So I seem to be on a bit of a continental kick at the moment. My last post used speculoos spread from Belgium, bought back from France and todays post is a recipe for Dutch spiced caked stuffed with almond paste, called Gevulde Speculaas. Yes Speculoos and Speculaas are basically the same thing but from different regions. Speculaas are from Holland and are spiced cookies, traditionally served on Nicholas’ Eve, but are now available year round. Speculoos are the belgian version and the difference just seems to be less spicing. Gevulde Speculaas translates as filled biscuit and that pretty much sums it up, the biscuit component is more cake like and has a wonderful mix of spices, this is then filled with a soft coarse almond paste. It is supposed to be the height of summer but currently it is pouring down with rain and is sweater worthy cold, so this recipe seemed perfect. It comes from a wonderfully different book called “Warm Bread and Honey Cake” which has baking from all over the world including many regional specialties, something really easy to get lost in reading. Dont be put off by the apparent long list of ingredients a big chunk of it i spices, its really quite simple to put together.
Almond Paste Filling
150g Ground Almoonds
150g Granulated Sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
Egg (about 1 medium), beaten
1. Mix the ground almonds, sugar and lemon zest together. Mix in enough beaten egg to make a malleable mixture. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed (best after a day or two).
Gevulde Speculaas – Dutch Spice Cake
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardomom
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp aniseed
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp mace
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
200g soft dark brown sugar
175g chilled unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
300g almond paste
about 2/3 – 3/4 beaten egg
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, ugar and spices into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add the egg and and knead for a minute or so (the dough will be quite soft). Form into a disc and wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or up to overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 170C / 340F and line and grease a 9inch pan.
4. Mix the almond paste you made earlier with enough beaten egg to form a paste that is spreadable. reserve any left over egg for glazing.
5. Divide the dough into two portions, one about one-third of the total and one two-third.
6. Roll the larger portion, between two sheets of clingfilm, to an 11-inch circle. Line the pan with the disc pressing the edges to the sides. Spread the almond paste mixture evenly over the base then fold the dough edges back over the paste.
7. Roll the smaller portion of dough into disc just smaller than 9 inches. Moisten the overlapping edges with water then top with the dic of dough, gently press together to seal. Brush with beaten egg and prick all over with a fork.
8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, cool in the tin before transferring to a serving plate.