Sunday, June 28, 2009

Smoutertjes and fudge

Mirjam from the Just Bento forum introduced me to the concept of smoutertjes. They are oliebollen which have been pan fried as flat cakes rather than deep fried like doughnuts. Oliebollen are one of my very favourite things in the world, so I had to try this, didn't I? As Mirjam says "smoutertjes are less fattening and don't make the house smell like oil for a week".

So here is my oliebollen dough, nicely risen:

Never having actually seen smoutertjes, I had to guess as the size of spoonful I dropped onto my new cast iron griddle:

I turned them over when they were browned on one side:

Then I ate them.

Oliebollen are served with icing sugar dusted over them, so I did likewise with the smoutertjes. Yummy. Then I thought they'd be nice with butter on (having a texture somewhat similar to an English muffin), so I did that. Delicious. Then I put icing sugar on top of the butter. Absolute heaven - although I fear they are no less fattening than olibollen when eaten thus.

I need to get Mirjam to have a look and see if they look right.

My oliebollen recipe is from Margaret Fulton's Superb Restaurant Dishes, and I halved it.


1 envelope dry yeast (mine doesn't come in envelopes, so I guessed 1 tsp)
3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
good pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 medium tart apple, peeled and chopped finely
2/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped candied peel
1 tbsp grated lemon rind

oil for deep frying
icing sugar

Mix yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar with the warm milk and leave to sponge.
Mix sifted dry ingredients in a large bowl
Add everything else (except the oil and powdered sugar of course) and stir with a fork until well mixed. It should be a soft dough, but should hold its shape in a spoon. Add more milk if too dry.
Leave to rise until doubled in bulk.

For oliebollen you deep fry heaped tablespoonsful in hot oil, then drain on paper towels and dredge with icing sugar.

For smoutertjes you shallow fry spoonsful on a buttered griddle or other pan, turning them over half way and flattening them slightly.

My friend Stephen has invited me and a couple of other friends to his place for dinner tonight. We are to eat a leg of a deer he shot a wee while ago. I asked if I could bring dessert, and he said "no", he has the meal all planned out. I dislike turning up empty handed though (I will be bringing wine, of course), so I decided to make some chocolate fudge for his kids. He and his wife have four children, ranging in age from about eight to fourteen or so, and I've yet to meet the child who will turn up its nose at chocolate fudge. And they deserve some sort of compensation for having their house invaded by semi-strangers and having to be on best behaviour.

Say "chocolate fudge" to any New Zealander and they think immediately of the Edmonds cookbook. It is the all time biggest selling book in New Zealand, and is the book our mothers and grandmothers used. We all grew up eating food made from the Edmonds book; from scones to puddings to stews to preserves. And sweets.

Chocolate fudge is made from these few ingredients:

They all go in a pot:

Are brought to the boil:

Cooked to "soft ball" stage, then beaten until the syrup starts to thicken:

Poured into a dish and spread out:

The pot is scraped and licked by any children who happen to be about. Me in this case.

The fudge is cut into squares:

And then it is usually demolished in no time flat, or divided into cellophane bags to be sold at school fairs and other fund-raising activities.

I put mine into a wrapping-paper-covered and tissue-paper-lined box that originally had mylar sheets for overhead projectors in it.

There was just one bit left over for me to eat.

From the Edmonds Cookery Book (I made 1 1/2 times the rcipe)

Chocolate Fudge

1/2 cup of milk
2 cups of sugar
25 g butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder

vanilla essence

Grease a pie dish or other shallow container, or you can line it with silicon baking paper.
Put the first four ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil.
Boil without stirring until it gets to the soft ball stage (a drop dropped into a cup of cold water forms a soft ball)
Add a few drops of vanilla essence and some chopped nuts if you want and leave it to cool for a few minutes.
Beat until the mixture thickens. Now you have to work fast - it sets quickly.
Pour into the greased dish and spread out to the desired thickness.
Cut into squares when nearly cold.

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