Tag Archives: vanilla

Dutch Boterkoek

Have I told you how I love the Netherlands? Well I do. At least once a month we drive up there to enjoy a day full of “gezelligheid”. When other people dream about a life in the hot sun of France, I dream of living in Bergen Op Zoom or Utrecht. I am not sure if there is anything I don’t like about the Netherlands. No wait there is. I don’t like their so called beer that tastes almost like lemonade. But that is kind of it. All the other things I like. Our monthly visit to Holland always ends with a visit to Albert Heijn where I can go wild and end op with a very high bill on groceries. One of the things I always buy is boterkoek.

Boterkoek is unique to the Netherlands. It’s a rich, buttery dense cake which is probably not good for your waist and heart considering the amount of butter that is used in it. But there is nothing like it in the world. Its not cake, its not a cookie, it certainly is not pie.  You should give it a go yourself, its quit an experience.
Like I told you I always buy boterkoek but it is finished fast in our house. So I was on making my own batch of it. From a Dutch friend I got a recipe her mother used to make and she made me promise I would only use really roomboter (creamy butter?) in the recipe. I crossed my heart and started baking! And you should too! Its such an easy recipe and for once we don’t have to think about our diets, right?

 INGREDIENTS
250 grams of all purpose flour
250 grams of roomboter (creamy butter)
250  grams of white castor sugar
8 grams (or one bag of vanilla sugar)
a pinch of salt
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
some lemon zest
1 beaten egg

Put the flour, the butter, sugar, salt lemon zest and ¾ of the beaten egg into a bowl. Its important that the butter is at room temperature and that you slice it into thin piece. Now mix together using your hands. You hear me! No use of mixers or kitchen robots, just your hands! When the mixture becomes a (I must admit greasy) dough let it rest for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. In the mean while butter and flour you baking pan.

Now add the dough to the pan. This is a thick dough so you need to push it a little in its form.  Brush the rest of the beaten egg over the dough and decorate using a fork that you push gently into the dough make stripes.  Now bake the boterkoek in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes. The boterkoek should have a golden colour and feel a little soft when you touch it. Let the koek cool down completely before removing it from its form and slicing it into squares.

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Fresh Vanilla Ice Cream goes Dame Blanche

The past few days, or is it turning weeks already its been pretty hot in Belgium. Tropical I would even dare to call it. Its so hot that we sleep with all the windows open and without sheets. We eat salads and things that don’t make me stand in the kitchen for longer then 15 minutes. My dearly beloved carnivore and husband even agrees to eat mozzarella with tomatoes for diner. That’s how hot it has been the past few days. And when its hot, I crave Ice cream. No wait, that is not entirely true. I crave Ice cream all year round, but on hot days I have an excuse to indulge myself in lots of ice cream. Midwinter people tend to look at me a little strange when I dive into the freezer and come out with a large bucket of ice cream.
When I was a little girl my mom bought an ice cream machine and made some mango sorbet. I was not very into mango at the time, so I just ate a little scoop and gave the rest to my father, who loved it so much that he brought heavy bags of mango home from work. It was actually the only ice cream my mom ever made and the ice cream machine disappeared onto a shell in the kitchen. But it was still in my mind and my love for ice cream made me ask my mom if I could adopt the ice cream maker. So that’s how I became the proud owner of a 15 year old ice cream machine! The hubby and I tried it out a couple of days ago with big eyes. Would it work? But never underestimate a old timer machine made in the 90’s, when machine where still strong and robust. The old lady made some damm fine ice cream! I can tell you, she wont be enjoying a peaceful retirement anytime some.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE VANILLE ICE CREAM

3 dl whole fat milk
4 egg yolks
75 grams of caster sugar
3 dl whipping cream

1 vanilla pod

 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHOCOLAT SAUCE

100 grams dark chocolate
20 grams butter
1 tablespoon of icing sugar
4 tablespoons of milk

In a large bowl add the sugar and the egg yolks and beat until they are doubled in size and all the sugar is evaporated in the mixture.
Now spoon under the whole fat milk and the whipping cream.
Poor this mixture into the ice machine and let it “cream” for 25 to 30 minutes.
When done place the ice cream for at least 5 hours in the freezer.
The downside on making ice cream yourself is that the ice cream is very rich and creamy, but also very soft. The problem is solved when you freeze the ice cream for at least 5 hours. Then the ice cream gets the hardness that store bought ice has.

In a small saucepan on a low heat melt the chocolate together with the butter. You could do this au bain marie, but sometimes I am just to impatient for that. I don’t like messing around with hundred pots and pan. So for me it works perfectly on a low fire while constantly stirring. When the chocolate has melted remove the sauce from the fire and stir in the icing sugar and the milk. Mix well and poor it over the vanilla ice cream. Top of with some freshly whipped cream and serve immediately.

Dessert Pallet

Inspired by my previous post on my New Years Eve menu and my promise to share more recipes of that evening, I decided to share my dessert plate with you today.
I need to confess that I am a little dish person. I just love to make little dishes for the aperitif and dessert.
Why? I have no idea. Maybe because I think its cute? Maybe because I have a collection of tiny glasses, cups, spoons and plates where any restaurant would be jealous of.  I think it is meanly because I get bored easily. When we go out to eat I order “the walk trought the menu” every single time and as a dessert I want “a selection of…”
A one flavour dessert does not bring me the happiness 4 little nibbles give me. So when you come to my place for dinner, you can be sure of the fact that I serve you a dessert pallet.

This time my dessert pallet consisted of 3 white dessert, rice pudding, mojito cheesecake and mascarpone mousse.
Three very different flavours, but combined together a marvellous trio.
The rice pudding I used for this dessert was a white rice pudding, which means I did not add any saffron.

INGREDIENTS RICE PUDDING

1 l full fat milk
125 grams dessert rice
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 sack of vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon of custard powder
a little bit of butter

INGREDIENTS MOJITO CHEESECAKE

100 grams of biscuits
50 grams of melted butter
4 limes
120 grams sugar
4 tablespoons of white rum
1 hand of mint leaves
250 grams cream cheese
100 grams of cream
250 grams mascarpone

INGREDIENTS MASCARPONE MOUSSE

250 grams mascarpone
65 grams powder sugar
2 egg whites
50 grams cream
speculaas ( A dutch spiced biscuit)

RICE PUDDING

Set aside 25 centilitre milk and bring the rest of the milk to the boil together with a nut of butter.

When the milk starts to boil, add the dessert rice and let it simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes on medium heat. Stir regularly, so the rice does not get a chance to stick to the bottom of your cooking pot.
Mix the remaining milk with the custard powder. This should become a thick paste like mixture.
When the rice is almost ready add the custard mixture. Let this boil for a minute under constant stirring. While you stir you should feel the resistance building up, because the pudding starts to thicken.
Take the rice pudding of the fire and poor it into the little pots and put them for a couple hours in the fridge.
Just before serving you can decorate the pudding with a little bit of light brown sugar.

MOJITO CHEESECAKE

Take a cooking pot with a thick base (very, very, very important!) and heat in this pot the sugar with 5 tablespoons of water. You are actually making a thick sugar syrup. Let this boil for about 2 minutes without stirring. Now add the juice and the zest of 3 limes, the rum and the mint leaves to the syrup. Take this almost immediately of the stove, stir well and place the pot into a bad of cold water. This will make the syrup cool a lot faster.

Now add the biscuits to a Ziploc bag and bash them into crumps. (I used a bottle of wine to do this. One has got to help themselves with original kitchen tools!)
Now add the crumps to the melted butter and mix it together. Now fill the serving cups with a spoon of this mixture. The biscuit-butter mixture is mend as the bottom of your cake.

Poor the syrup through a sieve. (don’t forget to push the leaves and the zest, so you get all that jummie flavours out!) Now poor the syrup into a large bowl.
Beat the cream until it is stiff and has creamy peaks.
Now add the cream cheese and the mascarpone to the syrup and mix it all with a wooden spoon. Then add the beaten cream and mix carefully, you don’t want to loose the lightness in your paste.

Now poor in the cheese mixture on top of the biscuits and place the little cheesecakes into the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Just before serving you can decorate the cheesecakes with some fresh mint leaves.


Mascarpone Speculaas mousse

Speculaas is a sort of short crust biscuit that is very popular in The Netherlands and Belgium. The dough of the cookie combines lots of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper. Other ingredients are butter, flour and brown sugar. Gingerbread is not the same thing as speculaas, but could be used as a substituted.

Beat the egg whites until the are stiff and have high peaks like the snow-white alps! You should be able to hold the eggs above your head without any accidents happening!
Now mix the mascarpone cheese with the icing sugar.
Add the speculaas to a Ziploc and beat into crumps.
Now add with a wooden spoon the egg whites to the mascarpone mixture.

Now start building your dessert. Start with a layer of speculaas crumbs, then mascarpone, crumbs, mascarpone… always end with a layer of crumbs!