Last week Marco and I made gevulde speculaas (literally “filled speculaas”) which is a type of spiced biscuit filled with almond paste. In case my parents are wondering, this is what Marco and I brought over for Thanksgiving! The actual recipe came from a box of Koopmans mix.
The only thing we had a bit of trouble with was the thickness of the bottom and top dough. Easy enough to roll out, but then it was too wet to transfer it to the baking dish easily.
But was it delicious? Yes it was! Especially if you add a small spoonful of whipped cream on top, with a dusting of powdered speculaas spices…
I was going through my photos of the holidays and noticed another good one to post. On the first day of Christmas we went to Marco’s dad and his wife for a lovely rijsttafel spread (Indonesian meal, translates to “rice table”).
For dessert, she made a delicious ice cream cake for us:
As soon as I saw it my eyes lit up at how fanciful it looked. And the ice cream inside was positively delicious. As the holidays are already a few weeks gone, my memory plays tricks on me but I believe it was cinnamon ice cream.
The talented baker did apologize for one detail, which would hardly be noticed. She created red and green leaves (with fondant, I believe?) to go all along the sides of the cake, but ran into trouble when the ice cream melted and dripped down the sides a bit. Personally, I love the little gaps on the side allowing you to look into the cake and at the leaves.
I’ll admit, I wish I had a slice of this ice cream cake in front of me to eat again.
Marco, Roger and I visited Brooklyn burgers and steaks in Scheveningen a few weeks back. Marco had a Mexican burger and I had a classic burger.
Check out Roger’s New York strip steak:
And here’s my apple pie with powdered sugar on top:
Interesting thing about this apple pie… I actually didn’t want it, but I got tripped up with my Dutch. I wanted to say “bakje koffie” (small cup of coffee) but instead said “gebakje koffie”. Gebak is the word for dessert/pastry. Since Marco and Roger had both ordered apple pie and coffee before me, that’s what she thought I wanted. Opps. It was good though! I just had to make room…
We went grocery shopping at the local Albert Heijn (this one being of the “XL” variety over on Elandstraat)
We baked cookies (see below)
We started working on Christmas cards… we are really behind on the international cards this year!
To mark the occasion of “five years in the Netherlands” I made lemon cookies. You can find the recipe in Dutch over at OhMyFoodness. It’s one of my favorite recipes to make. The cookies turn out very lemony and chewy – just the way I like it!
Five years! I couldn’t bake five years ago if my life depended on it…
“Doughnuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” — Homer Simpson (from “Marge vs. the Monorail“, season 4, episode 12). So much of my childhood was based around the Simpsons!
Here are a few more photos from Marco and I’s trip to Amsterdam a few weeks back – this time from the local Dunkin’ Donuts on Damstraat. Dunkin’ Donuts opened stores in the Netherlands at the beginning of this year. So far they have 5 locations across Amsterdam with plans to move into other cities by the end of the year, including nearby Zoetermeer.
It isn’t without controversy – Dutch political party PvdA was against Dunkin’ Donuts coming here due to the food being unhealthy (article also in Dutch). PvdA is Partij voor de Arbeid, or Labour party. Understandable, but I do not believe fast food should be banned purely for health reasons.
In an attempt to cater to local audience you also have locally inspired donuts like Dutch blue (far left), Tulip (middle) and a donut with the logo of Amsterdam (far right)…
and a stroopwafel inspired donut, with a piece of stroopwafel cookie on top and caramel filling. Sounds heavy!
Our six choices are above. Top row, left to right: apple crumble, toasted coconut and Dutch blue (Delft blauw pattern). Bottom row, left to right: chocolate rainbow, maple drizzle, and lemon.
I don’t like donuts with filling (I know – sacrilegious!), so the two donuts for me were the chocolate rainbow and the lemon donut. 🙂 Yum!
I was looking through my phone recently and I came across a few photos that I had taken earlier in the year when Marco and I went to Bagels & Beans here in The Hague. The first time I had ever had a mochaccino… it was pretty tasty! I generally go for black coffee, but this choice was not to be ignored.
A month or two ago Marco and I went to The Cheesecake Company on Torenstraat here in The Hague for — you guessed it — cheesecake. It’s not the first time I’ve blogged about them and it won’t be the last. Marco and I even choose this cheesecake for our wedding cake, it’s that good.
During this visit I just had to take a photo of the “wall of cheesecake” that is prominently displayed:
A closer look reveals that it is Instagram photos:
It’s a really clever idea to bring a bit of color to the shop, as well as advertise what you make and your Instagram account in general.
It had been a while since we visited so we took our usual white chocolate cappuccino cheesecake (this was the flavor we chose to ceremonially “cut into” at our wedding):
And for a light, fresh flavor we chose lemon cheesecake:
If you’re in the neighborhood, I highly recommend a visit!