Friday, July 20, 2012

Flødeboller - better late than never

It’s been quiet on the blog this last week because the husband and I decided to go on a road trip to Mount Washington and afterwards on to Main to have some of the famous Maine lobster.

We had a lovely time and I learned 2 things.
  1. Check the weather reports for the top of the mountain before going there.
  2. A 2 pound stuffed lobster is a seriously big meal.

Before we went on our trip my husband had requested that I make some Flødeboller since he realized that they do not exist here in the US.
Why they don't - I do not know.
I would think many Americans with a sweet tooth would love these things.
I tried to translate “Flødebolle” into English but I really do not agree with the translation “chocolate covered marshmallow”. 
This is not at all what they are and it is certainly not a nice name for them.
If you translate it straight into English “Flødebolle” means cream bun, which is kind of funny because there is no cream in them.
The best way I can describe them, is that you should imagine meringue before it is baked, covered in a crunchy layer of chocolate and sat on a thin crispy base.
“Flødeboller” is a given for every kids birthday party (at least when I was a kid) and on a seldom hot summer day in Denmark you have to put one on top of your ice cream cone together with whipped cream or “Guf” (I’ll come back to that later in this post) and jam.
You can buy them in all the shops for no money at all, but then you get tasteless sweet chocolate, despairingly light meringue and a base that taste like cardboard.
But as always you get what you pay for. 
The last couple of years many deluxe “Flødeboller” has popped into the market and here you are in for a real treat in my opinion.
It is such a Flødebolle I have tried to make.

White Chocolate Covered Flødebolle

Dark Chocolate Covered Flødebolle With Coconut Flakes

Dark Chocolate Covered Flødebolle

The base
You can make/use any base you like as long as it is crisp and not too thick.
I would also go for something not too sweet because the meringue needs a contrast.
Being a Dane I went for a lighter version of our beloved Marzipan which is a paste made from blanched almonds and sugar.
I had to make my Marzipan myself because I haven’t found it in the shops here.
It ended up being a cross between Marzipan and a French macaroon.
The almonds gave a nice contrast and texture to the base.

2 large handfuls of blanched almonds
1 egg white
Sugar to your liking

Heat the oven to 200 C/390 F.
Blitz it all up in a food processor until you get a thick paste.
I used my fingers to pad out the bases – 12 in total.
Bake them in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until golden and set aside to cool.

This paste was a bit wet and adding more almonds and sugar/less egg white will give you paste that is easily handled and more like real Marzipan.

The meringue filling - also called Italian meringue
You need a electric whisk for this – preferably in a stand so you do not have to hold it your self.

3 egg whites (you can use pasteurized to be on the safe side)
150 grams/0.75 cups of sugar + 1 tspb sugar
1/2 dl/ small splash of water
Vanilla essence to taste

Makes sure that your bowl and wisk is really clean. It is a good idea to put a few drops of vinegar in the bowl and swirle it around to get rid of any fat recidue.
Dry if off with some kitchen towl afterwords.
Egg whites will not get fluffy if there is the slightest amount of fat or egg yoke in the bowl.

Turn the oven on to 200 C/390 F.
Whisk the egg whites fluffy with a tablespoon of sugar.
While it is getting fluffy take the rest of sugar and put it in a small pan with the water.
Let it buble until golden and foamy around the edges.
If you have a sugar thermometer or a good oven thermometer for meat, stick that in the pan and wait until it hits 120 C/ 250 F.
By now the egg whites should have turned nice and fluffy. 
Keep whisking while you add the piping hot sugar water in a slow stream and add the vanilla essence when you are done.
The meriunge will now be really warm and you should keep on whisking until it is easily forms small peaks and has cooled slightly – about 10 minutes.
Then add the mixture to a plastic bag, cut a hole in one corner and add the meringue to the base. I like them nice and high, but do it any way you like.
Put them in the oven for 5 minutes and keep an eye on them. You want them just set at the outside but you do not want them to have a golden color.
Let them cool.

The chocolate cover

Melt 250 grams good quality (at least 70% cocao) chocolate.
I always use a Baine Marie for chocolate.
Baine Marie is basically a pot of boilings water on the stowe with a heat proof bowl that is slightely bigger sitting on top of the pot.
I usually let the heat proof bowl just touch the water, but some swear to only use the steam and allow no touching.
Bash up half of the chocolate and let it slovly melt in the bowl. Keep the water on a simmer.
Once it has melted you add the other half of the chocolate into the bowl and turn of the heat.
This should help give the chocolate the right temperature to handle.
Now comes the really hard part – covering the “Flødebolle”.
Some dip them into the chocolate, but I do not have nerves for this – what if it falls into the chocolate?
Some use a brush and brush the chocolate onto them, but I think this makes the chocolate cover to thin for my taste.

My method is to take any piece of kitchen utensil that would allow draining of chocolate and is big enough to balance on top of the chocolate bowl without you holding it.
Put a Flødebolle on top and poor chocolate over and let it drain back into the bowl so you do not waste any chocolate.
Put the Flødebolle on a piece of baking paper using two forks so you don’t get chocolate all over your hands and simply repeat.

If you are now thinking “What the hek is she talking about ” and feeling totally confused on the process use this link to see it in progress.
It's in Danish and his recipe is a bit different than mine but the process is the same and need no translation. 
He has a brilliant food blog and makes great food.
I do not have the ability to both cook and take pictures at the same time and therefore link to people who are more skilled than me when needed.

Once you are done covering your Flødeboller, you can put flakes of nuts, coconut flakes and freeze dries berries on them for looks and extra taste.
The coconut flakes are a classic topping and it tastes really good.

Let the chocolate coating go hard and crisp in the fridge where they will keep for up to 3 days.

I only used 200 grams of chocolate and therefore ran out. I had some white chocolate in the house and used this to do the last two. 
In my opinion they are too sweet with the white chocolate, but I have read about white chocolate Flødeboller with raspberry filled sugar cylinder in the middle and I think that might make them a bit more interesting.
I do not have the skills to make these kinds of sugar cylinders, but maybe just putting a whole raspberry in the middle would equal out the sweetness of the white chocolate.

Talking about Guf
Earlier I mentioned that the danes put something called Guf on top of their ice cream cones and I have not seen it anywhere here in the states - and I have tried quite a few ice creams shops already.
Guf is basically uncooked italien meringue - sometimes added a strawberry flavor - that you put on the very top of the ice cream cone.
The more traditional Ice cream cone is with whipped cream and jam on top, but Guf is much more popular.
This blog has a brilliant picture of what a danish ice cream cone looks like - the one in the pictures is with whipped cream, but you get the idea.

Hope you enjoy the recipes and if anyone out there know of a place in the US where they make Flødeboller (besides IKEA where they are called Skumtoppe) or use Guf on top of the ice cream - please leave a comment.

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