Bokkenpootjes, Chickens and GBBO goes dutch
Goats feet?…. Sounds scrummy eh? These little dutch treats don’t actually taste like goats feet but they have a similar appearance, hence the direct translation from bokkenpootjes.
I first saw these little biscuity fellas on the dutch version of the great British Bake Off which they call “heel holland bakt” It’s a terrible reproduction but it does have some humorous parts to it, mostly that the old man in the final 3 was a total legend who didn’t really care that he was there and began eating a sandwich while staring out the window during their final challenge in the last episode, simply because he was hungry… legend.
This recipe requires quite a few eggs in it. I’m really lucky where i can just pop out to the garden to get totally fresh yummy eggs. We have 7 chickens, 7 awesome chickens. It’s funny to watch them from day to day because they have such unusual habits, they love people funnily enough, and some of them look for attention off of us which is really nice. We had 3 for a long time and then we decided to get another 4 because they can only lay for a certain length of time, so now we have a little grouping of them. I’d definitely encourage people to keep their own chickens, they give such beautiful eggs and to keep can be very cost effective. I plan to always keep some chickens in the garden because when you’re baking and cooking as much as I do its so important to know where your eggs (and all of your food for that matter) is coming from… Ireland is becoming more conscious of this in recent times but we still have a big way to go. If you have been thinking of keeping chickens, it’s very simple to do with some basic research and a good piece of garden to keep them healthy and happy in. Go for it!
Biscuit 200g egg whites 225g caster sugar
1 pinch salt
175g ground almonds
75g icing sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 tbsp sliced almonds
1 Vanilla pod
50g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp plain flour
250g chilled butter
60g icing sugar
250g good quality chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180ºC or 350ºF. Prepare 1 or maybe 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
Start by beating the egg whites with in a stand mixer or just with a hand mixer like i did, when your egg whites become fluffy add in the sugar and a pinch of salt and keep mixing until you form stiff peaks. In another bowl mix the ground almonds, flour and the icing sugar meanwhile split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and mix into the almond/flour mixture.
Carefully fold the almond/flour mixture into the egg whites and spoon the batter into a piping bag with a plain circular nozzle. Pipe ladyfinger style lengths (approx 3inches or 7cm long) leaving space for spreading. When you’ve piped all of the lengths, sprinkle the sliced almonds over each, you don’t need to be too particular. Pop into the oven and bake for 15mins until they begin to harden and become more yellowy in colour. Let cool while you make the creamy filling.
Start off by splitting the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. In a pan place the milk, half of the sugar, and the seeds of the vanilla pod along with the sliced outside of the pod (to add more vanilla flavour) bring this to a simmer…don’t let it boil. In another bowl, stir the egg yolks with the remaining sugar just until they are both incorporated then mix in the flour. Add a splash of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture (just to gentle introduce the heat) stir, and then add the egg mixture into the pan. Keep stirring until it begins to thicken and then remove the vanilla pod. When the custard is thickening and you start to see the first bubbles take off the heat. Pour onto a slightly damp baking tray and place some clingfilm to sit on top of the custard. (The dampness will make it easy to slide off the tray, and the clingfilm will stop a skin forming over the top) Let this cool in the fridge.
Beat the cold butter with the icing sugar until it becomes paler and smooth, pour in your chilled custard until it becomes really smooth (not runny). Pour the filling into a piping bag and begin to pipe onto the flatter side of half of the biscuits. Place the rest of the biscuits on top of each “iced” biscuit until each has found it’s pair.
Tempering the Chocolate
(This is not an essential part, if you don’t have the time or equipment to temper, just simply melt as normal and dip the ends into the chocolate)
Melt the chocolate in a glass/metal bowl over some boiling water (don’t let the bowl touch the water underneath). When the chocolate is fully melted, pour 2/3rds onto a marble slab. Spread the chocolate with a palette knife over and back to release the heat until it drops to about 26 º C. Scrape this back into the bowl and stir in the rest of the chocolate. Dip each of the biscuit ends into the chocolate and then leave them to sit and harden.
These are a must with some strong good coffee!