Gevulde Speculaas/Dutch Spice Pastry

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I love spices; and I have a collection of spices much more than my mom ever had. May be because of I am from the spice land of world. I cook with spices every day; it will be my tea, breakfast and even dinner. After coming here I got introduced to Cajun spices, I love that blend too. So how can a spice lover can sit quiet when daring baker challenge is to make Gevulde speculaas/Dutch spice pastry? This month challenge was hosted by Francijn from Koken in de Brouwerij . Even after several no from my hubby, I made this delicious dessert.
My connection with Netherlands is that I traveled with KLM and done transits at Amsterdam. I want to visit Amsterdam once; but I don’t know when that day will come.

I made speculaas spices with fresh ingredients and used all the spices listed in the ingredients as I have them in hand. While baking, the kitchen smells great.
If you wonder, how Dutch/Netherlands got introduced to spices of the world, then you need to learn little bit history. The Dutch were great sea travelers, as everybody else came to India for trade. Dutch is the second one to come to India, after Portuguese. They were looking to start trade of textile in return for spices from India. Once they establish the trade, they did understand the mentality of people, how they can make the various group fight each other to become rich in an easy way. They utilize that method to conquer India. Dutch presence lasted from 1605 to 1825. They were defeated by Marthandavarma Maharaja at battle of Colachel at 1741, and after that their influence started to fade. Read more from here

Gevulde speculaas means stuffed speculass, and stuffing is usually done with almond and egg paste. The bottom and top part of pastry is made with flour, butter, baking powder, brown sugar and spices. Speculaas spices / Speculaaskruiden includecinnamon, cloves, mace and ginger, and also these spices to taste: pepper, cardamom, coriander, anise seeds and nutmeg. Ratio in which speculass spices is like this Cinnamon is 40 to 60 % of the total amount, ground cloves 1 or 2 parts, mace ½ or 1 part, ginger ½ or 1 part . If you can find following spices then you should add along the rest of spices and its ratio should be white pepper ½ or 1 part, cardamom ½ or 1 part, coriander ½ or 1 part, anise ½ or 1 part and nutmeg 1 or 2 parts of total spices.

I made this pastry with whole white wheat flour and also reduced the amount of sugar and butter as much as possible. However, with spices I didn’t want to compromise so I used entire list of spices, freshly grind using my coffee grinder. I made my own almond meal too. I used 16 almonds for decoration on the top. They are delicious and rich. I have some scrap left, and made them into a cookie with it. It is really tasty. Adding whole wheat flour doesn’t affect the taste. It is really good with tea. It is in between a cake and pastry.
If you are spice fan like me try this, it is easy to put together and delicious. These spice mix is really good, may be in future I may try it in cake or muffin.
Here comes the recipe.
Grab your ingredients, and first blanch the almond and makes speculaas spices.

Then makes almond egg paste with egg, lemon zest and ground almonds and speculaas dough.

Almond Paste

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  1. says

    I did transits in Amsterdam and thats about it. Hoping I can stop by soon here. I too have plenty of spices but will stick to using them for my savoury dishes. You are great with baking and the spices were great, added into this pastry.

  2. says

    Beautiful! I love the way you have decorated each slice with an almond flower :) I love using spices in everything I cook too… and cinnamon is my favorite! So Im sure this tastes fantastic…

  3. says

    U rock swathi…I admire the way u take baking challenges..that’s one quality I don’t have..I will attempt things only if I am really confident about the outcomes ! Loved ur history write up..I never liked history so don’t remember all those things but ur write up made me realise that I hated history because we were not connecting with what they tought that I love spices too the history behind it is interesting too :)

  4. says

    I like the way how you arrange the almond on the pastry… They look so pretty like flowers. Is this the way that the pastry is traditionally decorated?

  5. says

    Swathi,Thanx for dropping by dear and I will be happy if u let me know the month too dear,Is may okay to you? Thai cuisine is good dear:)

  6. says

    Omg, wat a beautiful pastry,beautiful presentation,seriously loved the way you arranged those almonds,elegant and very neat.

  7. says

    Being from Louisiana, my food has to have spice. I have discovered the amazing flavors of the spices of India and have fallen in love. This cake is beautiful and I know it must taste amazing.

  8. says

    BEautifully done, my friend!!! I love the almond design you made…so lovely. It’s dishes like this that make me want to rejoin the Daring Bakers…there’s just not enough time to do it all, though…

  9. says

    Much of my Mom’s family lives in Holland and speculaas is a common after dinner treat whenever I visit (although they usually buy from a local bakery)

  10. says

    Spices are not only delicious, but also healing and good for you, so it is good you use them throughout the day and you grind them for the freshest taste possible. Your pastry dessert is so pretty with the almonds on top like that — I would enjoy some with my coffee right now if I could. :)

  11. says

    Reading your post at 11 Am in the morning, even after my breakfast I feel hungry. A delicious post Swathi…

    I think I should be eating something now. You are going to spoil the kids like me with these recipes 😉