There is a tradition in Holland that when a man turns 50 an Abraham banketspop (cake) is made and for a woman a Sarah. This is a cake that is made of mixed spice and filled with almond spice. In March I made an Abraham for Mr Ecochick’s boss and on the weekend mum and I made a Sarah for a friend (the same friend I made the crochet sandals for).
The banketspop is made in two different parts. The first part (the almond spice) is to be made four to six weeks or longer in advance (this is really important as the almond has to have time to set); the speculaas is made a day before the birthday. This recipe actually makes enough for two banketspopen (so we usually make extra cakes for ourselves to eat).
First you’ll need to print and cut out the banketspop template (in whatever size you want to make the banketspop – my template was blown up to A3). You’ll need to cut out one body and one hand and foot.
Part one: the almond spice filling
125 g ground almonds
125 g sugar
Rind of half a lemon (you can leave this out if you like)
Mix all the ingredients together until they are thoroughly mixed.
Place the mixture in a sealed container in the fridge for four to six weeks (this step is really important).
Part two: speculaas
2 tsp baking powder
300g brown sugar
3 Tbls speculaas spice (gingerbread spice)
10 or so peeled whole almonds
50g icing sugar
2 green glazed cherries (plus 2 red only for the Sarah)
Cotton wadding (only for the Abraham)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Sift the flour and baking powder, mix together with the brown sugar and speculaas spice. Soften the butter, add to the mixture. Add the milk and combine well. Place the dough in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to set.
Roll out the dough and cut out two bodies, two hands and two feet. Add an even thick layer of the almond spice all over the body then place the other body on top pushing the edges of the bodies together.
The blob is a little extra cake
I made for us. Yummy.
Mix the egg with a fork then brush the egg all over the body; stick the feet and hands down with egg and brush egg onto the hands and feet. Add the green cherries for eyes and one almond for a nose; if you’re making a Sarah add the red cherries to make lips and place the whole almonds as a necklace and for buttons. If you’re making an Abraham place the whole almonds around the neck and as buttons as per the template/ photo.
Place the speculaas in the oven in the middle tray for about 40-50 minutes or until the banketspop is cooked and browning (the speculaas will feel hardish and crack a little when it is ready). Place the banketspop on a cooling rack.
Once the banketspop is cold (can be done the next day to be sure it’s cold) mix the icing sugar with water to form a paste; if you’re making an Abraham draw on legs and sleeves and add cotton wadding as a beard. If you’re making a Sarah use the paste to make a skirt and sleeves. Tie a ribbon around the body and you now have a wonderful special birthday gift. Enjoy.