Gevulde Speculaas/Dutch Almond-Filled Gingerbread [Daring Bakers]

This was a surprising challenge. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Dutch cuisine. Well, making a spicy gingerbread from scratch (down to the marzipan-like filling) can make you change your mind. The resulting gingerbread wasn’t tough and cardboardlike; it was cookie-like, crumbly, and fragrant like you can’t believe. And the taste! It had a bite, and a lingering pungency that lasted for hours. Not that anyone was complaining.

Francijn of Koken in de Brouwerij was our January 2013 Daring Bakers’ Hostess and she challenged us to make the traditional Dutch pastry, Gevulde Speculaas from scratch! That includes making our own spice mix, almond paste and dough! Delicious!

The key had to be the blend of spices. Here’s what went into it:

  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/2  tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (yep, you read that correctly; gives it some really great subtle heat)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 tsp Saigon cinnamon

Francijn, this month’s host, also suggested ground coriander and anise, but I had neither. I don’t think my gingerbread missed them at all. I also used all of the spice mix (approx 8 tsp) when the recipe called for a bit less (2 tbsp or 6 tsp). Hey, I like my gingerbread HOT.

Photos after the jump.