Koningsdag wortel tompoes

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‘Koningsdag wortel tompoes’

The ‘Koningsdag wortel tompoes’ was a dish presented to the visitors of fanfare, Amsterdam.

It consisted of a base of souffle custard, a layer of carrot custard and another layer of whipped cream between three layers of candied carrots.

The dish was shown and accompanied by a podcast laying out the reasons why the dish may be both environmentally and culturally resilient in the North Holland region.

To listen to the podcast:

The podcast can be found on the podcast app (by researching “The Soft Protest Digest”/Koningsdag wortel tompoes) or by following this link to our Soundcloud.

Transcript of the podcast of the “Koningsdag wortel tompoes”

War time poster advertising the carrot as a remedy for blackouts
An original tompoes
The family of Oranje

“Waarom de wortel gebruiken? Why use the carrot?
From an agricultural point of view: the carrot is a very interesting crop. It can grow in difficult terrains such as sand, under rain and snow (it is thus very adequate for a country such as the NL, with lots of sandy soil and damp weather). It also has a power: it can aireate the soil. By growing its root, the carrot helps to give a good, healthy and breathing structure the soil (which allows micro organism to flourish and garanties healthy plantations).
Secondly, the carrot is a strong root: it is quite resistant to chocs and cuts and can last for many days or even weeks in the pantry. Mainly for this reason, the carrot is today one of the cheapest vegetable available on the market. Being in season (almost) throughout the year and being very versatile (it can be roasted for example, or used in cakes) it makes it a great candidate for any dish, at any season.

The carrot is a simple root vegetable, of course, but its use in the past centuries has made it a very interesting subject: it is gone through, quite literally a ‘branding’, which has affected geo-politics in various ways.

The english case:
During WWII, Britain was going through to a severe shortage of food — to which the government answered with: the carrot. As it was a time of crisis, the agricultural ministry started to strongly encourage the production and eating of carrots through many advertising campaigns (even calling on Disney studios to design carrot mascots) which reached such a success that the british quickly were facing a huge overproduction of carrots (100.000 tons), which meant that creating another narrative to push the population to consume even more carrots was needed. The narrative chose by the british government was: night vision. Through many posters and scientific articles in the press, the government led the population to believe that carotene was responsible for the success of the pilotes of the british royal air force. These pilotes were, say, to be fed carrots in order for them to develop their vision in the dark. People thus tucked in to carrots, believing that the shortage of batteries would no longer be a concern as they would develop cats eyes and see better in the dark.
Night sight can mean life or death, eat carrots” can you see written on war time posters.

The dutch case:
If one ingredient can embody the striking power of the dutch export, it is the carrot. May it be cultivated on all of the five continents, may it be red, purple, yellow, white, sweet, sour, short or long, the western world knows one carrot by heart: the orange dutch carrot.
In the 17th century, the dutch royal family of Oranje (which fought the kingdom of Spain for their independence) decided to brand its name has a way to guarantee the stability of its power. Orange trees were massively planted, old buildings were painted orange, orange marmalade became a breakfast trend… the Oranje family simply colored the Netherlands orange and the Dutch population happily greeted it.
At the time, the Netherlands was the largest grower of roots worldwide. Therefore, to join in with the orange hype, the root farmers came up with something better than a song: they would grow orange carrots and flood the market worldwide. Today, the monopoly of the orange carrot is the reason of this simple patriotic act.

Nowadays, Exberry, a 35 years old independent company based in the Netherlands is producing food coloring by the ton. Its products are currently used in the food industry (to color sodas, biscuits and dairy products) by 70% of major manufacturers worldwide, in 70 countries. Produced with vegetal material, their best sellers is: orange (produced with carrots). The Netherlands are still coloring the world in orange.

The tompoes is, as the orange carrot is to the world, a staple of dutch culture. Consisting of a layer of pastry cream trapped between two layers of condensed puff pastry, the tompoes can be found, colored in pink everywhere in holland. For king’s day however, the tompoes becomes the koningsdag tompoes and its pink icing is replaced by the color of the dutch royalty: orange.
In order for this dish to reach a greater level of resilience the puff pastry is swapped for two layers of candied carrot. Indeed, the puff pastry calls on the use of wheat (which is not a resilient grain) and an unnecessary amount of butter. Therefore, instead of using around 250g of cow butter and 250g of wheat, one carrot (a large winterpen which can be easily found in winter in the farms of northern holland) can do the job. By letting it simmer in a syrup of wild honey and water, you can get a bright orange sheet which will bring sweetness and a nice snap to the cake.
To top the cake off, the top layer of whipped cream is sprinkled with carotene powder (which is basically dehydrated carrot, blizzed up), which will able you to turn everything you might cook: carrot colored.”

Recipe

Ingredients

Candied carrot sheet:

  • 1 very large winterpen
  • 250g of wild honey
  • 250ml of water

Whipped cream:

  • 150ml of slagroom

Pastry cream:

  • 300ml of cow milk
  • 2 carrots
  • 40g of white spelt flour
  • 30g of potato starch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. of wild honey

Sponge cake:

  • 100g of pastry cream
  • 1 egg white


Preparation

Candied carrot sheet:

1. With a mandolin, slice the carrot lengthwise on the thicker setting (approx. 2mm).
2. In a medium size saucepan, heat up the honey and water to a simmer, or until well dissolved.
3. Place in the carrot sheets and simmer, stirring every now and then, for 15min.
4. Carefully place each sheet of carrot onto a oiled baking sheet (be careful, the syrup is very hot).
5. With your finger, remove the excess syrup from the surface of the carrot.
6. Place in a 140°c oven and bake for around 30mn.
7. With a long knife, lift the carrots off the baking sheet, and place on the other side.
8. Bake for 15 more minutes and leave to cool.

Note: be careful to use the candied carrots on the same day you will serve the tompoes as the carrots will become soggy in a matter of hours.

Pastry cream:

1. Grate the two carrots and press with your hands over a sieve to collect the juice.
2. Warm the milk, honey, and carrot juice to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5min.
3. Whip the egg yolks, flour and potato starch until it turns pale yellow.
4. Pour in a few table spoons of the lukewarm milk in the egg yolk mixture and whip vigorously until smooth.
5. Incorporate to the rest of the milk, continuously stirring with a whisk, slowly increase the heat and cook until it reaches a custard consistency (keep in mind that when cooled, the cream will thicken even more).
6. Leave to cool to room temperature, covering the surface with clean film to prevent the formation of a dry skin.

Spongecake:

1. Whip the egg whites to stiff picks.
2. Slowly fold in the egg whites to the 100g of pastry cream.
3. Pour the batter in a greased proof rectangular mold and bake, covered with a sheet of parchemin paper in a 200°c oven for 15min.
4. Leave to cool.

How to build the tompoes:

1. Cut the sponge cake following the size of one of the candied carrots.
2. Place the sponge cake on the serving tray and top with one carrot sheet.
3. With a piping bag, carefully pipe on the carrot custard on a 1.5cm layer.
4. Place another carrot sheet and pipe on a thick layer of whipped cream.
5. Place the last sheet of carrot and pipe on a single line of whipped cream.
6. Sprinkle with carotene powder.
7. Serve straight away.

Products

Resilience of the dish and its products:

Click to zoom in on the receipts 🔍