An ‘ontbijtkoek‘ is a Dutch spiced cake. The spices I used are cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, coriander and white pepper. You can find the recipe for ‘Speculaas Kruiden‘ here. It is best eaten sliced with butter on top. Yum!!
‘Speculaasbrokken‘ are another Dutch cookie that I love, the taste is SO addictive. It is baked as one big slab and you break it up in big crunchy chunks afterwards. They are basically a thick version of the speculaas cookies. The ‘speculaas’ spices are a mixture of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, cloves, white pepper, ginger, cardamom and aniseed.
Macadamia Lace Cookies or ‘Kletskoppen‘ are popular cookies in the Netherlands. They go perfect with your cup of tea or coffee but also with some ice cream. It’s a delicious crispy and sweet cookie. Usually made with almonds or peanuts but today I made them with macadamia nuts.
I recently bought a little jar of ‘speculaas‘ spices (they are a mixture of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, white pepper and a few others) and I was trying to come up with something I could bake that was different than the obvious ‘pepernoten’ or ‘speculaas’ cookies. I decided to go with a recipe mix of a Nutella Twist Bread and Cinnamon bread rolls. Instead of adding cinnamon to the butter/sugar mixture, I added some ‘speculaas’ spices. That was a great idea because the bread is delicious!
Mix yeast, milk, sugar and egg together in a bowl or measuring jug. Leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
Add flour and salt in a bowl of a stand mixer.
Once yeast is foamy, add to the flour and salt. Also add the soft butter.
Knead the dough with dough hook for about 5-10 min until smooth (if the dough is a bit too sticky add a bit of flour).
Take the dough out of the bowl, it should be a pretty clean bowl. Oil the bowl, put the dough back and cover with plastic wrap.
Place the bowl in a warm space, for example the oven turned off. Let it double in size. This takes between 1-2 hours usually.
For the filling combine the butter, sugar and speculaas spices until a spreadable consistency.
Once the dough is doubled in size, deflate the dough and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1 cm thick.
Spread the dough with the speculaas filling and roll up from the long side.
Cut through the centre of the roll of dough and twist each side over the other.
Bring the two ends together to form a circle and press the dough together to make a nice looking twist.
Cover the bread with an oiled plastic wrap and let it rise again until double in size.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Place the bread in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. You can cover the bread with aluminum foil near the end if the top browns too fast.
Let the twist bread cool on a wire rack before dusting with icing sugar.
If the dough is too sticky add a little bit more flour. It should feel sticky to touch but not so sticky that the dough keeps sticking to your fingers.
If you don't have Speculaas Spices, there are plenty of recipes to find that tell you how to make these spices.
Bitterballen are a typical Dutch snack (little round beef croquettes) and I miss them so much but I have finally found a good recipe to make them myself. It takes time to make but the result is worth it! This recipe makes about 20 bitterballen.
3 small cubes of Maggi bouillon (I bought them from the Dutch shop)
60 gram flour
60 gram butter
pepper and salt to taste
pinch of nutmeg
Season the beef the pepper and salt and cut into cubes
Add the 3 little Maggi Bouillon cubes to 1 liter of boiling hot water and let them dissolve
Melt butter in the pan, I used a Dutch oven pan, and add the beef.
Cut the onion in big chunks and add them to the pan, together with the bay leaves, cloves and a splash of red wine.
Pour in the bouillon until all the ingredients are under water. Set the leftover bouillon aside, you might need to top up later on.
Let the bouillon come to a boil and then lower the heat to low.
Cover with the lid and let it simmer for at least 2-3 hours until you can shred the meat with a pair of forks.
Remove the meat to a plate and shred it into very small pieces.
Pour the bouillon through a sieve in a large cup, you will need about 1/2 liter for the roux, so set that aside to cool slightly (you can freeze in the leftovers).
To make the roux you add 60 gram of butter to a medium size saucepan and let it melt (don't let it brown).
When it's melted, add 60 grams of flour and mix well
Let the flour cook with the butter for a few minutes, keep stirring.
Add a little bit of the bouillon to the saucepan and stir it in until you have a smooth mixture.
Continue to do this until you have a thick roux, this takes about 1/2 liter of the bouillon.
Take of the heat and season the roux to taste with pepper, salt and a pinch of nutmeg.
Add the shredded beef and mix till combined.
Cover and let cool overnight in the fridge.
Divide roux mixture in 30-35 gram portions and roll into little balls. Oil hands with some olive oil so they won't stick as much.
Blitz cornflakes to little crumbs and add this to the breadcrumbs mixture.
Set up a coating station with eggs in one bowl, beaten, and crumbs in another bowl.
With left hand drop a roux ball in the egg, coat it and then transfer it to the crumbs.
With your right hand, coat the ball with the crumbs.
Do this with all the little roux balls 2 or 3 times (so each ball has 2 or 3 coats of breadcrumbs).
Store and freeze the bitterballen or deep fry them right away.
175 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes for the frozen bitterballen
180 degrees Celsius for 2-3 minutes for the non-frozen bitterballen
Serve with some mustard
This is a very basic recipe for bitterballen. If you have a good recipe for making broth (bouillon), by all means, try making bitterballen with your own broth/shredded beef.
I will probably make the next batch using beef stock from Campbells (NZ) instead of the Maggi cubes.