to simple shapes! They really do work best!
Your palaeg chokolade can be stored between layers of wax paper in an air tight cookie tin in a cool spot. Layer your shapes so that similar shapes are sitting on top of each other. This should prevent breaking.
WHEN YOU ARE READY TO SERVE PALAEG CHOKOLADE:
1. Cut your bread into a shape similar to the shape of the chocolate. (I usually try to make my toast shapes a little larger than the actual piece of chocolate.)
2. Toast the bread and while it is still hot place your palaeg chokolade right on top. It will begin melting immediately!
3. I like to lightly butter my toast before adding the chocolate. But I don't know if it is traditional.
If you don't want to go to all the trouble of cutting shapes, simply cut your chocolate slab into rectangles. A 10" x 12" slab will yield 6 standard bread slice size pieces of palaeg chokolade.
Toast your bread slice, place your slab of chocolate on the hot toast, let it melt a few moments and enjoy a little bit of Danish heaven!
Oh and I saved every scrap of chocolate after cutting shapes! They melt onto the hot toast just as well as their prettier cousins!
I am thinking of testing palaeg chokolade on hot buttered biscuits, scones, pancakes and waffles! If you decide to get adventurous and try palaeg chokolade on one of these other "breakfast breads" let me know how you like it. I am thinking palaeg chokolade on waffles just has to be delicious!
A HUGE thank you to Pam for sharing palaeg chokolade today! I know I can't wait to try the whole chocolate for breakfast thing, those Danes really know what they're doing! Be sure to check out Pam's fabulous cookie recipe swap that she is hosting on her blog - join in the fun and try out some new cookies this season!