This is one of my favourite Dutch cakes, always in the shops around the pre-Christmas time, and you may have eaten some at Christmas Markets. Went down a treat with the neighbours last night at our Street’s carol singing session.
- Self-raising flour (250g)
- Salted butter (125g)
- Soft brown sugar (150g)
- A splash of milk
- 1 packet of marzipan
- A beaten egg.
- 2 tablespoons of Speculaas Spices (or half mixed spice, half cinnamon)
- Flaked almonds or whole blanched almonds – a handful
Mix the flour, sugar, butter (just put it in a food mixer is easiest), add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time to get a soft dough, knead it into a ball and chill for 30 mins.
While your dough is chilling, do the hard part: grate your marzipan, it’s hard because it gets really oily and sticky when you handle it. If you’re fore-sighted enough, putting in the freezer first helps quite a bit. When it’s grated, or in as small chunks as you can manage add about 2/3rds of the beaten egg and mix it up so it’s quite loose and you’re able to spread it. Ideally, it’ll look a bit like scrambled eggs and be runny enough to spread evenly.
Cut the dough into two equal parts and roll out into a rough rectangle. Spread your marzipan/egg mix over it, quite close to the edges, if you do get a bit close to the edge, don’t worry, any of the marzipan that leaks out will get beautifully toasted and crunchy.
Roll out the other half of the dough and put it on top (Rolling it around the rolling pin helps) if it breaks up, you can patch it up, don’t worry about it. Squidge the edges together to form a seal.
Brush the rest of the beaten egg over the top and either scatter some almond flakes over it, or if you have whole blanched almonds and fancy yourself as a Great British Bake Off kinda person, space them out with meticulous accuracy in a grid pattern representing where you will cutting the finished thing into squares.
Bake for 30 mins or so at 200 degrees
Let it cool! Give it good 30 mins or so, otherwise a) the red hot marzipan centre will burn your fingers, mouth etc and b) it’ll be a right mess when you cut it up, with liquid marzipan flowing out and sticking to your knife. Vrolijk Kerstfeest!