Showing posts with label Roze Koeken (Dutch Pink Cakes). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roze Koeken (Dutch Pink Cakes). Show all posts

Roze koeken

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some time with friends from Holland. It doesn't happen very often since most of us live in other states or countries, and it's not too frequent that we all are in the same place, at the same time. After the typical kissie-kissie greeting (three kisses on the cheek, left-right-left), we sat down, poured coffee, brought out the cookies and shared the latest news. And it's never too long before we start talking about food. "Hey, I found this great Gouda cheese online, I'll send you the link", "We have someone selling stroopwafels at the farmer's market. It's not exactly the same but it's good enough". "I'm really going to miss the Dutch store in town when we move, they even sell hagelslag.". Anyway, you get the drift.

The Dutch tend to be adventurous travelers, and you'll find us pretty much scattered across the globe and far away from home. We love to be out and about, but sometimes we do miss our food! So we sat, sipped coffee, and reminisced about culinaria neerlandica. After I brought out a big platter with suikerwafels and gevulde koeken, we started talking about cakes and cookies. I mentioned the ones that I had baked and listed, out loud, the many that I had yet to try. Everybody joined in calling out the ones they liked, we all went "ooh" and "aah", because they're all so good. But when I mentioned "roze koeken", pink cakes, I noticed that the exclamations were a little longer and the eyes sparkled a little more.

I'm, quite honestly, not sure why. Of all the cakes and cookies we have, the roze koek is possibly the least enticing one, skill-wise or ingredient-wise. No elaborate kneading, twisting and rolling needed as with the bolussen. No intricate web of nutmeg, white pepper, cinnamon, cloves and ginger to make a flavorful speculaas. The roze koek has content-wise very little to offer in complexity: butter, eggs, flour and sugar. I mean, don't get me wrong, you can't hardly mess up butter and sugar, but it's nothing unique or special. They do have something going for them, though, something very un-Dutch: a bright pink, almost neon, frosting! Hot Barbie pink, neon Peptobismol tones....just check the pictures and you know what I mean. The fact that you can adjust the coloring also makes them perfect for other occasions, like King's Day! Who can resist a bright orange cake? 

My own theory is that, from all the Dutch cookies, this is the most extravagant one, and with our Calvinistic upbringing, the excitement of biting into a roze koek is like rebelling, it's almost akin to sin. There, that rhymes. The cake itself is buttery, sweet and tender: the pink icing mixed with berry juice adds a slight tang and creaminess to the whole. Definitely worth a try!

Roze koeken
1 cup (225 grams) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (150 grams) sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest

For the icing
1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoons red raspberry juice (for orange, try carrot juice)
Optional: food coloring* (red for pink, red and yellow for orange) 

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add one egg at a time and beat until it's been fully absorbed by the mixture before adding the next one. Mix the remaining ingredients together and fold it through the mix until you have a thick batter.

Spray or grease a muffin pan (I used jumbo muffin pans) and distribute the batter evenly over 8 holes, or 6 if you want taller cakes). Fill each cup about half full, but not more. Place a baking sheet on top and bake the cakes in a 350F/175C oven until they are golden, about twenty minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the top for the last five minutes. Pierce a cake with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they're done. 

Take them out of the pan, and lay them, top down on a flat surface to cool. 

Mix the powdered sugar with the berry juice and stir well. You may want to add a drop of red food coloring if you are looking for that hot pink. or red and yellow for orange. Stir it well, add some milk if it gets too thick, and then ice the cakes. You can either dip the cake upside down in the icing, and let it dry iced side up, or spread the icing with a knife or spatula on top. 

Let the icing dry, then serve with coffee or tea. Feel terribly sinful for a couple of bites and then have another cake!

If you're wondering where we got the pans and the little crown party sticks, check out the pans here and the crowns here. We also use this food coloring. We get a few pennies from your purchase at Amazon at no extra cost to you which helps with maintaining the website. Thank you!