Brownies and Other Cakes…A Dutch Birthday Tradition

In Holland, when it’s your birthday then you have to do “trakteren” (traktir in Indonesian 😉 or treat in English) your colleagues at work. Usually the birthday boy/girl would bring cakes as a form of “trakteren”. But because last Friday was masbul birthday but that day he wasn’t at work since it was “harpitnas” (Thursday April 30th was Queen’s Day), so tomorrow he is going to bring cakes.

I decided to make my own cakes and to proof that I am crazy I decided to make 4 kinds of cakes :p , no not alone, I’m not that crazy. I baked with my friend Iin the whole Sunday afternoon. It’s so much fun to bake with company as you can share jokes, update about our life and of course gossip :p Thank you In for helping me with all the cakes 😉

The 4 kinds of cakes were; Kue Soes Isi Vla, Carrot Pineapple Cake, Mini Fruit Pie and Brownies. I have made the kue soes isi vla and carrot pineapple cake before so you could follow the link to find out the recipes. As for the mini fruit pie, I cheated on the most important part which was the pastry :p I bought ready made pasrty shell then filled it with Napoleon Vla, topped it with fruit and glazed it with clear jelly.

Assorted Cake

But what I’m going to share with you is this amazing brownies… was just so heavenly good. The top was nicely dry and cracked like rice field in the dry summer months. The inside was nicely fudgy, chocolatey and gooey just like a proper brownies should be. I got the recipe in one of my recipe book collection. Bake by Rachel Allen, a famous chef from UK.


Makes 16 pieces

– 175 gr dark cooking chocolate (use best quality you can afford as this will determined the taste of your brownies)
– 175 gr butter
– 25 gr good quality cocoa powder
– 3 eggs
– 225 gr caster or soft brown sugar (I used 175 gr)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 100 gr plain flour
– 75 gr hazelnut, toasted skinned and roughly chopped
– Icing sugar and cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

– Preheat oven to 180Celcius. Line the base and sides of a cake tin (20x20cm) with baking paper.
– Melt the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not lete the base of the bowl touch the water. Remove from the heat. (I did this part in the microwave 😉 )
– In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract for 2 minutes. Continuing to whisk, add the chocolate mixture until well combined. Sift in the flour through with the hazelnuts with a spatula or metal spoon.
– Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 19-25 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin, then cut into squares.
– Dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder (optional)

Source: Bake by Rachel Allen

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