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Monday, March 22, 2010

Bananensoes (Banana Puff)

So here I am, boasting how easy it was to make the Bossche bollen, how yummie they were and did I say how easy it was to make them, when somebody said: you should make those with banana pudding inside!
I'll be darned! We have something called bananensoes in Holland which is similar to a Bossche bol but with, yeah you guessed it, bananas. Check this out!

In this case I didn't add real bananas to the whipped cream because I had no intention to cutting the bol open, quite honestly for fear that the whole thing would collapse. But usually the bananensoes is an elongated éclair-esque pastry, with whipped cream and slices of fresh banana in the middle, topped with a white chocolate glaze colored yellow with food coloring and finished with brown chocolate drizzle (I'm sure there is a technical term for this but it eludes me this second).

Instead of splitting up the dough into two or four, I just made one whopping big soes. Just because.

Bananensoes
1/3 cup of flour
1/3 cup of water
2 tablespoons of butter
1 egg, beaten
pinch of salt

1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of water
1 drop of yellow food coloring

1/2 cup of whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of banana cream pudding mix

1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of water

Heat the water and the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then take off the stove. Add the flour and stir until it all comes together in a ball. Throw in the pinch of salt, stir in the egg and continue to stir until the dough has absorbed all the egg and is a homogenous whole.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, divide the dough in four (for smaller bollen) or in two (for decent sized ones) and place it on top of the parchment. Bake in an 375F degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cool on a rack.

In the meantime, beat the whipping cream, the sugar and the banana pudding mix until it's stiff. Fill a pastry bag with small tip and poke through the bottom of the soes. Fill with whipped cream. Heat the chocolate chips and the tablespoon of water in the microwave (30 seconds on medium), stir until the chocolate has melted and the sauce has come together. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, add the food coloring, then carefully take the cream-filled bananensoes and dip, head first, into the chocolate. If you don't want to get your hands dirty, just set the soes on a rack and slowly pour the chocolate over the top, one spoonful at a time. Prepare the dark chocolate sauce the same way and drizzle over the bananensoes.

Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate is solid and everything has had a chance to firm up a bit.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Bossche Bollen (Chocolate Puffs)

Have you ever started a project with certain fear and trepidation? Did you ever think that perhaps it was a feat too big to tackle? Well, I sure have. And one of those doubt-inspiring points was this traditional Dutch pastry called Bossche Bollen. I'm not sure why but somehow I thought that making the dough, filling it with whipped cream and then dipping it in chocolate was going to be a hellish task. Maybe because the pastry looks kind of complicated to the untrained eye, or maybe because I still am slightly uncomfortable with the pastry bag and tip. I much prefer a big spoon!

Anyway, enough talk. This pastry is so easy to make, it's not even funny. Check these bollen out. They're like chocolate eclairs but bigger, fluffier, with better chocolate and much more cream. These Bossche beauties have made the city of 's Hertogenbosch famous (or is it the other way around?) and are the number one pastry that is served with fork and knife and a handful of napkins. Because there is no way, just like with the tompouce, that you will not end up with whipped cream on your lap, on your tie or blouse and on your fingers. And that is just the charm of these bollen.

Bossche Bollen
1/3 cup of flour
1/3 cup of water
2 tablespoons of butter
1 egg, beaten
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of water
1/2 cup of whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar

Heat the water and the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then take off the stove. Add the flour and stir until it all comes together in a ball. Throw in the pinch of salt, stir in the egg and continue to stir until the dough has absorbed all the egg and is a homogenous whole.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, divide the dough in four (for smaller bollen) or in two (for decent sized ones) and place it on top of the parchment. Bake in an 375F degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cool on a rack.

In the meantime, beat the whipping cream and the sugar until it's stiff. Fill a pastry bag with small tip and poke through the bottom of the bol. Fill with whipped cream. Heat the chocolate chips and the tablespoon of water in the microwave (30 seconds on medium), stir until the chocolate has melted and the sauce has come together. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully take the cream-filled Bossche bol and dip, head first, into the chocolate. If you don't want to get your hands dirty, just set the bollen on a rack and slowly pour the chocolate over the top, one spoonful at a time.

Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate is solid and everything has had a chance to firm up a bit. Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee and some good company. And keep those napkins handy!



And this is what happens when you turn your back for a moment
and somebody else is with you in the kitchen.......Needless to say the Bossche bol
is messy enough to easily identify the culprit, although I wasn't sure if the whipped cream on their chin or the cheesy grin on their face gave them away. Both, I guess!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tijgerbollen (Dutch Tiger Rolls)

Tiger rolls or tiger buns are a typical Dutch bread, although it would probably be more appropriate if it was called leopard bread, as its crust appears more to be like leopard skin than tiger stripes. But leopard bread just doesn't sound as appetizing, does it? Eat these rolls warm out of the oven or re-heated: the crust will have a pleasant crunch and the taste will be optimal.



For the dough
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup of warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of butter, melted

For the crust
3/4 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt

For the dough, mix the flour, salt, yeast and sugar. Add the warm water and knead until a soft dough. Add in the tablespoon of melted butter, knead together. Let rise until doubled, punch down and divide into equally sized rolls ( I measure mine out at 3 1/2 oz each, leaving some extra dough to experiment with.)

For the crust, mix flour with water, yeast and the sugar. Stir, then add the salt and the oil. Let sit for about fifteen minutes (get a cup big enough because it will rise extensively!). Brush the rolls with the mixture, applying a layer of the paste on the top and sides of the rolls.

Proof the rolls for another ten minutes, then bake in a 375F oven for about 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.