Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pâte De Spéculoos~

When I was a young girl.. about the age of 10...I had a best friend that was Dutch.
Her father was a pilot for KLM.. her name was Gwen.Gwendolyn..Her mom called her: Gvennie:) ♥

I loved going over there..not far..through the back yard... cut through... turn left..Onto Provence street:) At least I think it was Provence..
The very same street I babysat 4 little boys and one little girl for $0.25 an hour...:)Same family..all together!

Those parents were smart:)
Anyway they were so nice to me..Gwen and her parents..her sister was Erica....I still have a tiny sterling silver windmill charm they brought back from Holland for me..They treated me to Dropjes and Olliebolens..

And Speculaas cookies..that I craved!
They were a rarity..almost 50 yrs ago here..but they always had them..brought back from Holland with that salty black licorice~
These crunchy cinnamony little windmills etc..I just loved them..

When I peruse beautiful French blogs they often speak of Speculoos..I reasearched and indeed it seems to be the same thing..what I never tried at Gwen's.. was Pâte De Spéculoos..

I found a recipe..many.. because I have not found that product here..and made some..

It's fantastic.

In researching recipes..many said to add it to brioches..or muffins.. etc..think of peanut butter..or nutella.. but Speculaas..

I made 2 mini tarts.. I blind baked them for 20 mins..

Then I put some of the Pâte on the base.. and placed a pear I had soaked in a mix of water,honey,sugar and a vanilla bean ..(Pre-boiled..set aside then placed the half pear ..peeled ..and cored..) for 1 hr.

Sprinkled a touch of icing sugar..and put back in the oven to finish off..
It's so good:)

The Pâte rose and then settled..

I am so glad I found this recipe for special little treats..

Et Voilà~ La Recette~found many places ..I will link to this one..and say thank you.

125gr of butter
3/4 can of Eagle Brand..I used low fat:) As if that makes a difference here..
200gr of spéculoos cookies
1 sheet of gelatin
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp neutral cooking oil

Soak gelatin sheet in cold water for 10 mins.

Melt butter in microwave add the sweetened condensed milk and the crushed cookies and oil l'huile ..mix...
warm the lemon juice and add the gelatine.. until dissolved.., pour into the other mix and mix until homogenous.

I made 2 jars..this one ..and a small Ball one..

Great gift too:)If ever I find the real thing..I will try it.

Notes..I read many of the commentaries..some questioned the gelatine.. it was used to emulsify..I may try w/out next time and see..One chef wrote and politely said the recipe was not correct.. one said never melt butter in a micro wave..only a bain-marie..
Everything makes sense,,But this worked for me.I would not hesitate to put the whole can of Eagle Brand next time.I cannot see what difference it would make...if only to make it creamier.

Cinfully good~


  1. Wonderful....
    I made 2 loaves of Ina's brioch...
    you mentioned trying this on...
    Lovin your tag M....
    and photos...
    sounds like you've really researched this recipe...YOUR tarts are doubt delish.
    Must have been a special family to leave you with such precious memories...
    You were a deal @ .25 an hour!!!!
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  2. Oh!
    Your artwork is worth mentioning too!
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  3. Good morning Kathy..Thank you.. My artwork is poor..That's the best bird I have ever painted..and it was in France..and I was so relaxed..Really I am not a good painter..But thank you for your kindness.

    Hope today is good for you.

  4. A lovely post, Monique. Childhood memories can be the sweetest. Imagine, 25 cents an hour, that would be considered child abuse today. I used to babysit all day for a dollar or two.

    Your little tarts are beautiful and so tempting.

  5. I had to laugh Monique- those .25 cent days are long gone! Alexandra makes 8.00 an hour for one child these days! Those tarts look fabulous, but I must ask- what are "sheets" of gelatin. We have envelopes of Knox?
    xoxo Pattie

  6. Oh, I am definitely going to try this recipe too! I remember the salty drops - my roommate at university was Dutch and she had bags and bags full...we had these things in our cheeks all the time..and I always had a face pulling along with it, because that first one really is...salty/sweet/bitter/sharp..!
    and how I love to peek into your journal with some of your time, post some of your watercolors?
    I love speculoos. Her in France, we get a smal wrapped "speculoos) with ou coffee in a bar/ a chocolate. Everybody dips it in the coffee...delicious!
    Ronelle xx

  7. I just love your beautiful posts. It makes my day so much better!

  8. Bonjour Monique, un régal pour les yeux et le palais j'en suis certaine, quel beau partage.

    Est-ce que c'est toi qui fait de l'aquarelle?

    Passe une belle journée.

  9. Monique, you are just wonderful and so talented. Your blog is the first I look for each day! Will definitely attempt this recipe. Care to describe the pictures, ie, where in France you were when pictures taken? Just curious. Love your birdie!

  10. What a fun story of your childhood friend, Monique! I remember loving windmill cookies from the store when I was little. I believe they had almonds in them also. I wonder if they taste the same as Speculoos cookies? The pate sounds delicious to me and what a great idea to pair it with pears :)

    I remember 25 cents an hour!

  11. Oh, memories from your childhood! That's so sweet, and you remember the details so vividly. :) The tarts look so pretty. How do you make everything look so dreamy and romantic? Your artwork ... I am so happy to have a piece of it. :) I just took it out again last night to look at it before I went to bed. :)

  12. Wonderful memories. Your tart looks so lovely an the pate sounds delicious. Your are so creative, it’s inspiring.

  13. This is one of those days when I am learning somethung new from blogging...but then I learn something new every day.

  14. Oh gosh Monique, that looks and sounds gorgeous. I Just love Specuulas cookies! I could eat them like potato chips, so kinda dangerous for me to have them around!! I bet I would love this spread alot and those tarts look gorgeous!!! xxoo

  15. What are specuulas cookies??? I have never tried them
    before... but with a great story and recommendation like that... I really would like to!

  16. Memories of food and the people who brought it to us make it all the more special. Your stories, wonderful recipes and the beautiful photos are memories that I will carry with me.

    I have had speculaas from the Dutch island of Aruba. These tarts just add another layer of goodness. Little tarts are always good...mmmm.

    I love the pic with the tart and the the small house on the fabric. They seem to be made for each other.

    This is a keeper....Thanks Monique!

  17. Such an informative and beautiful post - thank for sharing that wonderful story. I have never heard of Speculoos - love learning new things:)

  18. You amaze me Monique...with your grace and energy...
    I loved those little cookies I still do when I find them...
    The tarts looks are all of your pics...
    You always post truly from the heart...and it is mine...

  19. Spéculoos cookies sound quite intriguing, and the pear tart looks amazing.

    Your pictures are fantastic!

  20. Wonderful childhood memories, M. My initials..KLM...
    They sound and look delicious!
    Are you ready for Easter??

  21. C'est toujours pour moi un plaisir de me promener sur votre blog..Cette pâte de speculoos est si joliment présentée, c'est déja un régal des yeux avant même d'y goûter! Bonne journée.

  22. OOOhhh!Always yummy food and photographs over here! Beautiful tag and cute handpainted birdie, and the tarts look scrumptious!!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  23. Superb that you recreated the recipes.....of your childhood :-). But wait, you like dropjes???????? I've always said that you have to be born Dutch to love them. See, I live in the Netherlands and haven't been able to bring myself to love them.......The pate looks lovely!!!

  24. I do like Dropjes:) Oh I do!Gosh that salty little licorice..You's childhood I think..You remember things..I can still count to ten in dutch and sing Frère Jacques ..knew how to say I had 2 brothers:) Etc..It was a good time..They left a huge impression on me that family.

    Je vous remercie pour les visites..Thank you for you nice comments.
    Gelatine sheets look like clear stained glass..even better.. like English Cottage beveled windows.. It is used in placed of powder...Just different.
    Speculaas cookies do in fact look like windmills..Voortman's offers them here.
    Oui Josée j'ai peint le petit oiseau.Je suis très limitée..qu'il ait eu l'air d'un oiseau est un hasard:)Presqu'un miracle:)
    A little wrapped cookie by un café in France? One day I hope~
    Have a wonderful day~

  25. I've never heard of speculoos until now Monique but I am very intrigued by it. Can I ask what you mean by 3/4 can of Eagle Brand? I would like to make this.

  26. I've never heard of speculoos until now Monique but I am very intrigued by it. Can I ask what you mean by 3/4 can of Eagle Brand? I would like to make this.

  27. Glorious, from start to finish!

    You never cease to amaze, dear M. I hope you don't mind me hanging around here to swoon and dream for a little while? xoxo

  28. sounds like you've really researched this recipe...YOUR tarts are doubt delish.
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