This is NOT a 10 minute treat. Not by a longshot. But oh my G does it hit the spot after 2-3 hours of messing about in the kitchen. While it may not be a beginner's recipe, it's not as hard as one might think. The only problem is the chocolate, but come on, when has chocolate ever really been a problem? Chocolate drippings everywhere just give you an extra excuse to taste the stuff as you go along.
Apart from the odd Swedish or German interpretations of the concept "flødebolle" (~ "cream roll" though no cream or rolls are involved), I believe they are mostly a Danish invention. At least I know we've been the ones taking it to a higher level during the last decade or so. Basically a flødebolle consist of three things: A waffle or marzipan base cut into circles, a filling made of whipped egg whites and sugar (a bit like Italian meringue) and a chocolate "cover". That's it. But when you buy them from chocolatiers in Copenhagen, e.g. A XOCO (the best place for innovative and immaculate chocolate in Denmark as far as I'm concerned - they call it chocolate gastronomy and that's pretty much what it is), you get so much more. The version I made was inspired by our recent visit to the probably most infamous 2 star Michelin restaurant here called noma. Their filling was raspberry flavoured and it really brought me to my knees. Let's get this party started:
Flødeboller (makes about 40 with a 4 cm diameter base)
Recipe adapted from a Mad&Vin ad
- 3 (pasteurized) egg whites
- 20 grams sugar
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 15 raspberries, mashed (you can choose to remove the seeds by pressing them through a sieve first)
- 50 grams water
- 225 grams sugar
- 150 grams marzipan
- 20 grams chopped almonds
- 200 grams very dark chocolate, e.g. Lindt 85% cocoa which has a very nice acidity
1) Mix the almonds with the marzipan and use a rolling pin to roll it out on a slightly floured surface until it is about 4 mm thick. Cut circles into the marzipan using a small glass with a diameter of about 4 cm. Place an oven rack on some baking paper (for the chocolate drippings) and then place the circles on the rack. The leftover bits can be re-rolled and cut into squares and filled in the same way, but use them as tasters for later.
2) Whip the egg whites in a metal or glass bowl (important because of the heat later on) and add the sugar as they begin to turn stiff. Keep whipping until the mixture is nice and fluffy. Set aside.
3) Boil a syrup in a saucepan using the water and sugar. Let it reach 117 degrees Celcius and at that exact point, take if from the heat and whip it into the egg whites with an electric mixer, making sure you pour as slowly and as closely to the inside of the bowl as possible so it DOES NOT hit the mixer in the bowl. Be careful as the bowl can turn quite hot from the syrup. Keep whipping until it has colled down. When all of the syrup has been mixed, add the mashed/de-seeded raspberries and mix it well. At the end the mixture should be shiny, slightly "bouncy" and you should be able to form little peaks with the tip of your mixer. If not, keep mixing for another while.
4) Pour some of the mixture into a piping bag with a round-holed tip, squeeze it gently and twist it to keep the mixture in place. And here starts the tricky part. Squeeze out a little of the meringue onto one of the marzipan bases. MAKE SURE you squeeze it out evenly, because otherwise you will have trouble covering it evenly with the chocolate afterwards. A trick I learned along the way (did I mention this was my first time?) was this:
- Place the tip of the piping bag on the middle of a marzipan circle.
- Hold it upright and squeeze out an even blob that goes almost to the edge of the base
- Stick the tip into the blob and squeeze some more, always lifting it slightly upwards as you go. This should result in layered "waves" of meringue that turn smaller as you reach the wanted height. Mine were about 7 cm tall. See above photo for details.
- When all of the bases have been topped with meringue, leave them to set for 30 mins.
5) After about 20 mins. melt the chocolate in a bain marie (water bath) and leave it to cool to a "finger-temperature". You can always try pouring it onto one of your testers and see if the meringue melts. If not, you're ready to go. If it is too cold, reheat it gently, otherwise it won't run down the sides and cover the meringue properly. When you're pretty confident the chocolate is just right, pour it over each meringue top using a cup. Leave them to set. This is were I still need some clarification from a chocolatier because how the hell does one get the chocolate to cover completely? Even with all my precautions the flødebolle on the picture top right was still one of the prettiest of the bunch and that says a lot. Luckily I'm going on a chocolate course tomorrow evening and I will try to ask the chocolatier about this, so I might have some answers for you soon. If not, they are still extremely delicious in the more "rustic" version. The combination of the sweet meringue, and the acidity of the chocolate and the raspberries can't possibly be ruined by shaky design only. Plus, the almonds render the base slightly crunchy which is very very nice. Now go on, be bold and try it out. The reward is huge and mouthwateringly addictive! The flødeboller must be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They can keep for 2-3 days but then the sugar starts crystallizing on the inside and the raspberry juicy starts dripping slightly. Not bad tasting but definitely better when they're fresh.