The Dutch definitely have a sweet tooth. We love cookies, cakes, pastries, anything savory with cheese, or sweet with chocolate. And we adore whipped cream. No heavy frosting on our birthday cakes: whipped cream will do just fine!
It is therefore not surprising that this sweet pastry is one of the country’s favorites. It’s like a chocolate éclair but bigger, fluffier, with better chocolate and much more cream. These Bossche beauties have made the city of 's-Hertogenbosch famous (or is it the other way around?) and are the number one pastry that is served with fork and knife and a handful of napkins. Because there is no way, just like with the tompouce, another Dutch favorite, that you will not end up with whipped cream on your lap, on your tie or blouse and on your fingers. And that is just the charm of these bollen.
- 75 ml (2.5 fl oz) water
- 30 gram (1 oz) butter
- 45 grams (1.5 oz) flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 dark chocolate bar
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 150 ml (5.2 fl oz)whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
Heat the water and the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then take off the stove. Add the flour and salt, and stir until it all comes together in a ball. Let it cool to the touch. Stir in the egg and continue to stir until the dough has absorbed all the egg and is a homogenous whole.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, divide the dough in four (for smaller bollen) or in two (for large ones) and place it on top of the parchment. Bake in an 200C (425F) degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cool on a rack.
In the meantime, beat the whipping cream and the sugar until it’s stiff. Fill a pastry bag with a small tip and poke through the bottom of the bol. Fill with whipped cream. Heat the chocolate bar and the tablespoon of water in the microwave (30 seconds on medium), stir until the chocolate has melted and the sauce has come together. Cool for about five minutes, then carefully take the cream-filled Bossche bol and dip, head first, into the chocolate. If you don't want to get your hands dirty, just set the bollen on a rack and slowly pour the chocolate over the top, one spoonful at a time.
Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate is solid and everything has had a chance to firm up a bit. Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee and some good company. And keep those napkins handy!