For those who are not familiar, Huize van Wely is the famed Dutch patisserie established in 1922, offering unparalleled expertise in the craft of pastries across its five branches in Holland.
Their Executive Pastry Chef, Robin Hoedjes, was in town to oversee the quality of production and introduce new recipes and techniques to the local team of chefs at two of Huize van Wely’s offshoots in Jakarta: The Papilion Kemang and Pacific Place mall.
We had the opportunity to meet with the award-winning pastry chef, as he reminisced on what ignited his interest in pastries, his achievements and what his plans are for the future.
“My earliest encounters with pastries were with my father (also a pastry chef) and I remember baking my first strawberry mille-feuille”, as Chef Robin recounted with a hint of nostalgia, crediting his father for teaching him the fundamentals of baking and setting him off on a career path he is deeply passionate about.
With over 25 years of experience under his belt, Chef Robin remains fascinated by the precision and delicate nature of the craft. His most impressive moment in his career has been to receive the prestigious Dutch Pastry Award in 2015, where he laboriously sculpted a figure of a woman out of chocolate.
“In big competitions such as these, the challenge is in displaying versatility of expertise and adaptation to the working environment, “ he said. “You need to be equally skillful in making all types of desserts (pastries, chocolates, cakes) as well as working within strict time durations.”
Winning the competition has paved the way for his induction into the national Dutch Pastry Team comprising of 10 members, representing the best chefs in Holland. The members train and compete internationally together, with a collective mission to strive for exceptional standards of the craft.
As for the future, Chef Robin “would love to travel, either for the company or for myself, and showing people the infinite possibilities in the art of pastry.”
“Maybe someday I will have my own company but now it is all about amassing experiences and getting inspired by the people I meet and the food I eat during my travels,” he enthused.
But before he bid the city goodbye, we got him to share with us a simple recipe, as well as some tips and tricks, for Moorkop. This perennially Dutch favourite pastry is a profiterole glazed with dark chocolate and filled with whipped cream that resembles an éclair but differs slightly on the type of cream and fondant icing.
The recipe is divided into three parts: creating the choux, whipped cream and chocolate fondant (this recipe serves 12 Moorkops).
Creating the choux:
15g Milk Powder
- Boil the water with the milk powder, salt, sugar and butter.
- When it has come to a boil, add the flour and heat for another 5 minutes.
- Pour the dough into the kitchen aid and mix well.
- Add the eggs into the dough, little by little and mix it well again.
- Insert the dough into a piping bag and pipe 12 pastries on a baking tray.
- Bake at 210oC until golden and puffy.
- Leave them to cool.
Making the whipped cream:
600g Fresh Cream
60g Powdered Sugar
- Whip the powdered sugar with the cream together until fluffy.
- Fill the choux with a piping bag of the cream.
- Later, use the same cream to decorate the top of the Moorkop, along with fruits of your choice.
Making chocolate fondant:
500g Fondant Icing
200g Dark Chocolate
- Mix all together and heat in the pan until it reaches 38oC.
- Dip the choux into the fondant.
- Leave them to cool down before enjoying the dessert.
Tips and Tricks:
If you do not have milk powder, replace it with fresh milk.
Use the kitchen aid at low speed so you do not whip air into the choux.
In between baking the choux, turn the tray around for a more even baking, so the colour of the choux will be more equal.
Use scissors to make a small hole on the bottom of the choux, so it will be easier to fill it with whipped cream.
When the fondant is too thick in consistency, add a little hot water to make the fondant runnier.