Tag Archive for Egg

Pots de crème – café

These custard pots have a lovely creamy and smooth texture, are not too sweet and have an intense coffee flavour. Because no cream is used, they are not as heavy as other recipes. And I like it that the whole eggs are used, so you don’t have excess egg whites left. Instead of rum you can use whisky, coffee liquor, hazelnut liquor, or maybe even something like baileys or liquor 43.
Officially the recipe makes 6 ramekins, but I found that it makes a lot more. Next time I’ll probably make half the recipe for 6 ramekins.

Petits pots de crème – café
Adapted from “Ripailles – Stéphane Reynaud”

6 eggs
200 g sugar
800 ml full fat milk
3 espresso coffees
50 ml rum

Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thick in a bowl (choose a size taking in account that the egg-mixture will expand quite a bit, and the milk will be added as well).
Heat the milk with the coffee and rum.
Off the heat, pour the scalded liquid over the egg mixture.
Pour into ramekins and cook au bain marie in a 180C oven for 20 minutes, or until they have a slight wobble.
Serve at room temperature. Can be made 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge covered with cling film.

Buckwheat galettes with ham, egg and cheese

If you’ve been to Brittany (France), you’ve probably eaten them; these are also called “galette bretonne complète” sometimes. They make them a bit different over there, but since I need to do with the standard kitchen equipment, this is the way to go. Traditionally the buckwheat flour is used because it was the only grain that would grow on the poor grounds in Brittany. Nowadays it’s mainly about the flavour, it gives the galettes a savouriness that wheat flour doesn’t give it. And topping something with ham, cheese and eggs is always a good plan.

Buckwheat Galette with Ham, Egg and Cheese

Buckwheat galettes with ham, egg and cheese (makes 8)
Adapted from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

75 g buckwheat flour
25 g flour
large pinch of salt
120 ml milk
~120 ml water
2 eggs
25 g butter, melted

8 eggs
200 g cooked ham, sliced
200 g gruyere (or gouda), coarsely grated

Mix the buckwheat flour and plain flour with the salt and make a well in the middle. Add the milk and whisk into a smooth batter. Add the eggs and butter, and mix. Don’t overbeat, this will make the pancakes tough. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.
Shortly before baking, thin the batter with water until it has the consistency of cream. The exact amount will depend on your flour and eggs.
Pour a thin layer of batter in a heated large frying pan and swirl so that the mixture lightly coats the base. Cook over a fairly high heat for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Flip the galette over and break one of the eggs in the centre. Break the yolk with the back of a spoon, and spread over the surface of the galette, leaving the edge free. Sprinkle with 1/8 of the ham and 1/8 of the cheese. Fold two opposite sides of the galette towards the centre, then the other two sides, forming a square and leaving the middle open. Flip over and cook briefly to heat the ham through and melt the cheese. Repeat for the remaining galettes. Serve straight away.

Dutch Food: Coconut Macaroons

Easy cookies with only a few ingredients. They are lovely coconutty, very sweet, slightly airy, and chewy.
Traditionally these are baked on edible paper, but I’ve also tried it without, because edible paper is not widely available. Baking them on baking paper worked fine, but you did need to be careful to peel them off. In a normal sized oven you can bake them in 2 batches (leaving the batter for the second batch in the bowl on the counter), or use 2 baking sheets and bake them at the same time. Because of our small oven, I had to bake them in 3 batches, which wasn’t ideal. The batter for the 3rd batch started to split because it was left standing for too long, it came together quite well after a bit more stirring, but the cookies baked less well than the other 2 batches, so I would advice to make a smaller amount of batter if you have a small oven.

Because I already was working with coconut, I decided to try and make coconut butter. You make it by grounding up coconut in a processor for about 5 minutes, or until lovely smooth and creamy. It sounded delicious, but it was really disappointing. You need an enormous amount of coconut for only a little butter, and it didn’t even taste nice. It was very greasy and chalky, a bit like I was eating santen (creamed coconut), not pleasant at all. I also tried making coconut whipped cream, which wasn’t a success either. I just couldn’t get it to fluff up. So from now on I’ll stick to making coconut cookies and using coconut milk.

Coconut Macaroon

Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from “Blueband Kookboek Gebak”

125 g dessicated shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 egg whites
125 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
Edible paper

Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with edible paper.
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, keep mixing until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice, whip until well mixed. Add the coconut and fold through.
Use 2 teaspoons to make walnut-sized dollops on the edible paper. Space them about 5 cm apart. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, till light brown and cooked.
Leave to cool, then break the edible paper around the macaroons. Store in an airtight container.

Variation: use ground almonds instead of coconut

Dutch food: advocaat star cake

This cake breathes Christmas for me, because it’s luxurious, boozy, and star-shaped. You can serve it as an indulgent treat with coffee, but it is chique enough to serve as dessert. It does take some time to make, but it has to refrigerate overnight to firm up, so you have to make it in advance anyway. One downside: it contains alcohol, so it is not suitable for kids and pregnant women. It also contains raw eggs, so it is not suitable for the elderly and immunocompromised either.

Advocaat is a typical Dutch “drink”. It is made with egg yolks, sugar and brandy, and is often served in a small glass with a rosette of whipped cream, and a spoon to eat it (it’s quite thick). It is quite sweet and creamy (similar to custard), and has a slight kick from the booze (14-20% alcohol). Thinner advocaat (pourable/drinkable) is made with the whole egg and goes abroad. For some reason, they don’t like the thick stuff in other countries. This thinner version is similar to eggnog.

For my advocaat, I used a whole egg, because I had no use for the leftover egg white. And indeed, my advocaat was less viscous than the advocaat I know. Officially, you use brandy to make advocaat, but it works fine with whisky, rum, cognac and wodka too. I used whisky, because I didn’t want to buy a bottle of something especially for this recipe, and it turned out delicious, although it did taste a bit more alcoholic than the advocaat you buy in the supermarket. The shelf life is a bit of a mystery, some people say you can keep it for a few days in the fridge, others say you can keep it for weeks. To be safe, I would stick with the first. The recipe below will make way more than you need, either make it all and serve the remainder at cocktail hour, or make less. I made a batch with 1 egg (I weighed the egg and adjusted the other ingredients to that) and that was enough for the half sized cake I made. Make with 2 eggs to have enough for the full sized cake.

Advocaat Star Cake

Advocaat (lots)
Slightly adapted from Eerst Koken

250 g egg yolks or whole eggs
250 g sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 ml booze (brandy, whisky, rum, cognac, wodka)

Mix egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a heat-proof bowl. Place on top of a pan with simmering water. Add the booze and keep whisking until the mixture thickens. Directly take it from the heat and keep whisking until it has cooled slightly. Leave to cool completely before storing in the fridge in a clean container, or using it for the cake.

Advocaat star cake (for 8-12 people)
Adapted from “Blueband Kookboek Gebak”

4 eggs, split
90 g sugar, divided (35 g + 55 g)
pinch of salt
2 sachets vanilla sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
60 g flour
40 g corn starch
10 g slivered almonds
butter or oil to grease the tin

Preheat the oven to 165C. Cover the bottom of a 24 cm round springform with baking paper, then grease the bottom and sides.
Mix the egg yolks with 35 g sugar in a large(!) bowl until pale and creamy, until it pours from the whisks in a ribbon (use an electric mixer for this, it will take a while).
Whisk the egg whites stiff with a pinch of salt. Gradually add 55 g sugar and the vanilla sugar while whisking and keep whisking until the sugar has dissolved.
Scoop the egg whites on top of the yolks, together with the lemon zest. Sift the flour and cornstarch on top and fold everything carefully together. Carefully pour it into the prepared baking tin. Level the top and sprinkle over the almonds.
Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, leave to cool in the form for 15 minutes, then carefully take out and leave to cool completely on a cake rack.

8 sheets gelatin
2 eggs, split
100 g sugar
200 ml milk
250 ml whipping cream
300 ml advocaat
icing sugar

Soak the gelatin in cold water.
Mix the egg yolks, sugar and milk in a heat proof bowl. Place on top of a pan with simmering water. Keep mixing until the mixture thickens, then directly take it from the heat and keep whisking until it has cooled slightly. Add the gelatin sheets (squeezed, to get rid of extra water) one by one while mixing. Leave this custard to cool until it starts to get stiff.
Whisk the eggwhites until stiff. Whisk the cream until stiff. Add both to the custard, together with the advocaat, and fold together. Leave to set until it just holds its shape, but is liquid enough to transfer to the cake.
Slice the cake horizontally in half. Take the top half and slice it into 8 points, but stop 2 cm from the edge, to hold them together.
Pour or scoop the advocaat mixture on the bottom half of the cake, keeping the edge free. Place the top half on top. Carefully press the edges, so that the top opens up and forms a star. Dust the cake with icing sugar. Place in the fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours) to set.

Note: To make a smaller sized cake, suitable for 6-8 persons, half the recipe and use an 18 cm round baking tin.

Sandwiches

As most Dutch people, I lunch with a sandwich. Usually it is wholegrain bread, one slice with something savoury (usually cheese), and one slice with something sweet (usually apple butter or jam). Occasionally a slice of raisin bread with butter. But sometimes you want something different. Something where the standard “broodje gezond” (“healthy bun”: ham, cheese, boiled egg, lettuce, cucumber, tomato) or BLTE (bacon, lettuce, tomato, egg) or chicken sandwich (smoked or poached chicken, halvanaise, tomato) are not different enough. Luckily I stumbled upon a different recipe: toasted whole grain bread smeared with houmous, with slices of tomato and boiled egg on top, sprinkled with a little salt. A combination of which you wouldn’t expect it would work (at least, I didn’t), but it is delicious. Houmous sometimes gives me a bit of a “dry” mouth-feeling, the tomato prevents that, and also refreshes your palate. And the boiled egg adds a delicious creaminess to the whole thing. It fills you up well, and it can be made fast. So this has become my to-go sandwich for when I want something different.

Houmous Egg Tomato Sandwich

Salatteller

I’ve eaten this dish for the first time in Germany, hence the German name. It literally means salad plate, and I’m wondering why I’ve never thought of this myself, piling tasty stuff on dressed lettuce. It is very easy, there is almost no cooking involved (only the eggs), and just a little chopping, furthermore it is light but substantial enough, so it is perfect for those hot, lazy days in summer. You can make it extra easy by buying pre-chopped and pre-cooked things, and most of it can be prepped in advance, also in larger quantities, so it is a perfect buffet dish as well. And if you pack everything in separate containers, you can take it with you on a picnic as well.
Start with a lettuce and dressing you like, I used butterhead and a yoghurt dressing. Then add cooked green beans, slices of tomato, cooked corn, slices of cucumber, carrot julienne, kohlrabi julienne and/or strips of paprika. For protein (and extra jumminess) add cubes of cooked ham, cubes of cheese (I used Dutch medium aged Gouda), and quartered cooked eggs. To finish it, add a scoop of coleslaw or farmer salad. Place it all on a plate in a pretty way, and eat immediately.
A vegetarian version is also possible: omit the ham and make sure the dressing, coleslaw/farmer salad and cheese are suitable for vegetarians.

Salatteller

Raspberry Souffle

Lately I’ve been having a bit of a soufflé obsession. I mastered a cheese soufflé, but I wanted to make something sweet too. Usually you make sweet soufflés with a custard base, but I had some egg whites that I needed to use up, so I wanted a recipe that did not have any egg yolks in the base. Luckily, just that day a recipe like that was shown in “Saturday Kitchen Best Bites” (a BBC cooking show), which I adapted to my purposes. The soufflé is very airy and light, has the sharp and tangy flavour of raspberry and is barely sweet. If you like your desserts sweeter, add some more sugar.

Raspberry Souffle

Raspberry soufflés (serves 2)
Adapted from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

125 g raspberries (thawed if using frozen)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornflour

butter and sugar for greasing and dusting the ramekins

2 egg whites
1 tbsp sugar

Purée the raspberries and pour through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. Pour most of the raspberry purée into a small pan, add the sugar and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile mix the cornflour with the remaining raspberry purée, making sure there are no lumps. Add the cornflour-raspberry mix to the hot raspberry while stirring, keep stirring on the heat until the mixture has thickened and just comes to the boil. Take from the heat, pour into a bowl and leave to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease two ramekins with butter and dust them with sugar.
Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is glossy. Whisk the cold raspberry mix to ensure it is smooth. Add about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and mix through well (this lightens up the mixture), then fold in the remaining egg whites. Fill the ramekins with the soufflé mix, smooth the top, then run your thumb around the rim of the ramekin (this ensures good rising). Place in the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until risen and slightly golden on top. Serve immediately.

Dutch food: Dutch Snacks

I’m not really into the whole football thing, but I do watch the world championship matches in which the Netherlands play, to stay up to date. To make it a bit more interesting, I decided to make a Dutch snack board, with all kind of classic Dutch snacks and appetizers. On a traditional Dutch birthday party you usually arrive in the afternoon, get pie and a cup of tea first, then coffee and a bonbon, and then snacks and drinks; you leave at the end of the afternoon/beginning of the evening. Sometimes coffee/chocolate isn’t served, and sometimes (especially when the party is in the evening) there is no pie served either. In some families it is habit that the guests stay for dinner.
The snacks below are the traditional ones you could expect on a (birthday) party, although nowadays people also serve other things, for example all kinds of things inspired on other cultures, like tapas. The amount and variety of snacks served depends on how much guests there will be and if it is an informal/small party or something big.

Dutch Snacks

From left to right, top to bottom: smoked beef-egg rolls, cucumber slices, ham-herbed cream cheese rolls, salami-cream cheese rolls, cheese, liver sausage, salami-gherkin rolls, cheese with pickled onion, grilled sausage with cheese, devilled eggs, ham-asparagus rolls.

On the board

Cubes/wedges of Dutch cheese
The world-famous Gouda cheese comes from the Netherlands. It comes in different ages, ranging from young (quite soft, creamy and mild) via matured to extra old (hard, crumbly, piquant). There are also many cheeses available that have an addition, for example cumin, clove, fenugreek or nettles; nowadays lots of cheesemakers also experiment with other flavours like pesto, herb/spice mixes and wasabi. I would suggest to serve a young mature (a cheese that everyone likes) and something special in addition. Unfortunately, the name Gouda isn’t protected, so abroad most Gouda doesn’t taste like it should. If you want to try real Dutch Gouda, look for ones that are called “Noord-Hollandse Gouda” (Noord-Holland is a province in the Netherlands), “Boerenkaas” (farmhouse cheese) and “Gouda-Holland”, these have a Protected Geographical Indication status, which means that they can only be made in the Netherlands and can only use milk produced by Dutch cows.

Garnished cubes of cheese
Use a cocktail stick to garnish cubes of cheese with pickled onion (on the board), gherkin, olives, confit ginger, pineapple, mandarin, peach or grape.

Slices of sausage
You cannot have a Dutch snack board without sausage. There are many kinds of sausages available in the Netherlands, for example “gekookte worst” (literally cooked sausage, similar to rookworst or Frankfurters, but always served cold), “leverworst” (literally liver sausage, abroad sometimes known as liverwurst; a finely ground sausage made with pork liver, meat, fat and spices; available firm (as on the board), or spreadable (often eaten as bread or cracker topping)), “metworst” and “droge worst” (literally dried sausage; spiced air-dried pork sausage, similar to salami, lots of regional varieties available), “grill worst” (grilled sausage, can be made with different kinds of meat, the outside is liberally spiced, can contain bits of cheese (like on the board) or sateh sauce) or “Zeeuws spek” (bacon from the Dutch province Zeeland, bacon marinated in a spice mixture and grilled).

Rolls
The thinly sliced cold meats that we generally use in the Netherlands as a bread topping are also great for making snacks. Salami can be filled with a tiny gherkin (or quarter larger gherkins lenghtways), or can be spread with herbed cream cheese and rolled. Ham can be filled with some cooked white asparagus, either from a jar or freshly cooked, or can be spread with herbed cream cheese and rolled. Rookvlees (literally smoked meat, salted smoked beef) can be filled with quartered cooked eggs. All these rolls can either be served with a cocktail stick pricked in them, or with a container of cocktail sticks on the side, so that people can prick the snacks they choose themselves. Without cocktail sticks these snacks are a bit unwieldy.

Vegetables
Commonly a few slices of cucumber. Sometimes more vegetables (think crudité) are given with one or more dips. There are dipping sauce mixes available in the supermarkets, or some people make their own simple yoghurt/mayo dip.

Devilled eggs
I make them by taking out the yolks from halved boiled eggs, mashing them with some mayonnaise to make a thick paste, season with salt and pepper and scoop this back in the egg whites. To make them a bit more posh you could add some chopped fresh herbs like parsley and chives, and pipe the filling instead of scooping it into the egg whites. Over here some more variations can be found.

Not on the board

These snacks are commonly served as well, but weren’t on my board, because it only was for a few people.

Savoury snacks
For example different flavours of potato chips, different kinds and flavours of nuts, salty biscuits, pretzels, cheese straws and cheese palmiers (we call them cheese butterflies).

Herring on rye bread
You can put both salted and pickled herring on rye bread. Some people add some raw onions on top, but not everyone likes this.

Small toasts/crackers with topping
There are lots of different crackers available in the supermarkets. The most well known are melba toast and water biscuit/saltine crackers. Toppings can be all kinds of things, for example cheeses (brie, camenbert, port salut, roquefort, etc), salads, pate, (smoked) fish or ossenworst (raw beef sausage). Sometimes these “toastjes” (literally small toasts) are pre-made by the host, but usually the toasts and toppings are placed on the table so people can help themselves.

Raw-ham melon rolls
I think this combination became more popular in the seventies or eighties, when foreign flavour combinations became more popular, and these ingredients became available as well. I like this one a lot, because it is lighter and fresher than most of the other snacks. Unfortunately, I could not find a nice, ripe melon, so I could not make this for my snack board.

A warm snack
Often there is a warm snack for the end of the afternoon. This can be a “bitterbal” or something else from the deep-fryer, small frankfurters with something to dip them in (usually mustard and/or curry sauce), or small meatballs (sometimes with sateh sauce).

Cheese souffle

Soufflés are known as one of the most difficult things that can be made in the kitchen. Luckily, there are also many people that claim that it isn’t as hard as it seems, for example Harold McGee. So I decided to give it a go myself, to see if I was indeed setting myself up for failure, or for something delicious. Because I had some left-over cheese, I decided to make a cheese soufflé, but you can flavour a soufflé with all kinds of things, and you can make sweet ones as well (which I might give a try soon).
Soufflés are pure science, they rise because the air that is trapped in the bubbles that you created by whipping egg white and enforcing it with something like a bechamel or a custard heats up and therefore expands. Also, water from the bubble walls will evaporate into the bubbles, turning into steam, which occupies more space than the water, making the soufflé rise even further. Because it is confined by the ramekin, it can only go in one direction: up. Unfortunately, the same law of nature (the volume occupied by a given weight of gas is proportional to its temperature) dictates that a soufflé most certainly will sink, because the air will cool down. There are two things you can do to prevent this sinking: the first is bringing the soufflés from the oven to table as fast as possible, because the more time passes, the more the soufflé will sink. And the other thing is to alter the base. A stiffer base will make firmer walls for the air bubbles, which make it harder for the soufflé to rise, but also to sink again. A less stiff base will make less firm walls for the air bubbles, causing a greater rise and a faster sink. An interesting fact: when you put a deflated soufflé in the oven, it will rise again (but will completely overcook, which isn’t tasty) because you heat up the air again. The recipe below is a bit in between, it does sink a bit after taking it from the oven, but will stay nice and airy.

I was pleasantly surprised by these soufflés. You make them with easy techniques like making a bechamel and folding whipped egg whites into something, so if you master those techniques, making a soufflé is not difficult at all. Also, I did not have any trouble with them rising, and they didn’t sink that much after removing from the oven. Furthermore, they were very tasty. They are very cheesy, but in a light way because of the air bubbles. And it makes a perfect luxurious but not too difficult appetizer for a dinner party.

Cheese Souffle

Cheese soufflé (makes 2)
Adapted from BBC Food

15 g butter + extra for greasing
15 g flour
75 ml milk
1/2 tsp mustard
salt and pepper
45 g cheese, grated (gouda, parmesan, cheddar, anything tasty that melts well)
2 eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease two ramekins with butter.
Make a bechamel. Melt the butter in a non-stick sauce pan. Add the flour and stir with a silicone spatula until you have a smooth paste. Cook on very low heat for a minute or so. Add the milk splash by splash, stirring well in between each addition to prevent lumps. Add mustard, salt and pepper, cheese and stir well. Taste and add extra mustard/salt/pepper if necessary (it should be a bit overseasoned to compensate for the bland egg whites you will fold in). Stir in the egg yolks and set aside.
Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Take about 1/3 and mix it in with the bechamel. Then take the other 2/3 and fold it in, careful but fast (according to McGee, whipped egg whites will deflate more when you fold slowly). Immediately scoop the mixture in the two prepared ramekins, place into the preheated oven and bake for about 15-17 minutes, or until risen and golden on top. Bring them to the table as fast as possible to prevent excessive deflating.

Egg Curry

It may seem a little weird to put boiled eggs in a curry sauce, but it works very well. The spiced, slightly acidic sauce contrasts beautifully with the rich, creamy and mild taste of the eggs. Serve with rice, naan or chapatis, and a raita or kachumbar.

Egg Curry

Egg curry (serves 4)
Slightly adapted from Rick Stein’s India

6 eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil
small handfull of fresh curry leaves (omit if you can’t find them)
1 tsp fennel seeds
250 g onion, sliced
2 dried Kashmiri chillies (see note)
20 g ginger, finely chopped
20 g garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
400 g tomato passata
1/2 tsp salt
Optional: some chopped fresh coriander, to serve

Boil the eggs using your preferred cooking method. Officially, they should be hard-boiled, but I like to keep them quite soft, because they will cook some more when simmered in the sauce later on. Peel them and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and fennel seeds and fry for 30 seconds, then add the onion and fry until soft and golden (about 10 minutes). Add the dried chillies, ginger and garlic, fry for 3 minutes, then stir in the ground coriander, cumin, black pepper and turmeric, and fry for 30 seconds (keep an eye on it, because it is quite sensitive to catching and burning). Then add the passata and the salt, simmer for about 10 minutes until rich and reduced. Add the eggs (whole), put a lid on the pan and simmer for 4-5 minutes to heat the eggs through.
Sprinkle with the fresh coriander (if using) and serve immediately

Note: Dried chillies are kind of a Russian roulette: you never know when they make a dish turn out inedible hot. Furthermore there are many different kinds of (dried) chillies, that all have different levels of spiciness. That is why I don’t use them myself, I use a teaspoon of sambal instead, because it is a lot milder and I know exactly how spicy it will be. Go ahead and use something you have available and to your taste.