Dutch New Year’s Rolls: Kniepertjes

You can read a bit more about these delicious cookies in a post I wrote earlier. I tried a new recipe, which is definitely much tastier than the other one, so this one will be my go-to recipe from now on.


Kniepertjes (makes 16-32, depending on size)
From “De Banketbakker – Cees Holtkamp”

170 g flour
170 g caster sugar
85 g butter, molten
170 g water
10 g vanilla sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt

Make a smooth batter with all the ingredients. Leave to rest for at least an hour.
Heat your flat waffle iron, and lightly grease if necessary. Pour some batter on the iron, depending on the size of the iron this needs to be a teaspoon, up to 3 tablespoons for a large iron. Cook until lightly golden. Immediately roll the waffle, small ones can be rolled around a wooden spoon, larger ones around a rolling pin or broomstick. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Serve filled with whipped cream, but only pipe the whipped cream in just before serving to prevent sogginess.

Apple and Apricot Cake

A moist cake, filled with fruit. The apple almost disappears, but gives the cake lots of extra flavour and moistness. It is quite firm, but not heavy. It is one of those cakes that is best when it is freshly baked. It is nice on its own, but would also work well with some whipped cream, crème fraîche or custard.


Apple and Apricot Cake
Slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

250 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
225 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 eggs
150 g butter, melted
225 g apple, peeled, cored and cubed
100 g dried apricots, cubed
25 g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a brownie tin with baking paper.
Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, eggs and butter together in a bowl, then beat well for 1 minute. Fold the apple and apricots through. Spoon into the tin and level. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until the cake is golden, firm to the touch and beginning to shrink away from the side of the tin. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then turn out, peel off the baking paper and serve. Or leave on a rack to cool down to room temperature.

Garden Update March

Spring is in the air, so it is time to get into the garden again. We had a garden makeover, so this year we have a lot more space to grow the things we want to grow. I think it will be amazing! Most of the work at the moment is inside, I did a lot of planning and sowed a few trays full of all kinds of different herbs and vegetables.



Babi Ketjap

Babi ketjap is an Indonesian dish made of pork in a ketjap-based sauce. Ketjap (ketjap manis in this case) is a sweet, Indonesian type of soy sauce. You can make it with tougher cuts of meat that you stew in the sauce, or use a fast-cooking cut like I did. If you want a spicy sauce, add more sambal.

Usually, an Indonesian meal consists of rice, at least one saucy dish and one dry dish (one of them with a protein and one of them with vegetables), and usually some sambal and a pickle (atjar) on the side.


Babi Boemboe Ketjap(serves 2-4, depending on what else you serve)
Adapted from “Kook nu eens zelf Indisch en Chinees – Nique van der Werff-Wijsman

300 g pork fillet, sliced in strips
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sambal badjak
1 tbsp oil
100 ml water
1/2 tbsp goela djawa
4 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tsp tamarind paste

Puree the onion and garlic. Heat the oil and add the puree, sambal and salt. Cook until all the water is evaporated. Add the pork, and fry until browned. Add water, goela djawa, ketjap and tamarind paste and cook on high heat to evaporate some of the water. Make sure you don’t overcook the pork.

Finished Project: Sock Madness 10 Round 1

This year I’m taking part in Sock Madness for the first time. It is a world-wide speed sock knitting competition, this year it has a 1000+ contestants. The first round is a qualifying round, you had to finish this pair in 2 weeks to be able to take part in the rest of the game. The next rounds, you will be part of a team, and each round the slowest knitters will drop out. The last round goes between the fastest knitter of each team. You only get the pattern when the round starts, and the patterns get more complicated each round as well.

For me, knitting this pair in 2 weeks was already a bit of a push, so I’m expecting I’ll not get very far in the competition. But it’s so much fun! I’m knitting things I would never choose myself that turn out to be lots of fun, I’m learning lots of new techniques and it’s incredibly social too, lots of chatter and helping each other and sharing tips and fun.
Click here for the official Sock Madness group for more information.




Sambal Goreng

A sambal goreng is an Indonesian dish consisting of vegetables or meat cooked in a spicy, red sauce. The one I made consisted of green beans and bean sprouts, but you could use all kinds of other vegetables (cabbage is really nice) or proteins (I especially like this sauce with boiled eggs). By adding more sambal you can make it more spicy, by adding some more tomato and use less sambal it gets more mellow, but keeps it red colour.

Usually, an Indonesian meal consists of rice, at least one saucy dish and one dry dish (one of them with a protein and one of them with vegetables), and usually some sambal and a pickle (atjar) on the side.

Trassi is fermented shrimp paste. In it’s raw state it is incredibly smelly, some people find it so smelly that they refuse to cook with it. But it does give dishes a subtle extra flavour that is really nice, and after you cook it out it doesn’t smell at all. I have found a brand that does give a good flavour, but isn’t too smelly. But in the past I’ve also had a brand that was terribly smelly, the kitchen kept smelling after I cooked with it and I had to wrap the package in a bazillion layers of plastic to keep the smell contained. So it’s worth it to experiment with a few brands.


Sambal Goreng (serves 2-4 persons, depending on what other dishes you serve)
Adapted from “Kook nu eens zelf Indisch en Chinees – Nique van der Werff-Wijsman

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp sambal oelek
pinch of galangal (dried, ground)
1/4 tsp trassi
1 tbsp oil (coconut, ricebran)
2 tomatoes
250 ml bouillon
250 g ingredient of choice (vegetable/protein)
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1/2 tbsp goela djawa
1 cm piece santen (creamed coconut)

Blend the onion and garlic to a paste. Heat the oil in a pan, add the puree, sambal, galangal, trasi and a pinch of salt. Cook until fragrant and the onion starts to caramelize.
Cut the tomatoes in cubes and add to the pan. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the bouillon.
Add the ingredient of choice, and cook until it is done.
Finish the sauce with the tamarind paste, goela djawa and santen. Don’t let it boil any more, it might split.

Note: to make this dish vegan, don’t use the trasi and make sure you use a vegan-friendly bouillon. The sauce is really nice with tofu/tempeh, to make a vegan protein dish.

Petit Pots de Crème Vanille

Delicate, creamy pots of loveliness. Don’t try to make these with synthetic vanilla, it won’t work.

The original recipe asks you to whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick, but if you do that, the pots will deflate a lot during the baking. I think it is best to either don’t whisk the eggs until pale and thick, but just to incorporate everything. Or beating them till pale and thick, but setting aside the mixture to let the bubbles settle before baking. The photo shows the pots before baking, you can see the foaminess on top.

Petit Pots de Crème Vanille2

Petit Pots de Crème Vanille (makes 2-4 servings)
Adapted from “Ripailles – Stéphane Reynaud”

125 ml cream
150 ml milk
1/2 vanilla pod
2 eggs
40 g sugar

Whisk the eggs with the sugar.
Heat the milk and cream. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod, add these and add the pod too.
Take the vanilla pod from the boiling milk and pour over the egg mixture while whisking.
Pour into ramekins and bake for 20 minutes au bain marie in a 180C oven, making sure the water comes high enough up the sides of the ramekin. You can cover the ramekins with tinfoil to prevent browning.
Serve at room temperature or cold.

Finished Project: Neon Berry Socks

Lace and cable socks in neon berry red sock wool.



Apricot Yoghurt Cake

A firm but light and airy cake with a good flavour that is really easy to prepare. It also freezes well. Try different fruits for variation.


Apricot Yoghurt Cake (12-16 pieces)
From “Das Grosse Backbuch – Kochen & Genießen”

1 can apricot halves (850 ml)
2 eggs
75 ml oil (something neutral, like rapeseed, or rice bran)
75 g yoghurt
150 g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
150 g flour
1 tsp baking powder

Grease and flour a 28 cm springform.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Let the apricots drip out in a sieve over a bowl. If they are whole, half them, so the bit of liquid in the middle will leak away too.
Mix eggs, oil, yoghurt, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and fold through. Pour into the prepared tin and spread out. Divide the apricots over the batter, with the round side up.
Cook for about 35 minutes in the preheated oven.

Treacle Spice Traybake

Mellow spiced, sticky tray bake. It is quite sweet and moist. Keeps very well, a few days is not a problem at all. And it would probably freeze well too. Try to bake it the day before you want to serve it, it tastes better when the flavours had some time to marry.

Treacle Spice Traybake2

Treacle Spice Traybake (21 pieces)
Slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

225 g butter, softened
175 g sugar
225 g black treacle
275 g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp speculaas spices
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 30 x 23 cm baking tin with baking paper.
Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin. Cut into 21 pieces.