A traditional Dutch treat, Gevulde Speculaas (filled spice cake). It was absolutely divine!
Follow your nose and adjust spices and quantities as desired, but be aware that the smell of the mix is only somewhat indicative of the taste – my mix smelled heavily of cardamom but it was much more subtle in the taste of the finished product. I forgot to decorate mine with almonds – d’oh!
125g blanched or clear ground almonds
125g granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Speculaas spice mix (makes 2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
3 tsp ground cinnamon
250g all purpose (plain) flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g brown sugar
2 tbsp speculaas spices
175g unsalted butter, diced, room temperature
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp water for egg wash
whole blanched or slivered almonds for decoration (I forgot these!)
If using whole blanched almonds, grind in a food processor until the are fine granules. If using ground almonds, just add them to the food processor. add the sugar and lemon zest and grind until very fine.
Add the egg and combine, either in the food processor or in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Mix speculaas spices together in a small bowl.
Put flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Add the butter and knead until smooth.
Add a little milk if the dough is too dry.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease or line a 20 x 26cm baking tray with parchment. Set aside.
Cut the dough into two equal portions. Roll them both out to fit the pan. (I had trouble rolling my dough and ended up pressing out to size. I think my dough may have been a little dry.) Put one layer of dough into pan and brush with egg wash.
Spread almond paste over the dough and brush with egg wash.
Put the second portion of dough on top of the almond paste and press down gently. Brush with egg wash and decorate with whole or slivered almonds.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Let cool completely in the pan, then remove and cut in portions as desired