Why would you make something with dry, plain and boring biscuits if you can make it with rich, caramelly, flavoursome stroopwafels? Arretjescake is a traditional Dutch treat, originally made with biscuits, sugar, fat for deep-frying (either beef fat or something plant-based) and cocoa powder, although the exact ingredients are different according to the region, and the same kind of cakes are made in other countries as well. It is not a cake in the traditional sense of the word, and it has to firm in the fridge instead of being baked. It became popular in the Netherlands after the recipe was in a promotional booklet from an oil/fat/margarine factory. The “Nederlandsche Oliefabrieken (NOF) Calvé-Delft” used the booklet, made in comic book style and figuring Arretje Nof as the main character, to promote the use of their products (hence the name of the cake).
I had to search quite a bit for a recipe, because I wanted one that used real chocolate for taste. I also wanted it to contain no eggs, because I was to serve it to a company with some kids present (which can’t safely eat raw eggs, just as pregnant woman, the elderly and immunocompromised people cannot). I also did not want to use beef fat because I was not sure if there would be any vegetarians present, and I dislike the use of margarine-like products so I did not want to use plant-based hard fat for deep-frying as well. But to keep it authentic I wanted to use some kind of hard fat, so I used extra virgin coconut oil. It worked great and gave the whole thing a tiny, mild flavour of coconut. I loved this, and haven’t heard from anyone that didn’t like it, but when you are an intense coconut hater I can imagine that even this tiny bit of coconut flavour is too much. Futhermore I chose a recipe that did not use extra sugar, because using stroopwafels instead of biscuits makes it already sweeter than it would normally be.
It is definitely best to serve this cake in tiny portions because it is so rich, and either directly from the fridge or only about 15 minutes left on room temperature, because it tends to melt quite fast. The fast melting can be a nuisance, but also makes it extra tasty because it makes the cake extra melt-in-the-mouth. Because of the liquid in the chocolate mixture, the stroopwafels get softer and almost melt into the chocolate mixture, and the sweet and creamy chocolate and the caramelly stroopwafels combine perfectly. If you want to make this in advance, you can. Just make sure you cover it well and keep it in the fridge, it should last for a few days.
Inspired on a recipe from Dr. Oetker 1000 Die besten Backrezepte
100 g dark chocolate
200 g milk chocolate
75 g coconut oil
100 g cream
8 g (1 packet) vanilla sugar
400 g (1 packet) stroopwafels
Prepare a muffin tin (20×26) or a cake tin (25×11) by lining it with cling film. Use a muffin tin when you want to serve the arretjescake in small squares (as I did), use a cake tin when you want to serve it in slices.
Chop both chocolates and place it with the coconut oil and the cream in a heat-proof bowl. Place this above a pan with boiling water to melt everything au bain marie. Stir occasionally and take from the heat when molten. Add the sugar and mix well.
Start by placing a layer of stroopwafels in the tin. Cut them according to the size of your tin, I used 2 stroopwafels cut in halve and a whole one placed in the middle. Alternatively you can use mini-stroopwafels or chop up the stroopwafels and place a layer of this in the bottom of the tin. Pour over a thin layer of the chocolate mixture. Place another layer of stroopwafels, then again pour a thin layer of chocolate on top. Repeat until you’ve used up both the stroopwafels and the chocolate mixture.
Place the stroopwafelarretjescake for at least 5 hours in the fridge, but preferably overnight. Use the cling film to release it from the tin after cooling, cut with a sharp knife and serve immediately.