Monday, June 05, 2006

Jer: Gevulde Koek

I knew I would love these cookies when Kate first posted them as I adore any type of sweet with almond as well as any variation of the butter cookie. Kate’s photo was so gorgeous that I tried extra hard to make these look nice – chilling them ahead of time so the dough wasn’t too soft to work with, etc. But when it was chilled too long it was too hard to work with and I was eager to get them in the oven as we had Nelson and one of his oldest friends Ian coming over for dinner. Upon pulling them out of the oven, I despaired that they were ugly and cracked and nothing like Kate’s wonderful photo. But the guys told me I was crazy and didn’t understand why I thought they weren’t good looking. Ian proclaimed they looked like artisinal cookies and I just shrugged knowing they were just trying to make me feel better.

Alas, they were delicious – both out of the oven and after an hour of cooling (half of them were gone before we sat down for dinner). They reminded me and Nelson of the Chinese almond cookie and Pete ooohed with delight when he realized there was an almond paste filling (he is a devout fan of the almond torte below). So a huge hit all around and they were all gone by the end of the night, but I was so bummed by how they looked. They were beautiful until the last step of filling and putting the top and bottom parts together. I couldn’t get the sides to “stick” without making them look like they were put together by an amateur. Kate, how did you put your two halves together and get them to meld without ruining the integrity of the cookies sides. I used almond meal for the filling instead of grinding fresh almonds. The consistency of my paste was much thinner than Kate’s in her photo so I popped it into the freezer for 30 minutes or so to thicken up.

PS, here is a recipe for an almond torte that we make pretty religiously in this house. It if from a book called “Cooking for Mr. Latte” written by a food editor at the New York Times. It is a fun and light read filled with great recipes. This torte truly gets better day after day in the refrigerator so after it’s cooled, put it in an air-tight container and snack on it throughout the week. For company, I sometimes sprinkle with powdered sugar, or dollop with fresh whipped cream and serve with fresh berries. It is magnificent with tea..

Almond Torte

1 ½ C sugar
½ t salt
2 C flour
2 sticks butter
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 t baking soda
8 oz almond paste (not marzipan but paste usually found in an 8 oz tube)
4 egg yolks
1 t almond extract

Oven to 350. Butter two smaller cake rounds (the ones where you can pop off the sides and separate the sides from the bottom). Mix sour cream and baking soda and set aside. Cream butter and sugar well, add almond paste in small pieces, slowly. Beat for 8 minutes. Beat in yolks one at a time, add almond extract and sour cream mixture. Gradually mix in flour and salt. Put into the two pans (we like halving them into two smaller pans as we like the torte thin as the exterior is delicious and so the thinner the torte the more exterior there is for every bite). Bake until top is browned (~30-40 minutes). You do want to overcook it. Remove from oven and cool (the center may fall or crack when it cools which is not a big deal and gives it a nice texture). Put in air-tight container and refrigerate until serving. Remove an hour or so from icebox if serving for company.


Anonymous Rachy said...

Yummy! Your guys' creations always look soooo yummy. I think you should expand your little blog to include shipping your yummy creations to younger sisters for the ultimate taste test =)!


06 June, 2006 11:31  
Blogger Jer said...

You're funny Rach. You're so cute that you check the blog out. Cate, Kath, Ashley -- this is my lovely sister Rachel, an aspiring film producer, who I LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook for. She loves everything I cook -- what more can an older sister ask for :-)!

06 June, 2006 16:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11 June, 2006 09:23  
Blogger Kate said...

Elaine you surely have to be crowned with the webmaster title!

Hi Rach!

Jer they look great. I am glad you enjoyed them even if you werent that happy with their look.
I've never had a perfect batch. I normally get cracks and I agree with your friends, they have to have that rustic look or they may aswell be factory made.
I got the recipe from an Australian/New Zealand Bakers book and on scrutiny their's have cracks too.
I have never chilled them before baking, I know this is the norm with pastry type stuff but the recipe doesnt ask for it. The only thing it does say is dont over cream the butter and sugar.
They also suggest using a fork dipped in flour to press the edges down to get a better seal.

12 June, 2006 07:05  
Blogger Kate said...

Oh and thanks for the Almond torte recipe Jer its going to be my next bake. You definatley cant get almond paste here so any ideas what goes into it apart from the ground almonds. Is it anything like the paste for the Gevuldes?
Also weve just spent a week in Brittany and ate brioche all week long. Has anyone made it or knows of a good recipe?

12 June, 2006 07:10  
Blogger Kate said...

One last thing!
Elaine lent me "Cooking for Mr Latte" in Brussels its a great, fun, read. Ive done a few of her recipes since. Her haricots vert and walnuts has become a regular here.

12 June, 2006 07:14  
Blogger Jer said...

Hi Kate! The almond paste is different from what we used in the gevulde koek. If you send me your mailing address in Brussels I will send you some tubes of my favorite almond paste. We made it for friends last night and I will have some this morning with my coffee :-)!

14 June, 2006 09:50  
Blogger Kate said...

thank you Jer, that would be great. I will email you.

15 June, 2006 14:48  
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