This month the daring baker's were challenged by Francijn, who blogs from koken in de brouweri, with a traditional dutch pastry called Gevulde Speculaas which literally means Stuffed Speculaas. To me it was almost like a stuffed pie. The stuffing is an almond paste and the dough is seasoned with aromatic spices. We were challenged to prepare the spice mix, the almond paste and the dough. Sounds like a tough challenge?? Well, to tell you the truth, it was pretty simple and very satisfying. It is a delicious pastry with a simple almond paste and is something you have never tasted before. The uniqueness is in the array of the spices used, very traditional. For once, I did not change any part of the challenge to chocolate!!! And I am so happy about it. To me the dough was almost like a pie dough, the only difference being the spices used in it.
The traditional recipe calls for the use of egg in the almond paste for binding. I skipped it and added some curd and fresh breadcrumbs for binding. The recipe also called for an egg wash but I found a simple milk wash working equally good for me. I also reduced the quantity of butter and used as much required for the dough.
So here it is, the traditional taste of Holland. This is the best part of being a Daring baker..being challenged with amazing recipes from different countries. I am so loving it!! Hope you do too.
|My mini pie Gevulde Speculaas|
Speculaas Spice mix:Yields 1 tbsp
- 3-4 cloves
- small piece of mace
- 4-5 white peppercorn
- 1 green cardamom
- 4-5 coriander seeds
- small piece of star anise
- small piece of nutmeg
- small piece of dry ginger
- 2-3 1"pieces of cinnamon/ 1 tsp cinnamon powder
Dry roast all spices (except cinnamon)in a pan over low heat. Grind them to a powder and sieve them to make it fine.
Dry roast cinnamon and grind (if not using powdered form)
Mix all the spices and keep aside.
- 60 gms raw almonds
- 60 gms sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp curd
- fresh breadcrumbs(as required)
Boil some water in a pan and put the almonds for a minute. Drain and cool and peel the skin. Dry them well. Dry roast in a pan over low heat to remove any moisture. Be careful not to burn.
Grind them in a mixer with sugar, lemon zest and curd. Mix them well. Add breadcrumbs as required to get a sticky paste. Refrigerate till required.
- 125 gms all purpose flour
- 60 gms unsalted butter,cold
- 75 gms brown sugar(powdered)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp speculaas spice mix
- Little milk
Put flour, baking powder, sugar and spice mix in a bowl. Cut butter in dices and add to the flour mixture. Rub butter with the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs in texture. Add some milk to knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover with clingwrap or a plastic cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Grease your chosen pan. I chose my flower shaped pan and a mini pie pan. This quantity will be good for a 9" pie pan.
Divide the dough into two portions.(I made four portions as I used 2 pans) Roll out both on a lightly floured surface till as big as your chosen pan.
Put one layer in the pan and press lightly. Spread the almond paste with the help of a greased spoon over the layer of dough.
Cover with the remaining layer of dough. Decorate almonds on top and brush some milk on top.
Bake for 30-35 mins or till the tops are browned well.
Cool completely and cut in pieces.
Happy Tasting Holland