Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eierkoeken

It's not even Easter yet, and I'm already eyeing the eggs. Not so much for boiled eggs, egg ragout or other egg dishes, but because lately I've been craving eierkoeken, or Dutch egg cakes.

Egg cakes are large, yellow, sweet, soft, round and slightly domed cakes. You can eat them plain, or spread with butter and sugar on the flat side, like they do in the province of Brabant. Or stick two together, sandwich style, with whipped cream and serve them with fresh strawberries. You can eat them for breakfast, for lunch, as a snack or as a late-night-i-don't-want-to-eat-anything-heavy-snack. Which, in that case, you should have two. Seriously.

Bakeries in Holland pride themselves on having the best eierkoeken (like so many other things): some are larger, some are smaller, some fluffier, some chewier......But very few venture away from the basic yellow, hint-of-vanilla, type of cake. Rumors exist of chocolate egg cakes and even raisin eierkoeken, but they wouldn't be so much eierkoeken anymore as just large eh...muffin tops, I guess.  Some things are just not to be messed with!

The trick with these eierkoeken is to carefully mix the dry ingredients in without losing too much of the air incorporated, and then letting the batter sit for a little while. It will be stiff and stringy when you scoop it onto a baking sheet and will eventually spread out, so do leave plenty of space in between.

Eierkoeken
2 eggs
1/3 cup of sugar
1 envelope of vanilla sugar
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt

Mix the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla until foamy and thick, a good five minutes on medium speed. Rub a little bit of batter between thumb and finger to see if all the sugar has dissolved: if it feels slightly grainy, mix the batter for another minute or two.

Heat the oven to 375F. In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and the salt. Fold it carefully into the egg mix. Try to mix it in within ten strokes: you are trying to keep as much air as you can in the batter. Cover the bowl with a towel for a good five minutes and in the meantime prepare a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Carefully spoon six large portions of the batter onto the parchment paper or the mat. Slide the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake the cakes for twelve to fifteen minutes or until lightly golden.

The longer they bake, the harder they'll be, so as soon as the koek is light yellow and bounces back if you carefully press down on the top, the cake's ready. Turn off the oven and let the cakes sit for another five minutes, then remove them from the oven and let them cool on a rack. The ones in the picture could have probably been removed a couple of minutes before I did: once they start browning, it goes fast!

It takes a little bit of practice to recognize the exact right moment, but there is no loss: even a little crunchy, the eierkoeken taste great and will, if stored in a plastic bag after they've cooled, soften up the next day. If you baked them so hard they've lost all moisture, store a slice of bread with the eierkoeken. They will have absorbed the moisture from the bread and softened.

Whether you enjoy your eierkoeken soft or crunchy, with some coffee, a cup of tea or even a cup of hot chocolate or anijsmelk, it's all good. Spread it with butter, eat it plain, or dig out the jar of Nutella from its hiding place and give the eierkoek a good swirl.....it's a great transportation vehicle for all kinds of spreadable goodies!

17 comments:

  1. Oooohhh moet ik zeker eens maken. Ben dol op eierkoeken. Lekker voor het ontbijt :)

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  2. Ja, lekker, hoor! I've never made them myself. Gotta try it!

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  3. Lekker! Have you ever made reuze mergpijpes? They are my favourite...

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  4. I dont know what i did wrong but it turned into a bread like something hahahaha

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  5. Hi there! The ingredients list asks for 3/4 cup flour but further down the instructions read to add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 3/4 cups of flour. Can you tell me the correct amount of flour for the recipe please? Thank you!

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    1. I'm such an "oen"! Good catch, the correct amount is 3/4 cup. I'll correct it in the text. Thank you!

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  6. Smaak was goed maar ze waren te plat.Hoe komt dat?

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    1. Dag Yvonne, kun je me zeggen of je zelfrijzend meel hebt gebruikt of gewoon meel met bakpoeder? Alvast dank!

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  7. Smaak was goed maar ze waren te plat.Hoe komt dat?

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  8. Tastes really good, but had the same problem as Yvonne they where flat. Looked good in the beginning but the last 5 minutes of baking they went all flat... What went wrong?

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    1. Hello Ester, would you let me know if you used selfrising flour or regular flour with baking powder? Thank you!

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    2. Thank you ladies! I am retrying the recipe today with both options to see where it could go wrong - thank you for letting me know and I will keep you posted.

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    3. Thanks Nicole I will try them again to.Wil je ook even laten weten dat ik je blog helemaal geweldig vind.

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    4. Here are the findings: I tried with both self-rising and with baking powder. Both spread out way too much toward the end and fell flat. Not sure why it worked before? So....I reduced the sugar to 1/3 cup, and omitted the salt: not completely, but I took a pinch between thumb and index finger. (Sugar causes spread, and salt breaks down the eggs). With 2 eggs, 3/4 cup of self-rising, one envelope of vanilla sugar and a pinch of salt, I had great eierkoeken - but a little flatter than I wanted! Then I tried the baking powder recipe, but reduced it to 1 tsp per 3/4 cup flour and only a pinch of salt and got equally good results flavorwise. However, these eierkoeken had significantly more height. Both recipes worked fine after the alterations. I also found that working the flour into the eggs needed to be done carefully, by hand, and preferably within 10 strokes so as to keep most of the air. Hope this helps!

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