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Jan 292013


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

Now, freshly ground spice is my thing. So I got all excited about this challenge as it meant I would get to take out my spice grinder and mix a batch of  Speculaas spice. Aromatic goodness. I couldn’t wait to try this month’s challenge.

I knew this was going to be one delicious treat to make.  What I did not know how enjoyable the whole process would be and how much I would love it.   My home smelled delicious  while the baking was going on and as soon as it cooled down a bit, I cut a slice.  Tasted a bit and then made coffee to drink and eat the whole slice.  It was 1 am here in Denver. And I should have been fast asleep. But here I was, enjoying my baked piece  of heaven.  My friend, Swati,  the bubbly, happy blogger at  Chatkhor, is witness to the unfolding drama and knows that I baked this at midnight.  How and Why ? Well you see, I made the dough and the almond mix and put them in the fridge to make this on the weekend. And then I forgot. Completely!


Posts on Facebook started to trickle in as they did on Pinterest.  And then it hit me! OMG ! I was supposed to bake the Speculaas. And it was 10 pm. The husband declared he was off to bed.  The child was already tucked in and fast asleep.  But I had to do this.  He tried to reason, that I could make it in the morning.  But he had no idea, what effect the beautiful Speculaas posted in daring bakers had had on me, and how much I was beyond saving.

So, with a strange look, he went off and I got to work and baked the Speculaas . And am glad I did.  Eating a whole slice of freshly baked Gevulda Speculaas with a cup of Turkish coffee at 1 am, and checking all the Daring baker’s blogs was way more relaxing than sleeping.   Sleep started to take over in the wee hours of the morning, with a deep realization that despite baking it just in the nick of time, I am still going to be late in posting it.



So here is my very late posting of the Daring Baker’s challenge.  I loved making this and shared a couple of slices with my  neighbor across the street and got an immediate feedback that the flavors and texture were both exquisite.

Recipe adapted from the Daring Baker’s challenge 



Gevulde Speculaas – Daring Baker’s Challenge

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours


    Speculaas spices
  • 2 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • Almond Paste
  • 1 1/3 C almond flour
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Speculaas Dough
  • 1 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs speculaas spices
  • 3/4 C unsalted butter room temperature
  • Assemble and Bake
  • speculaas dough
  • almond paste
  • whole almonds without skins for decoration
  • 1 large egg
  • shallow baking pan, 8×10 in, round with of diameter 10 inch (26 cm)


    Speculaas spices
  1. Grind all the spices together and keep aside.
  2. Almond Paste
  3. Mix the almond flour and sugar and add in the egg. Combine until you get a thick mixture. Cover and keep in the fridge for up to two days.
  4. Speculaas dough
  5. Mix the flour , baking powder, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl.
  6. Add in diced butter.
  7. Knead until smooth.
  8. Using your hands knead the dough until it comes together. Add in some milk, if the dough looks too dry.
  9. Form into tow balls and Wrap in clingfilm and put in the refrigerator for two hours
  10. Directions:
  11. Grease the pan.
  12. Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas 4
  13. Divide the dough into two portions.
  14. Roll out both portions on a lightly floured surface, until they are exactly as big as the baking pan
  15. Put one of the layers in the pan and press it lightly to fill the bottom.
  16. Lightly beat the egg with a teaspoon cold water.
  17. Brush 1/3rd of the egg over the dough in the pan.
  18. Roll out the almond paste between two sheets of clingfilm, until it is exactly as big as the pan, and put it on the dough in the pan. (If you chose to make the paste soft, you can smear the paste instead of rolling it.)
  19. Press the paste lightly down to fit in the pan, and brush half of the remaining egg over it.
  20. Now put the second layer of dough on top of the paste, press it lightly, and make as smooth as possible.
  21. Brush the last 1/3 of the egg over the dough.
  22. Decorate the pastry with the almonds.
  23. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven. ( keep and eye on it)
  24. Let cool completely before cutting. It will be difficult to wait, but do it anyway.

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  10 Responses to “Gevulde Speculaas – Daring Baker’s Challenge”

Comments (10)
  1. My mother makes speculaas Christmas cookies every year and they are absolutely worth the one year wait. You were smart to stay up and make this treat.

  2. Wow Ansh, you outdo yourself everytime.

  3. They look awesome…would love to give it a try…

  4. Lovely example of the Speculaas – hope the little one didn’t wake too early after your late night baking – Cheers from Auckland New Zealand.

  5. Beautiful !! The layer looks like a french Galette :))
    well done !!!!

  6. I agree, baking is waaaay better than sleeping 😉 I like the flower motif you used for decoration, very pretty (and tasty, too!).

  7. They look absloutley super , well done.

  8. The challenges that great bakers attempted and excelled,
    Were not attained in daylight, But they, while their companions slept,
    Were baking pastry through the night! 🙂

  9. And it was worth it: I like your speculaas very much. So golden brown, and great layers and sides. Well done!


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