Petra is the proud aunt of a newborn nephew! We celebrate this with Dutch Butter Cake with Aniseed Sprinkles, a recipe from Yolanda van der Jagt based on an old Dutch tradition. We have known Yolanda for many years: she did the food styling for one of our cookbooks and we did the final editing of two of her cookbooks. Yolanda worked with Jamie Oliver at The River Cafe and at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She’s a private chef now and writes recipes for the Dutch food magazine delicious. Some years ago she invented this heavenly recipe for the birth of her own daughter. It is a combination of two typically Dutch sweet treats: Dutch Butter Cake and Dutch Rusks with Aniseed Sprinkles. Butter Cake is an old-fashioned dense cake made with lots of butter; rusks topped with sugar coated aniseeds (in Dutch called ‘muisjes’, literally ‘little mice’) are given to guests and family when a baby is born: pink ‘muisjes’ for girls, blue ‘muisjes’ for boys.
Cake, Serves: 14
Action Time: 40 minutes
6 oz/ 175 g soft butter, at room temperature
5 oz/ 140 g superfine white sugar
1/2 tsp grated zest of an orange
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk + 1 egg
7 oz/ 200 g plain flour, sifted
2 tbsp heavy cream
5-6 tbsp pink or blue aniseed sprinkles*
Extra: 10-inch/ 26 cm baking tin, greased and lined with baking paper
1. Preheat the oven to 320 F /160 C.
2. In a bowl, mix the butter, sugar, orange zest, salt and the egg yolk. Add the flour and knead well until you have a smooth dough. Roll out or press into the baking tin.
3. In another bowl, beat the egg and the cream, and spread half of the mixture evenly over the dough. Let sit for 10 minutes.
4. Spread the remaining egg mixture over the dough and sprinkle the aniseed sprinkles evenly over the top of the cake. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, allow to cool on a wire reck. Cut into little squares or wedges. Serve at room temperature or cold.
TIP: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
* Aniseed sprinkles can be bought in the Netherlands, in specialized food stores and in webshops like:
= Holland At Home // http://www.holland-at-home.com/en/
= Holland For You // http://www.hollandforyou.com
= Aus Holland http://www.ausholland.eu