Fun to make, fun to bake and a LOT of fun to eat!
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Everybody in Holland knows these cakes. We actually call it a ‘koek’ because to us it is more or less the big brother of a ‘koekje’ (a cookie or biscuit). For those of you who have never heard of rondo’s or kano’s: There is no difference between them, except for the shape. A rondo is round and a kano is… shaped like a canoe! The important thing is they are equally delicious. Think Dutch apple pie texture with crispy dough edges, together with a soft rich almond filling. The same as with traditional Dutch apple pie, this dough is also made with a raising agent. The filling, traditionally and correctly, is made with almonds and sugar, egg and lemon zest. This mixture is blended into a thick creamy paste that forms the layer between the two dough rounds (or ovals).
To give you options, we offer you a choice of two fillings, the traditional almond paste (almost totally made in advance) or the also very tasty frangipane (made on the same day). The frangipane, made with additional butter, gives a slightly different texture. The almond paste stays more of a separate layer, the frangipane is less distinct, it more gradually merges with the pastry.
With the amount of dough in this recipe, you can make 10 rondo’s or kano’s, or a mix of both of course. But you will only be able to squeeze out 10 if you work very precise and don’t eat any of the dough while rolling. If this does not sound like you, you will probably end up with 8!
We have to add that these home made rondo’s and kano’s are nothing like the ones you can buy in the store. Freshly baked there is no comparison. Pure baking satisfaction. We never cared for the store bought version but we love the home baked ones!
In the recipe we will only talk of rondo’s from now on, but you can read either rondo’s or kano’s or a combination of both, whichever makes you a happy baker!
Ingredients for the Rondo’s
makes 8 – 10
200 g pastry flour / French type 45 flour
5 g baking powder
Pinch of salt
150 g cold butter in cubes
100 g soft white or light brown sugar (muscovado)
150 g to 200 g almond paste or frangipane (see recipes below)
egg wash for brushing tops (beaten with some water or cream)
Making the dough
Combine flour, baking powder and salt and sift. Add the butter cubes and rub together with the flour. Add the sugar and quickly combine to form a smooth dough (be careful not to overwork the dough because you will not get that crumbly texture!). Divide the dough into two equal parts, wrap both parts in clingfilm, press into flat shapes for easy rolling later on, and leave to rest / ripen in the fridge for 1 hour .
You can either make a traditional filling with almond paste or alternatively you can fill the rondo’s or kano’s with frangipane. We will give you the recipe for both fillings and you can choose which one you prefer.
Ingredients for the Almond Paste
75 g blanched (white) unsalted almonds
75 g fine sugar
zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
little bit of water
1 small egg, beaten (added on the day, just before baking)
Making the Almond Paste
The following step is done in advance. Take at least one day to give the paste a chance to ripen and blend. Put the almonds and sugar in a grinding device or a mill (for instance an old coffee grinder) and grind the almonds to a very fine powder consistency. You can also buy ready made almond powder in some shops if you do not want to go to the ‘trouble’ of grinding. Put the fine almonds and sugar in a bowl, now add the lemon zest and some water until you have a smooth but very firm paste, not too wet and not too dry. This paste can be stored in the fridge until needed. So you can do this step one day in advance, but also one or two weeks. As long as you do not yet add the egg.
Before using it in your rondo’s, work the beaten egg through the paste so it becomes smoother and easier to work with. Add the egg in stages, until you reach the consistency you want. It has to be very smooth and have the consistency that is easily piped from a piping bag onto the dough rounds but can still hold its shape.
Spoon the almond paste in a piping bag and put it in the fridge until needed.
Ingredients for the Frangipane Paste
50 g butter
50 g sugar
70 g finely ground almonds / almond flour
zest of 1/2 a lemon
Making the Frangipane
Make the frangipane by slowly melting the butter over low heat and then letting it cool. Beat the sugar, the egg and the grated zest of lemon with a whisk until creamy. Then slowly add the melted butter while continuing to beat. Add the almond flour and mix well. Put in a piping bag and refrigerate until needed.
Making the Rondo’s
Preheat your oven at 175ºC / 350ºF.
Prepare a baking tray by covering it with a sheet of baking paper. Place rondo baking rings on the paper, making sure to keep a small distance between the rings.
Take out the first batch of dough to make the bottom halves of the rondo’s. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 4 mm / 0.15 inches. Now cut out 10 rounds. For the rondo’s you can use a cutter that has a 7 cm / 2.8 inches diameter. For the kano’s you can make an imprint on the dough with the kano ring and cut it out with a sharp knife. Especially when you want to cut out 10 dough circles, you need to re-roll the pieces and cut a few times.
Place the cut out dough in the baking rings. Take out the second batch of dough and cut out the 10 shapes that go on top.
Take the piping bag with almond paste or frangipane from the fridge. Pipe a ball of your paste on top of the bottom dough rounds inside the rings. With the kano’s you pipe a nice fat line. Then, on top of that, carefully place the top dough rounds in the rings. Softly press the edges of the top and bottom dough together.
Now brush each rondo with a first coating of egg wash. Place an almond in the middle of each rondo and lightly press it. Give it a second brush with the egg wash.
Put your tray in the preheated oven and bake the rondo’s for 20 minutes until golden brown. Take out of the oven and immediately remove the baking rings, using a kitchen towel to protect your fingers from the heat. Careful please! Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
If you do not have baking rings, alternatively you can use something like a non-stick muffin tray.