Posts Tagged With: dutch

Stroopwafel Cake

Well, I have certainly been on somewhat of a hiatus from my little blog of late, and with good reason!

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve posted blog entries on here where I say I’m on a health kick and trying to lose weight and, to be honest, each time the diet and exercise plans have ended up fizzling out despite my best intentions…

However, I’m pleased to say that this year I’m actually sticking to it and seeing results! I’ve been losing the weight fairly gradually as I can’t deal with depriving myself, but so far I’ve lost just 1.5 lbs shy of a stone since my 30th birthday in late January 🙂 I’m tracking my calorie intake using the incredibly useful MyFitnessPal app and have upped my exercise in the form of long power walks around the many beauty spots near where I live, yoga and small group training sessions at the gym, which I’m enjoying a lot more than I thought possible!

This method has really motivated me to keep up the good work as the extra exercise allows me to indulge in naughty things in moderation while keeping under my daily calorie goal, so I never really feel deprived. The extra energy and strength I’m building up is awesome too!

Anyway, the one downside of this lifestyle change is that my baking efforts have been minimal since the new year. If I’m being honest, I don’t really miss eating cake that much (I’ve learned that chocolate is the one thing I really can’t do without!), but this week I’m off work and was getting cake making pangs, so I thought it was about time I dusted off my whisk.

Inspiration for this recipe came a couple of years ago when I went on a wonderful holiday to the Netherlands, home of the delicious stroofwafel. For anyone who doesn’t know, a stroopwafel is a chewy caramel-filled circular waffle that’s just big enough to sit happily on the top of your cup of tea, where the warm rising steam renders its centre even more delightfully gooey (although they’re also just as scrumptious minus the mug sauna). These goodies are a Dutch creation but you can buy them quite easily in the UK (they sell them in Sainsbury’s, Tiger and B&M among other places…)

One of the many edible souvenirs that I brought back with me was a packet stroopwafel cake mix, and it tasted so good it made me want to have a go at making my own version. It’s taken me a while to get round to it but the results were worth the wait – the melting pools of caramel and chewy, crunchy top are to die for.

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INGREDIENTS – makes 1 standard size loaf cake

  • 170g/6 oz self-raising flour
  • 140g/5 oz caster sugar
  • 30g/1 oz dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 170g/6 oz butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 stroopwafels, chopped into pieces no smaller than a pound coin (would recommend using scissors for this)

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C (or 150 fan) and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter and sugars to a large mixing bowl and beat until pale, then whisk in the eggs.
  3. Fold in the flour, vanilla extract and half of the stroopwafel pieces, then transfer the mixture into the loaf tin.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and scatter the remaining stroopwafel pieces over the top of the cake, then return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
  5. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before removing the cake from the tin and eating. Why not try a slice served warm with some cream or ice cream?

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Chewy, gooey, caramelly…what better reason to go Dutch?!

 

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Categories: Loaf Cakes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Iris Tart

Our lovely and amazingly hardworking intern at work from the Netherlands, Iris, sadly left us a couple of weeks ago. To mark the occasion, I wanted to make her a genuine Dutch ‘vlaai’, which is a traditional tart made with fruit and a yeasted dough and topped with a distinctive lattice pattern.

Unfortunately, I only had a couple of hours to create one so I cheated and used an American recipe for a (supposedly) Dutch almond lattice tart with apricot jam that I found online and used regular shortcrust pastry instead of a dough that involved proving, kneading etc. The ingredients were pretty much all in tablespoons which was a bit frustrating (ever tried precisely measuring out a tablespoon of solid marzipan?!) and I didn’t have quite a few of the required ingredients so I ended up improvising and making up my own version. It took quite a while to cook in the oven, the top becoming ever browner while the middle remained soggy as I panicked that I’d incinerated it, convinced the finished product was going to end up an outright insult to the good people of the Netherlands.

Anyway, as is so often the case with cooking, it turned out fabulously and received lots of compliments from my colleagues. Despite its success, it’s certainly not authentic Dutch cuisine so I decided to christen it with its own unique name, Iris Tart, in her honour. I’ll certainly be making it again and will think of her when I do!

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INGREDIENTS

For the pastry:

  • 340g/12 oz plain flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 170g/6 oz butter
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 115g/4 oz butter
  • 130g/4.5 oz marzipan (+ extra if you wish to use for decorations)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 85g/3 oz caster/granulated sugar
  • 45g/1.5 oz plain flour
  • 150g/5 oz dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
  • Sprinkling of demerara sugar

METHOD

For the pastry:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan), grease a large heatproof flan dish with butter/margarine and place the apricots in a jug of boiling water to soak.
  2. Place the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and then rub the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until breadcrumb-type bits form. Add the milk and form into a ball of dough. If it’s too sticky add some more flour and if it’s too dry and crumbly add a splash more milk.
  3. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 25 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. About 5-10 minutes before the pastry’s chilling time is up, beat the butter, eggs and sugar together in a bowl.
  2. Grate the marzipan block into the mixture (you may want to chill it for a bit if it’s too squishy to grate) and then fold in the flour and soaked apricot pieces.
  3. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface with a rolling pin until it’s about 0.5cm thick. Carefully transfer onto the prepared flan dish and gently press down into the fluted bits. Trim off the excess pastry with a knife.
  4. Squish the offcuts back together and roll out again. Cut into 9 strips, each around 1 inch wide and long enough to lie across the tart.
  5. Pour the filling into the flan dish and then carefully arrange the pastry strips in a lattice pattern on the top – ‘glue’ them together with a bit of water on your fingertip if needs be.
  6. Sprinkle the tart with some demerara sugar and then place in the oven for around 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the filling is cooked through.
  7. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool and decorate with extra marzipan adornments if you fancy. Enjoy the tart cold as it is or serve warm with a bit of cream or ice cream.

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Categories: Other Treats, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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