Low Carb Danish
I love bread. Oprah does too. But when your body tends to store them as flab it becomes forbidden fruit. Till now. Introducing a low carb danish bread that is super easy, super soft and super fast to make. With only 4 ingredients! Completely flourless and high in protein. Bread? Yes. And these delectable little monsters can be made in just under an hour, including baking time!
Eggs, baking powder, cream cheese and castor sugar. No flour whatsoever. It can even by done in 40 minutes, depending on how fast you seperate the eggs and if you give your cream cheese enough head start to soften. I know what you are thinking. There is sugar in it! You can actually omit the sugar completely and make a savoury one by adding a pinch of salt and some herbs instead of sugar. I made this batch for breakfast and wanted to top it with fruits and some left over guava cheese. It is still low carb (I didn't say NO CARB haha) considering it is flourless.
This recipe is super fast when it comes to baking bread because breads need time for the yeast to activate and then for the dough to rise. Some recipes even call for an overnight cold-proofing in the fridge. Sometimes, you just don't have time.
It's also known as cloud bread. Which, to me is more like puo luo bun. Except with no char siew inside. So glad I found this recipe and was surprised how easy it is. Reminds me of BreadTalk buns in Singapore and parts of Asia.
My partner said it reminded him of the An Pan Man.... what....?
The thing about baking is that some ingredients need to sit out on your kitchen counter like a bench warmer that is actually a secret weapon for the game. If you don't, it will adversely affect your baked goods. The cream cheese in this recipe needs to be softened for this to work properly and efficiently. Most would recommend leaving it out to thaw at room temperature. Don't shortcut this one by throwing it into the microwave. It will destroy your end product.
If you don't have time and didn't plan ahead and you want to make it now, there is actually a hack for it.
How to soften cream cheese fast
All you need is to fill a heatproof glass bowl with hot water. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes for the heat to fully heat up the bowl before emptying out the hot water from the bowl. Invert the bowl and completely cover the cold cream cheese, preferably still in the wrapper, otherwise over a small plate. Wait 10 minutes and the cream cheese should be nice and soft. You can also use a heat proof tumbler or large mug. Also works for butter.
I've used many hacks before. Putting butter on top of the toaster as it toasts bread. Leaving it on a warm surface. Or (hell no) microwaving on lowest setting. Nothing quite works as fast and as reliable this method. The thing about heated butter and cream cheese is that it changes state and it ruins your baking result. I learnt the hard way. Especially when you need your butter and cream cheese to be soft for the prep. You forget to take it out of the fridge in time and you're screwed. When I was managing cafe operations few years ago, we used to leave our butter out the night before, covered with cling wrap. That way, the next day, it is nice and soft and ready to be used as spread for quick pick up toast orders. And for our fresh baked muffins. And on days when one of use forget to do this, it ruins our mornings.
With this hack, you have just about saved the world.
And for this recipe this day, I used this hack. Works like a charm.
So here's the recipe, with some adaptations. Makes 12 danishes.
6 large eggs, separated
4oz | 113g softened cream cheese
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon castor sugar (also known as powdered sugar)
Start by separating eggs into whites and yolks into two seperate mixing bowls.
In the yolks bowl, using a spatula, cream and blend egg yolks, sugar and cream cheese by hand till smooth. You can use a blender to do this or a handheld/stand mixer (preferable) or whisk by hand. Make sure your cream cheese is softened. All ingredients should blend well into a smooth liquid without any lumps.
At this stage, pre-heat oven to 350F / 175C.
Add egg whites and baking powder into a mixer bowl and using a stand mixer to beat on medium till it is fluffy and stiff peaks form. You can also whisk by hand but a stand mixer is preferable.
Add fluffy egg whites to the yolk mixture and using a spatula, fold gently till combined with consistent texture. Be gentle so as not to destroy the air fluff.
Lay them out onto a baking sheet in desired shape and size and bake for 25 minutes. It should come out looking pillowy.
Note: The original recipe calls for cream of tartar. I have read online that you can replace it with baking powder or a few drops of lemon juice. I added both and the result wasn't too bad till the bread cooled down. It became very flat. Which was still ok. It was still light and fluffy. I wonder if I would have a different result if I used cream of tartar instead. Will try that another time and post an update here.