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In Dutch cuisine, a moorkop is a sweet, cream puff pastry that contains vanilla cream inside and is glazed on top with cream mixed with cocoa powder and fruit pieces. The word moorkop means a Moor's head; Moor was a word used to describe black people, notably in William Shakespeare's Othello. The pastry is round and covered with dark chocolate, and was thought to resemble a person's head, hence the unusual name.
The moorkop pastries can be purchased ready made at many patisseries in the Netherlands and around the world, or they can be made at home. To make this Dutch pastry, butter, water, sugar and salt are mixed together and heated for several minutes in a pan. The flour is gradually added to the pan and is well-mixed with the sugary syrup until a smooth dough is obtained. The pan is removed from the heat and set aside. The eggs are whisked and then added to the dough.
The dough is kneaded well to get a more smooth texture and it is then greased all over with melted butter. The buttered dough is then divided into several small balls. These dough sections may be left spherical or slightly flattened. A hole or well is made in each of these dough balls and they are then placed in a baking pan and baked for about 20 minutes. The baked pastries are then removed from the oven and placed out to cool.
The next step is to make the filling for the pastries. The sweet filling is made by mixing vanilla sugar into cream and butter, and whipping the mixture until it is nice and fluffy. This whipped cream mix is then poured into the wells or holes left for this very purpose in the pastries.
The moorkop pastry is then covered with a glaze made by mixing cocoa powder and cream. This gives the pastry its distinctive dark appearance. A fruit slice is placed on top. Given the chocolate glazing, the moorkop pastries will need to be refrigerated in order to preserve them for any duration. The moorkop pastry was probably inspired by the French profiterole or chouz a la creme pastries, but in those French pastries the cream is sandwiched between two pastry sections, not inserted inside the pastry.
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