This Valentine’s Day dessert recipe is over-the-top good and it’s SO easy. Getting complemented on it makes me feel like I cheated. It’s a puff pastry cheese danish with the additions of almond paste and melted dark chocolate – flaky, chocolatey, and oh-so-decadent!
A breakfast-in-bed of this chocolate almond cheese danish and a cup of coffee or hot cocoa (and your special someone) would be a great way to start off Valentine’s Day. The danish could also be a wonderful finish to an intimate dinner.
I developed this danish recipe for Solo Foods using their almond paste. I’ve found that almond paste adds such a sophisticated flavor to any baked good. Here, when mixed with cream cheese, it almost tastes like almond cheesecake!
How to Create a Puff Pastry Braid
To create the braided danish look, start with a 1/4″ thick piece of puff pastry – roughly 8″ x 16″. (Though it’s expensive, I’m highly partial to the Dufour brand – the ingredients are the same that I use if I make puff pastry from scratch.) Cut one inch wide strips on both sides of the dough rectangle going 1/3 of the way into the center, as shown above.
Spread the filling and chocolate chips down the middle and, alternating sides, fold the strips on an angle over the fillings. Cut off any extra strips at the end.
It’s not a real braid, but it creates the illusion of one.
Chocolate Almond Cheese Danish
- 8 ounces almond paste
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 14 ounces puff pastry thawed
- a handful of fresh sliced strawberries optional
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer to break the almond paste up until smooth.
- Mix in cream cheese until fully combined.
- Mix in egg yolks, one at a time, until incorporated.
- To create the braided danish look, roll puff pastry to a 1/4" thick, roughly 8" x 16" rectangle.
- Cut one inch wide strips on both sides of the dough rectangle going 1/3 of the way into the center.
- Spread almond paste mixture along the center of the rectangle.
- Top filling with 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
- Alternating sides, fold the strips on an angle over the fillings. Cut off any extra strips at the end.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the puff pastry is nicely browned throughout.
- Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler.
- Drizzle over the danish.
- Optionally, place cut strawberries over the melted chocolate.
Another Super Easy Valentine’s Day Idea
These Valentine’s Day cupcakes are so quick and easy to make; you just need ten minutes total. Hint: The microwave is involved.