Handmade Loaves: Arretje’s Cake

Remember Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook? Di who hosted the Sundae Sunday last July and the Virtual Cookie Exchange last December? Well, she came up with another great idea: Handmade Loaves. She asked some bloggers if they would like to bake a loaf of their own picking and then she would organize a roundup. I decided to make something easy with ingredients I had on hand: a non-bake loaf cake called Arretje’s Cake.

Arretje’s Cake is a cold cake that is traditionally eaten in different Dutch regions. The name comes from a cartoon figure called Arretje Nof that was used as advertisement for the butter brand of the Nederlandse Olie Fabrieken (NOF) (Dutch Oil Factories).

Though the exact ingredients differ per region and recipe, the base is the same. The ingredients are mixed and then need to rest in the fridge to stiffen up. Here’s my favorite recipe. You can use margarine, but I prefer to use butter as it makes the Arretje’s Cake much tastier! Be sure to cut the cake into thin slices, this cake is very rich.

Arretje’s Cake

200 grams  (dry) biscuits
200 grams butter
200 grams fine sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa

Break the biscuits into pieces.
Add the cocoa and the sugar.
Stir in the eggs.
Warm the butter (don’t boil it!!!!) and mix it through.

Line a loaf tin with plastic wrap and fill the tin with the mixture.
Press down well.
Let the tin rest in the fridge for a whole day.
Remove the cake from the tin and cut into thin slices.


Pumpkin Dinner: Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce

Since this spring a friend of mine has a vegetable garden where she grows loads of different vegetables. Her crop of pumpkins was amazing, she had so many pumpkins that she gifted me two of them. I pureed both the pumpkins and while I was looking at my bookmarked pumpkin recipes, I received an email from Phyl of Of Cabbages & King Cakes with a question if I wanted to participate in a Pumpkin Dinner Round Up. Of course this sounded like fun! I ended up making Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce and Pumpkin-Butterscotch Cookies. The cookies will be posted later, today I’m sharing the recipe for the Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce.

I wasn’t able to find evaporated milk, so I used sour cream. The flavor of the pumpkin and gorgonzola was very subtle, next time I will probably use a bit more gorgonzola.

Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce

adapted from Cooking Light
serves 6 

1 lb. uncooked pasta, small shapes work best
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms, any variety
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground sage or fresh sage, chopped
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk (I used a cup of sour cream)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Keep warm.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms, onion and garlic; cover and cook 3 minutes.  Uncover, cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Combine sage and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add cornstarch mixture and cheese to milk mixture; stirring with a whisk.  Cook 2 minutes or until thick and smooth, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in pumpkin, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add pasta to skillet.  Pour sauce over pasta and mushroom mixture, toss well to combine.