Tompoes

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Tompoes

The tompoes is a traditional Dutch pastry that is often served with afternoon coffee or at celebratory events like birthdays. It's similar to what's known as a Napoleon in the United States, Napoleonbakelse in Sweden and Finland, and Napoleon-cake in Norway and Denmark. In Holland and Belgium it is called a tompoes, or tompouce.

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The tompoes is a traditional Dutch pastry that is often served with afternoon coffee or at celebratory events like birthdays. It's similar to what's known as a Napoleon in the United States, Napoleonbakelse in Sweden and Finland, and Napoleon-cake in Norway and Denmark. In Holland and Belgium it is called a tompoes, or tompouce.

What sets the Dutch variety apart is the sweet pink (or orange for Queen’s Day!) icing on top, often topped with a complimentary white stripe of whipped cream. It's a pastry that is much favored by all and, as the national sense of humor dictates, is the traditional choice for being served when one is visiting with one's family in-laws for the first time or when one has to make a good impression of oneself and is now challenged with having to eat a pastry that is going to fall to pieces the moment one bites into one end.

Both the tompoes and the Bossche Bol are the two top pastries that are a devil to eat, either by hand or with cutlery, without making an absolute mess. But in case you were in a situation where manners do not matter, the easiest way to consume this lovely baked good is to grab the bottom layer firmly between thumb and index and attack it, one bite at a time, short side first.

Tompoes

  • 250ml (8.5 fl oz) of milk
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla flavoring)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons powdered or icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 drop red food coloring or red berry juice

Warm the milk, add the vanilla bean and steep for 15 minutes. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and the salt, and one tablespoon of flour. Stir until creamy.

Take the vanilla bean out of the milk, open it up and scrape out the seeds (or add the vanilla essence to the milk) and stir. Take two tablespoons of warm milk and stir it into the egg yolk mix, then stir in the rest of the flour. Carefully stir all this back into the warm milk into the pan, put it back on a low heat and stir until it becomes a thick mass. Take off the stove and cover with a piece of plastic, to avoid forming a skin when it cools down.

Heat the oven to 200C (400F). Spray a baking sheet or pan with cooking spray. Cut the puff pastry sheet in 4 equal rectangular sections and place them on the baking sheet. Brush the top with the beaten egg,  prick holes into the pastry with the tines of a fork and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the dough is golden. Remove from the oven, and taking care not to burn your fingers, quickly and carefully pull the top from the bottom sheet. Set all eight pieces aside on a rack to cool.

Stir powdered sugar with the milk and the red food coloring into a thick icing.
Take the bottom part of one of the baked puff pastries and spread the cooled down vanilla cream on it. Top it with its corresponding iced top half of the pastry. When all four are done, carefully spread the pink icing on top: let it dry and eat!

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