So here it is, the last month of the year which means everyone is festive or riding along the tendrils of everyone else’s festive mood. Personally I don’t celebrate Christmas, but the amount of foreign food specifically only consumed at this time of year is quite staggering.
It seems that Christmas brings out special recipes in many lands and I’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg here, though this time of year sweeps past so quickly that there will be another few more recipes over the next year to prepare from various corners of the globe.
The Dutch folks are no different and this cake has a special ingredient that might likely turn many people away. Marzipan is a staple of Christmastime in Western Europe and this cake has a whopping amount of it. Being half German I was introduced to the almond sugar sweet paste at an early age and I love the stuff. It’s also not easy to pick up marzipan readily in New Zealand so whenever I do I buy more then I should and just can’t seem to learn what ration means.
The many spices in the cake make it warm and the filling make this slightly indulgent, though it’s December so indulgent is the word of the month with the many things consumed.
Gevulde Speculaas – Dutch Spice Cake
Adapted from Holland.com
2 cups flour
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely chopped
2/3 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
125g butter, cold and cubed
4 tablespoons milk
2 eggs, separated
350g almond paste (plain marzipan)
Handful blanched almonds
Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, orange zest, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
Add in the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Next add the milk and one egg yolk and mix together until a dough is formed.
Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F.
Greaseproof a cake tin and halve the dough.
Roll out one half and press into the baking tin carefully.
Heat the marzipan up for 20 seconds in a bowl and add in one egg white, combining until fully mixed. Repeat with the remaining egg white until smooth and combined.
Pour into the center of the cake.
Roll out the remaining half dough and carefully fold over and pinch together.
Brush with the egg yolk and press the almonds into the edges of the cake.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden on top and clean when a skewer is inserted into the edges.
Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes.
Carefully remove from the tin and allow to cool fully.
Slice and serve.