Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Our Tompoes of today
I like to bake.
And I like it way too much. 
I'd probably really skinny if I'd skip the baking hobby. 

And today, restday, we (Dennis and I) made Tompoes. 

Dennis told me he'd once a week go to the HEMA with his pocket money (the money he got from his mum to buy school-milk every day) to buy a Tompoes. 

Tompoes means Tom-cat it is, literary translated. A known comic character, Tom Puss (Tom Poes in Dutch) is even named after the pastry.

Tom Poes and Heer Bommel
The pastry looks a little like the French mille-feulle but is far tastier to my opinion. 

They say the Tompoes has been made first by a bakery/patisserie in Amsterdam. The baker was inspired by the figure of General Tom Thumb. 
A little man (Charles Sherwoon Stratton) was one of the big attractions from the American circus of Phineas Taylor Barnum. In 1844 and 1845 the circus traveled through the Netherlands. A couple years later a Frysian little man traveled around as well, inspired by Charles. The little man called himself 'Admiraal Tom Pouce' > General Tom Thumb.

Advertisement of General Tom Pouce on tour
Both Tom Thumb and Tom Pouce refer to the same fairytale figure

The French version mille-feulle is also called a 'Napoleon' after the rather small postured French emperror. Both Tompoes and mille-feulle probably have the same history but as far as I know it's not really known which pastery was first. 

In my grandmothers recipe book I couldn't find the recipe but how to make every separate part was still in there. And it's not too difficult. Even Dennis can make it ;)

So here the recipe. And for the ones who speak Dutch/Flemmish here a good little video on how to make it: 


- 1 L milk
- 1 or 2 egg yokes > keep the egg-whites to make 6-8 meringues later on (125g powder sugar, egg-whites, stir till stiff, bake on 125 C for one hour)
- 180 g sugar
- 40 g Maizena (corn starch)
- 30 g flour
- or 60 g of custard instead of the Maizena and flour
- bit of vanilla, vanilla essence or vanilla sugar 

- 1 sheet of puff pastry (French pastry) (you can buy this in the supermarket, often frozen)

- 150 g powder sugar
- 12 ml milk (tablespoon)

The whole process takes at about 70 minutes.

1. Pudding.

Slowly heat up the milk just before boiling point. Add the vanilla to the milk.

Stir the other ingredients for the pudding in a kitchen-aid. I just did it by hand, but a kitchen-aid is faster.
Start with mixing the egg-yokes. Add the sugar and make a fluffy dough out of it. Now add the Maizena and flour.
Add a little of the warm vanilla-milk to the mixture and blend well.
Pour the mixture to the rest of the warm milk and stir continuously. Heat the mixture slowly but don't let it boil. When the first air bubbles pop up the mixture should be firm enough.

Put the mixture in a plastic bag and totally close the bag air tight (this will be your pastry-bag later on). Closing the bag avoids the mixture getting a 'skin' (sheet).
Put the bag in the fridge to let it cool.

2. Dough.

Roll out the puff-pastry and cut the dough in two. Bake the dough on a plate on 170C (use baking paper). To avoid the dough to raise and bubble up put a scale on top of the dough. The baking takes at about 30 minutes depending on your oven.
After baking you can cut the pastry in small blocks, rectangles or whatever you like.

3. Icing

Stir the sugar and milk to a thick shiny mixture.

4. Tompoes

Cut a 1cm corner off one of the corners of the plastic-bag. Now you can squeeze the pudding onto the bottom layer of the pastry-squares (or whatever shape you made them). Squeeze at about 2-3cm thick layers onto the pastry.
Put the other dough layer on top of the pudding and spread out the icing on top.

On Kings-day and when the national soccer team plays many bakeries sell the Tompoes with an orange coloured icing (orange is the Dutch national colour, in case you didn't knew...)
But most of the times the icing is made pink.
You can use berry juice instead of milk (like strawberry) to make the icing pink.

*Pink, yet another Dutch word...*

The pastry is often served during tea/coffee times after midday.

Eet smakelijk :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014


About how rich you can feel and loose it all in just a couple hours.

Golfje is one of the most precious things I own.

I just made a last ride. Windows fully open, listening to the sound of the small 1.6 Diesel engine. One-on-twentyfive and when I'd go slow one-on-twentyeight. More efficient then most of the modern cars, less pollution as no new car has been made to replace Golfje.
Giving a little more gas, taking the corners, my hair flying in the wind. Just going nowhere with a smile on my face, because I'm driving Golfje.

Athough I try to have as less as possible, Golfje is one of the things I liked to keep.
Until January 2014.
In the Netherlands the economy changed. And thus taxes changed.
With the excuse to stimulate people to buy new cars and to have less pollution the government decided that all cars younger then 40 years have to pay full taxes. Suddenly my 1981 VW Golf mk1 is not an oldtimer anymore.
In the case of Golfje that is over €800,- taxes annually. And suddenly also the insurance went up to €37 per month.

Golfje suddenly became the most expensive thing I owned.
Just over a year ago Golfje was worth over €1000,-

Today I sold Golfje. For €500,-
That hurt. A lot.

Just before Golfje will drive to Belgium with his new owner.

I really wanted to make the car into a perfect daily. Fresh paint, perfect engine, and keep the cool look of the BBS rims.

Hopefully the new owner keeps his promise and make Golfje into the car that it deserves to be. At least he seemed friendly and even brought an authentic Belgian pie called 'vlaai' :)

Later on the day I paid the taxes on my salary for the last quarter. More then €600 disappeared off my account to the Dutch tax services.