The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stroopwafels; Dutch Macaroons...

  • Pin It
freerk's picture
freerk

Stroopwafels; Dutch Macaroons...

Shaken Baking Confidence

There was some strong verbal abuse to be heard in the BreadLab kitchen this morning. The air trembled with ancient Dutch strong language when that elusive and downright arrogant confectionery that calls itself "French Macaroon" failed in the oven... yet again!

Four failed bakes in a row is a hard blow to take, but: Back to the drawing board! Retreat and start from scratch, learn from your mistakes and have another go! The battle is lost, but the macaroon war is definitely on! The BreadLab vows to tame this fickle French "petite mandigotte" one day soon!

Meanwhile, to boost baking confidence, go back to what you know best. Let your genes take over and bake what is ingrained somewhere deep inside your memory. Something you know so well, you could reproduce its smell, taste and texture with your eyes closed, simply because it has been with you your entire life.

Dutch Macaroons

Browsing the story of the French Macaroon, it seems the intricate colorful variety we love so much today, hasn't been around in its present form all that long. In 1830 they were still served as two separate halves, spiked with liqueurs, jam or spices. It was Pierre Desfontaines of the French patisserie Ladurée who, at the start of the 20th century gave us the "Paris macaroon" that is so "en vogue" today:


Around the same time, here in Holland things were hardly as gay as in Paris, where slums were taken down, the Grands Boulevards were taking shape, and the Paris we know today came into being. The industrial revolution brought a lot of money to the city.

Meanwhile, in Gouda (where the famous cheese is produced), a Dutch baker was at the other end of the wealth spectrum, and probably could only dream of colorful macaroons in his shop window just like the ones in Paris.

Instead, he was wondering, in good old fashioned Dutch Calvinist spirit, if all those left over scraps of dough at the end of the baking day could still serve some purpose. He whisked up some molasses with brown sugar and cinnamon, put all the scraps of dough together, baked it into a wafer, sliced it in half, put in a big dollop of syrup in between the two layers, slapped them back together and sold them as "stroopwafels" (syrup wafers).

Two layers with a filling in between... Let's call it a Dutch Macaroon! Not nearly as dainty and intricate as the French variety, but just as satisfying in the end ! And a perfect way to boost shaken baking confidence, since they are pretty much fail safe.

The stroopwafel took The Netherlands by storm, and the rest of the world is falling for it as well, or so it seems. In New York City they are dipped in chocolate and called Dutch Moon Cookies, for unknown reasons they are considered valuable bounty in a cartoon involving wolves (note the small dutch flag on the side of the treasure chest!)

There is an Association of Stroopwafel Addicts, and even the fashion world has succumbed to this Dutch cookie, although wearing a stroopwafel waist coat sounds like a sticky undertaking! Lady Gaga goes Dutch?

And what about this tutorial on how to properly eat a stroopwafel?


The Recipe

All in all enough reason to get your waffle iron out and make your own stroopwafels! If you love these cookies, you will love them even more home made. Nothing can beat eating it fresh, crunchy and warm.

Here is the video recipe from the BreadLab.

Stroopwafels

for the dough:
4 cups (500 gr.) low gluten flour
1/2 TS cinnamon
1 cup (250 gr.) softened butter
1/2 cup (100 gr.) white caster sugar
2 large eggs
0.25 ounce/7 grams instant yeast
1/2 cup/118 gr. warm water

for the syrup:
1 1/2 cup (300 gr.) brown sugar
1 cup (250 gr.) butter
1 TS  cinnamon
6 TBS dark corn syrup

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add to the flour together with the softened butter, the eggs, sugar and cinnamon. Combine all ingredients well, form into a ball and let it rest for about 45 minutes. It will have slightly risen by that time and the dough feels silky to the touch, but doesn't stick.

In the meantime, prepare the syrup mixture by gently heating up and dissolving the ingredients over a medium low heat, stirring in the butter and making sure the sugar doesn't burn. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat and stir every once in a while for a smooth consistency while it cools.

Heat up your iron to a medium high heat and form ping pong ball sized balls out of the dough. Put them in your iron and bake for about 30 seconds per cookie. Use a cookie cutter to cut out a perfect circle. Slice the cookie in two layers while it is still warm and use a thin sharp knife.

All that is left to do now, is put the syrup between the two halves and slap them together. The syrup might have cooled too much to work with; simply return it to the heat and gently warm it through again. Don't let the sugar burn!

Enjoy, Freerk

P.S. You would do me a big favor endorsing my BreadLab iniative. Every "like" will get me closer to realizing a 6 episode documentary/road movie; chasing the best bread Europe has to offer. Thanks in advance!

 

Comments

lumos's picture
lumos

LOL!! what an entertaining blog entry, and great videos and photos, too!

It's amazing how you effortlessly sliced a thin piece of the waffle in two!  We have a bit similar sweets in Japan, called Gaufre (or gaufrette in France, I think....), two layers of very thin waffles baked until crispy and sandwiching flavoured cream between. 
I think it originally came from France sometime in early last century, and it's very popular over there.

When I first saw the beginning of your video, I thought that was what you're making, but you eat yours warm, don't you?

Look forward to learning an ancient Dutch swear word or two when we finally meet  you in a real person form.  To be able to do that,  check the thread, for god sake! Been waiting for you to come back for ages!!!!! :p

lumos

freerk's picture
freerk

The French galette would work just fine as well! They are best eaten warm and fresh. The supermarket variety holds for weeks, but I like them straight from "the bucket" on the market!

Vuile Smeerlap! That is the free ancient Dutch swear word of the day :-)

It actually refers to the dirty and oiled rags of cloth used to smear horse drawn iron sleds over cobble stone streets way back when.

Looking forward to the meet up!

And proud, 'cause I just produced my first perfect batch of macarons after a 2 week struggle. Satisfaction at last!

 

Freerk

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

If you're like me, you've taken a picture of the two macaron halves that worked (out of the 24 that failed), declared success, and have sworn never to try them again.

I think, really, if you can make macaron successfully, then you can declare victory over all things baking and, essentially, retire.

Have you tried the Italian meringue method? I find it works a lot better (perfectly smooth, domed shells) than the French method, but the French method makes a more airy macaron.

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey Thomas,

I did take the liberty of photographing the best of the batch, but as a matter of fact there not that many fails in the last bake. There will be a video of the whole process up in a few days to proof it too! ;-)

I've been baking long enough to know never to claim victory; I'm sure many a macaroon will die in my oven, but I'll try and keep em alive if I can! But that's just the problem with macaroons, isn't it.... there is no way of saving it once it goes awry. I need to bake an honest bread soon; little extra water, little bit of flour, and boom! you're back on track again!

This successful batch was the first made with Italian Meringue, which I also find much easier to handle than the French method. That, together with the acquisition of  proper silicone baking sheets, actually resulted in my first macaroon success, I think. Paper is just a night mare, and I have noticed that the silicone keeps the macaroons in shape after piping way more effective than paper. They are also rounder and don't "ooze out" as sometimes happens with paper. I actually think a silicone mat gives you a "higher bandwidth" when it comes to the right consistency of the batter.

The French method I will try to learn once I have the Italian method down. I find it so much harder to stabilize the meringue, and to find the right time to add sugar. I didn't know whether I was over- or under beating any more, and then I switched to the Italian method. That took all those troubles away, well... at least the danger of over beating.

And now I'm going to find yet another recipe involving a bucket load of egg yolks (my fridge is full with them after all these macaroon fails)

Freerk

clazar123's picture
clazar123

http://www.giverslog.com/?p=1089

Freerk

I found this link and the author actually troubleshoots issues with French macaroons. I hope it helps.

Once again a wonderful video. The little boy and girl are absolutely charming and the camera work just brings that out beautifully! 

I,too, am amazed at how easily the waffle cut. How thick  a waffle does that waffle iron make? Is it as thin as an Italian Pizelle? or thicker? My "Belgian" waffle maker (in the USA) makes about a 20mm thick waffle (I actually measured a leftover waffle). That would seem too thick for this purpose. I think the pizelle may be too thin, unless I sandwiche 2 pizelles together.

Thank you for BreadLab! Absolutely delightful!

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey Clazar!

Thanks for the compliment. Just to be clear; the first two videos are not made by me! Only the last one with the recipe in it is from my hand :-)

Technically, I should speak about a wafer iron, more than a waffle iron, I suppose. Mine is best for the thinner varieties, although I have succeeded in producing thicker ones as well, more waffle like.

As you can see in the video, it is a fairly thin cookie. More pizelli like I woud say. And using two would work as well!

Thank you for the macaron-link! See the post above, for my first "perfect batch" today. I'm not at all comfortable with them yet, but at least now I know that I can do it!

Come back for more!

 

Freerk

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I can see myself wondering around the house, calling my dog, in the inimitable Pepé Le Pew, "VVVHERE ARE YOU, MEIN WITTLE STROOPWAFFLE?! I KNOW YOU ARE HYERE! WHERE ARRRRRRRRRRE YOU?"

"STROOPWAFFLE!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!!"

(I've been watching too many cartoons again.)

(Incidentally, one can buy stroopwaffles just about anywhere in Mexico. I rather thought they were Mexican in origin and that the filling was dulce de leche.)

freerk's picture
freerk

Lol, I don't know that cartoon, what is it called?

That sounds like a perfect cross-over! Stroopwafels with dulce de leche! That's going to be the next batch!

Thanks!

Freerk

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Freerk,

Great story to go along with the bake....

Strange coincidence in that last night I was watching you make an ensaimada on BreadLab and that is what I made here today. I never would have tried stretching my dough out so thinly unless I had seen your demonstration.  I REALLY appreciated your comment about ignoring holes in the dough...Mine had a few as I got stared but once I got the hang of it all went well.  Really a fun item to make.

Don't think I will be so brave with macaroons though....I leave that to pastry experts :-)

Take Care and thanks for the post on BreadLab - my kids thank you too :-)

Janet

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It requires very patient dough stretching too, but the result is magical.

Try Apple Streusel Strudel from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie & Pastry Bible.

freerk's picture
freerk

Putting it on my christmas wishlist as we speak. straight to the top of the list this strudel, I can here my genes calling!!!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello freerk,
I bet those stroopwafels are delicious, freshly made!
That's really something how you are able to split that wafer into two pieces so nicely.
Congratulations on your success with these, and your macarons!
:^) from breadsong

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey :^)

The cookie cutter is the actual trick; the wafer seals around the edges and puffs up in the middle. After the outer sealed rim is gone (providing the cookie is still warm and just out of the iron) it practically falls into two pieces by itself. The bigger the wafer, the harder it gets though! On the markets here, they use a long palette knife for their jumbo stroopwafels.

My macaroons really made me proud. I'm not known to be much of a pit bull, but these dainty ladies were just too much! I had to show them, and I did, who's the boss in my oven!

Video on macaroons to come soon!

Freerk

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi freerk,
I want to go shopping for a pizzelle (sp?) iron now...so I can try making your stroopwafels.

Re: macarons, your macarons really do look terrific! and I'm really looking forward to your video.
Here is a link to a video for you that I came across awhile back (by two ladies who are publishing a new book on Macarons):
(a video by the book's authors) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K1Vl4LzYx4&feature=youtu.be
(a writeup about the book) http://www.lovenbake.com/blog/?p=1276#more-1276

I did a little bit of reading online about macarons awhile ago and found this great site with all sorts of pictures and notes about making macarons – what correctly mixed batter looks like, the effect of baking at different temperatures, etc. The information is organized into different sections. Here is the link to the first part of the post, in case you might like to read it; links to the other sections are at the bottom of the page (just above the comments section):
http://www.syrupandtang.com/200712/la-macaronicite-1-an-introduction-to-the-macaron/

Happy baking and video-ing!
:^) from breadsong 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

The whole thing is marvelous. The think I have gleaned about making macaroons, is that the humidity has to be low (not something I would have tried this summer here, as the humidity was 100% daily for weeks)I do know that making meringues in high humidity is hard as well, the whites don't whip as well, and they don't peak properly to allow the shaping of the meringues, so suspect something the same is going on with the macaroons. I know also my mother was always annoyed if she had to bake a cake using whipped egg whites on a dampish day so it might have a lot to do with things, since the macaroons are a sort of cake. I have been looking at Madelaines, and have gotten some pans in the correct form, but haven't taken the plunge yet, and in doing some reading here and there, I find they sometimes turn out great and sometimes run all over so it might be due to the humidity of the day. The only think I can think of is to run a dehumidifier in the kitchen!

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi freerk,

Stroopwafels look delicious! 

I've given up macaron baking for trying other treats for a while. Got them down quite fine first time but it was a fluke LOL! Struggled to recreate that ever since. Sooo much sugar, also, although I have enjoyed some lovely ones from the boulevards...

Mind you yours look very cute, with great little feet :-).

Like the idea of a warm, syrupy wafer in this cold snap, mind...

Best wishes, Daisy