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Siterklaas recipe: gevulde speculaas

 
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carina



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Location: the Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Siterklaas recipe: gevulde speculaas Reply with quote

As promised to Rainey, a typically Dutch treat usually baked around December to celebrate Sinterklaas (sort of the Dutch version of Santa) on the 5th of December, and also for christmas.

Marzipan:
125 gr almonds,
125 gr sugar,
1 egg.

Preparation:
Carefully grind the almonds. If you do this with a kitchenaid keep the nuts in the fridge before grinding them and use the pulse-button, otherwise the oils get beaten out of the almonds. Then add the sugar and egg and pulse a few extra times to bind the whole thing together. The taste enhances when the marzipan is left in a closed jar in the fridge for a few days.

Dough:
250 gr selfraising flour,
pinch of salt,
3 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg and ½ teaspoon of ground coriander seeds. Here most Dutch would use 2 tablespoons of 'speculaaskruiden', which is ready-mixed, but mixing your own works just as well.
150 gr brown sugar,
150- 170 gr butter,
2-3 tablespoons of milk,
For decorating some extra almonds (whole or split),
1 egg yolk and some milk, mixed together.

Preparation:
Mix the selfraising flour with salt, spices and sugar and slice the cold butter in it with two knives untill the mass resembles fine crumb (or use a kitchenaid for this). Add enough milk to combine everything into a dough and leave this to rest for a while in the fridge.
Divide the mix in two parts. Now you have to decide on the shape: either you make a rectangle, which is the original shape, or you mould everything into a heart-shape (also a very old custom) or you make one long bar and call the end result a ‘gevulde speculaasstaaf’ which is getting fashionable these days.
Either way, you lay one of your shapes onto a buttered-and-floured baking tray (or use baking parchment or one of those silicone non-stick-thingies). Then you mould the marzipan in the same shape, only slightly smaller (or a roll in the case of the bar-shape), and place this on top of the dough so you have approx. 1 cm of rim around. Cover with the remaining dough and press the edges well together.
Decorate the whole thing with almonds and brush the whole thing with the yolk/milk-mixture.
The custom is to cut 4x4 cm pieces to serve the whole thing and every piece has an almond on it, but some people also make a nice figure with their almonds.

The whole thing is then baked in an oven preheated at 175 degrees celsius, for approximately 40 minutes (I always leave it in a little longer) until the almonds are colored golden. Then you leave everything to cool on a rack and serve in little pieces.
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carina



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Location: the Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the subject of the 'speculaaskruiden' I must add that they usually also include some 'foelie', which I do not know the English term for. But when I mix my own spices I usually leave it out since I don't have any in stock and I don't really miss it.

If you'd like to help: foelie is a thready-bit around the nutmeg which is sort of yellow in color. Does that ring a bell?
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that you are referring to mace.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooo! Now that sounds good! Bet people don't make these every day tho.

I thought speculaas were the spicy cookies that don't rise much and hold the shape of the rolling pins or plaques that you mold them with. I have a few spculaas molds that I'm very fond of but have never used for cookies.

Anyway, you've shared a recipe so you're one of us now, kiddo!
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carina



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Location: the Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey - you're right, ordinary speculaas is just what you describe. Gevulde speculaas however is very different: not (as) crunchy like the ordinary cookies. They share a name because the same spices are used (speculaaskruiden) but the textures are so different.
Most people buy them ready-made in the shops naturally, but most cheap versions use something called 'banketbakkersspijs', which substitutes a large part of the almonds with groud up legumes. Not so very nice... And you don't get to enjoy the glorious smell of the lovely spices baking in your oven.

Actually, come to think of it, it was Sinterklaas who got me hooked on baking: he 'accidentally' delivered a speculaas mold and spices for me at my neighbour's, who baked my first batch with me... thank you Sinterklaas!
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