White Chocolate Cream Cheese Danish Braid with Tart Apples & Walnuts {And a Giveaway from Le Creuset}

That’s a mouthful…and in more ways than one.

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I had decided months ago that once I got my new range (a beauty I have dubbed Gilda from KitchenAid), one of the first things I was going to make was another Danish Braid.  I love them, Jon loves them…heck, I don’t even know anyone that has ever said “Danish?  No thanks.”

imageSo, I’ve had the range installed for six days now.  It only took three before the braid was in the oven, though.  I used Gilda’s wonderful Proofing Feature (versus lugging the dough out to my care to raise).  Each side of the oven (Gilda has 2 ovens!) is equipped with a proofer that holds a steady 100 degree temperature.  Not only that, but there is also a Steamer in the oven.  No need to be a bread genius, KitchenAid has it set up already for breads, meats, casseroles, desserts – you name it, it knows what to do.  Then again, if you want to be the boss, you can manually override the pre-set steam and tell it exactly what you want it to do.  Being my first steaming experience, I went the safe route and let Gilda do all the thinking.

She is a genius, that Gilda.  Crispy, flaky, golden brown outside, chewy and soft inside.  Perfection.

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I’ve already written a post on the how-tos of making the danish dough and braiding it.  It’s pretty in-depth, and I hope you will give it a shot.  Honestly, it’s not complicated, it just takes time – most of which has you sitting on butt eating popcorn while watching The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. (Quite possibly the longest movie ever, and definitely the longest with Princess Buttercup in it, who somehow turned Swedish when I wasn’t looking.)

Anyway – you can do it.  It’s a gratifying experience, watching the dough come together as you complete each fold, and then filling it before you carefully braid the sides across that luxurious filling.

Speaking of the filling – you’ll want the recipe for that.  It’s rich and yet subtle at the same time, sweet, but not too sweet, nutty, tart, and exactly what you want with a mid-morning cup of coffee.

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See that pretty little French Press up there?  It’s Le Creuset.  It’s from their new Café Collection, and it is gorgeous.  The color is called Truffle – very appropriate in my opinion. I’ve paired it here with the other color from the Café line up – Red.  The collection has the cups and saucers, the cutest spoons, the French Press, and even a storage container for the coffee.

I love the looks of it, the feel of it.  Plus, if you a re as big of a Le Creuset junkie as I am, you’ll understand the NEED for it.

Am I right?

Must. Collect. Every. Piece.

When the show Hoarders comes to find me, they’ll have to dig me out of years worth of enameled cast iron from Le Creuset and KitchenAid mixers.

There are worse ways to go down.

Now, how would you like to win that sweet set of Le Creuset Café Collection?

You can.

For  chances to win, do any (or all) of the following, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each item you do:

There you go – 6 chances to win a great Le Creuset Café Collection!

Contest is open until April 22, 2012, 11:59pm EST.   Open to US Addresses only.  Winner will be notified via email at end of contest.

Disclaimer: Prize is courtesy of and shipped by Le Creuset.  I was supplied a review copy but was not compensated for this post.  My range and new kitchen appliances were supplied by KitchenAid, and all opinions are my own.