Showing posts with label Bossche Bollen (Dutch Chocolate Puffs). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bossche Bollen (Dutch Chocolate Puffs). Show all posts

Bossche Bollen

Anytime we travel by train in the Netherlands, I always check to see if, by chance, Den Bosch station is on the route. Ever since I found out that the pastry store of Jan de Groot is right outside the station, I try to stop in and have their signature pastry: the Bossche bol. I take my research very seriously! ;-) Their iconic pastries are like chocolate eclairs but bigger, fluffier, rounder, with better chocolate and much more cream. These Bossche beauties have made the city of 's Hertogenbosch famous (or is it the other way around?) and are the number one pastry that is served with a fork and knife* and a handful of napkins. Because there is no way, just like with the tompouce, that you will not end up with whipped cream on your lap, on your tie or blouse, and on your fingers. And that is just the charm of these bollen.

Now, these come together fairly quickly and are not all that hard to make, so give it a try! And if they don't come out looking exactly the same as Jan de Groot's - not to worry. Practice makes perfect - and it's better to have a funny shaped Bossche bol than no Bossche bol. Right? Right!

Bossche Bollen
For the dough:
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
3 tablespoons (50 grams) butter
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (75 grams) all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten

For the filling:
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
2 large tablespoons powdered sugar

For the glaze:
1/3 cup (75 ml) whipping cream
1 cup (125 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat the water and the butter and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then take off the stove. Add the flour and stir until it all comes together in a ball. Let it cool a little bit (just a few minutes), then stir in the eggs a few spoonfuls at a time, and continue to stir until the dough has absorbed all the egg and is a homogenous whole.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, divide the dough in four and place it on top of the parchment. Bake in a 375F/190C degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cool on a rack. As they cool, they will deflate some, but not to worry. 

In the meantime, beat the whipping cream and the sugar until stiff. Fill a pastry bag with a small tip and poke through the bottom of the bol. Cup the pastry, bottom up, in your hand, and fill with whipped cream. It will puff up nicely and give a round shape to the pastry.

Heat the cream on the stove to boiling, then pull it off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Let them melt, and stir the whole thing into a sauce. Let it cool for about 10 minutes or until lukewarm, then carefully take the cream-filled Bossche bol and dip, head first, into the chocolate. If you don't want to get your hands dirty, just set the bollen on a rack and slowly pour the chocolate over the top, one spoonful at a time. I have had the best luck with pouring over, for an even coating. 

Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate is solid and everything has had a chance to firm up a bit. Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee and some good company. And keep those napkins handy!

And this is what happens when you turn your back for a moment and somebody else is with you in the kitchen.......Needless to say, the Bossche bol is messy enough to easily identify the culprit, although I wasn't sure if the whipped cream on their chin or the cheesy grin on their face gave them away. Both, I guess!

* purists will shudder at the thought of being given a knife and fork! They turn the pastry upside down and just bite into it.