Candy, Chocolate & Cocoa, Danish Delights

Flødeboller part 50.000 (or III, but who’s counting?)

Susceptible to flattery as I am, a recent comment on my old flødebolle-post here made me very happy. And also very hungry for flødeboller. So I decided to talk you through a four-round match of Heidi vs. Flødebollen. Take a ringside seat and keep a towel handy as there might be some chocolate staining ahead:

FIRST ROUND: I tried this recipe from an old ad for Magasin (Danish department store) with a few tweaks of my own. The result was very delicious, although not quite the eye candy I had hoped for. I had some trouble distributing the melted chocolate evenly so some of them ended up looking a bit blobby and unevenly covered.

SECOND ROUND: Was at the cooking class by A XOCO, where about eight of us were allowed to experiment with all of the professional equipment and expertise of the chocolatier in charge. From that course I learnt two very important lessons:

1) Using a better recipe for the meringue filling makes it sturdier and hence much easier to cover in chocolate. See the recipe by head chocolatier Jesper Rahbek from A XOCO here.

2) Covering the marzipan base with chocolate before adding the meringue keeps the flødeboller perky and fresh for a lot longer.

THIRD ROUND: (which at this time was no longer an attempt but a full-on mission) at homemade flødeboller. I ganged up with fellow foodie and blogger Sarah and our two boys, Johan and Bue, who ended up getting caught by the flødebolle bug, standing on the side, eager to be the next one covering the babies in chocolate or shaping the perfect meringue tower on the marzipan bases. And what a great factory we made in Sarah and Johan’s kitchen, ending up with three different flavours:

1) “Plain” vanilla and honey (the kind we used had so much flavour that it ended up being far from the neutral vanilla base as planned). Sprinkled with grated coconut.

2) Liquorice (powdered liquorice extract and salmiaksalt  a.k.a. ammonium chloride – not pictured above) sprinkled with raw liquorice powder from Johan Bülow

3) Raspberry (freeze dried raspberries from Spar Gourmet, my new favourite supermarket concept in Vienna. Since then they’ve become available in several specialty shops in Copenhagen).

Above are vanilla and raspberry in all their glory (sorry, the liquorice was gone by then)! Note that the vanilla ones with coconut topping were made on a plain wafer base (called Smörgåsrån which you can find in the crispbread section in most Swedish supermarkets), because we ran out of marzipan and wanted to try the classic combo from before flødeboller became an artisan discipline. They were really good and light and I ended up having far too many.

FOURTH ROUND:  I’m very impressed if you made it this far in my nerd-ologue, but at least the K.O. is just around the corner:  The result of Saturday’s work were the three flødeboller pictured at the very top of this post. We made liquorice again and the other half (almonds/pistachios) were with the same coffee-flavoured filling, covered in coffee chocolate.

What I learned:

1) Balance the meringue-topped marzipan on a wide-toothed fork (or a chocolate dipping fork if you’re feeling gadgety) over the chocolate bowl while covering it in melted chocolate.  That way you can tap the fork carefully on the side of the bowl and force any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, making the layer on the flødebolle nice and thin so you don’t squash it with the first bite.

2) Since the chocolate-covering is quite a time consuming affair, I really recommend that you leave the chocolate bowl in the bain marie (saucepan with a tiny bit of hot water over which you put the chocolate bowl for melting) as it keeps the chocolate runny for longer.

3) I have always been very annoyed that none of the artisan-flødebolle makers seemed to get the coffee flavour quite right. I don’t know what they do, but I used a liquid coffee extract I bought in Paris (Galeries Lafayette I think) and it was very easy to use, did not mess up the texture of the meringue and the flavour was spot on. Especially with the added crunch of a Savannah coffee chocolate on top. If you don’t have Galeries Lafayette around the corner, you can probably use either ground instant coffee or try to make your own liquid coffee extract by reducing coffee with a little water and a tiny bit of sugar until it has a thick espresso consistency.

The winning shot shows the liquorice flødebolle doing a full-on Basic Instinct, the only pose befitting of a winner: