If you aren’t Dutch, you probably have never come across this type of biscuit/cake – unless you’ve been to Christmas markets somewhere and decided to pay £6 for a slice.
If you have, then you will know how absolutely delicious this is, especially if you love almonds. If not, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Imagine a layer of moist almond filling, sandwiched between two layers of lovely spicy gingerbread. If you don’t like almonds or gingerbread, don’t read on.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all of your dry and wet ingredients.
Turn on your mixer, and simply mix on a medium speed until the dough comes together. Easy, right?
You can stop mixing once you have a nice and cohesive dough.
In the meantime, dress a 9 or 10 inch cake pan with baking paper. This will make it a lot easier to lift out the pastry once done.
Remove your dough from your mixer, and dump onto a surface. I usually put down a bit of parchment paper to make clean up easier afterwards. Sprinkle with a bit of Speculaaskruiden, and knead until the dough is nice and cohesive.
Like so! At this point, place in the fridge, and let rest whilst you make the almond filling.
Weigh out your ground almonds…
…And add an equal weight in sugar.
Add almond extract.
And one egg.
Whisk together, switching to a spatula once the mixture clumps together.
Like so! Cover, and set aside whilst you dress your cake pan.
Divide the dough into two halves.
Roll your dough out to 6mm thick. Cut the dough to the shape of your cake pan. Since I’m using a 9 inch square pan, I simply used a knife to cut the dough into a square shape of the same dimensions.
Gently lift the dough into the pan using your hands or two spatulas. Simply use your fingers to press it into place and fill the corners.
Use the remaining dough scraps you cut off to dress the sides of the pan, about an inch high.
Take your almond filling, and using two spoons, drop chunks onto the pastry base until fairly evenly divided.
Using a spatula, flatten out the layer gently. Try to keep a nice even layer of almond.
Roll out and trim the second half of dough. Cover the almond filling, and press sides down to seal. Brush lightly with egg wash. Decorate with whole blanched almonds, or flaked almond.
Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Let cool fully before cutting.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the cut end-product – as you can see, this baby was boxed up and went to a good home!
- 300 grams dark brown sugar
- 500 grams all purpose flour
- 35 gram speculaaskruiden (Dutch gingerbread spice - see recipe)
- 250 grams butter
- 50 grams milk
- 5 grams baking powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 egg
- 3 grams salt
- 250 grams ground almonds
- 250 gram white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp almond extract
- Whole blanched almonds, or flaked almonds (for decoration)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of water
- pinch of salt
- Dump all the ingredients for the dough into a stand mixer. On a medium speed, mix together until you have a cohesive dough. Pack the dough in clingfilm and place in fridge. Leave for 30 minutes minimum. You can make the dough up to a day before if that works for you.
- In the meantime, make the almond paste. Mix together the ground almonds and sugar. Add the egg and almond extract. Mix together with with a whisk until the mixture starts clumping together - then switch to a spatula, until it comes together in a ball.
- Prepare a round or square 8 or 9 inch pan with baking paper.
- Take the dough out of your fridge, and divide into two. Roll out the first ball to a thickness of about 6mm, and place in the bottom of your pan. Use the cut-off ends to create a small strip along the sides of the pan.
- Take the almond spice, and using your hands, sprinkle clumps of the mixture over the layer of dough, until it is equally divided. Then, using your fingers, press the almond spice gently in order to create an even layer of the almond mixture.
- Take the second ball of dough, and roll out to 6 mm. Drape over the almond spice.
- Mix together the egg, water, and salt with a fork. Brush the egg wash over the gevulde speculaas lightly. Decorate with blanched almonds, either whole or flaked. Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius. Before placing in oven, brush the gevulde speculaas with the egg wash one more time, lightly.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.