How to bake traditional Dutch tompouces

Have you already baked your way through lockdown? We help you to entertain yourself for an afternoon with this recipe of traditional Dutch tompouces!

Tompouces are traditionally a typical Dutch pastry. But is it really? Ask any Dutch person and they are firmly convinced that the tompouce is a Dutch pastry, first made by an Amsterdam pastry chef.

It is said that this pastry chef used circus dwarf General Tom Thumb as an inspiration behind the name of the tompouce. Perhaps the name Tom Thumb sounds familiar to you from the fairy tale Hop-o’-My-Thumb (Klein Duimpje in Dutch). In 1844, General Tom Thumb performed with the American circus in The Netherlands. He inspired another Dutch dwarf from Friesland, who started performing under the name Admiral Tom Pouce. Why Pouce? Because Pouce is the Dutch translation of the French word ‘thumb’. Can you still follow it?

But in fact, the pastry chef only named the pastry. Where the pastry actually came from, who knows? In France, the pastries (millefeuilles) have most probably been around since 1615. In Italy, the pastries are known as mille foglies and Italians are convinced that the pastry originated in Naples. Nowadays, tompouces are available in many countries. In Belgium, the pastry is called boekske or glacéke and in America, Sweden, Norway, and Russia it is called a Napoleon. Napoleon, Thom Thumb, Klein Duimpje… Do you see the resemblance? Thankfully, it doesn’t make them any less delicious!

All shapes, sizes, and flavors

There are tompouces with whipped cream, with decorations, with mocha fondant, or in savory version. Most often, you see them with pig pink-colored fondant glaze, but around King’s Day or a World Cup final they come in orange. And don’t be surprised if you even see tompouce cakes and tompouce donuts.

All variants aside, the concept of each tompouce is the same. Of course, you can buy them at the bakery, at the HEMA, or in the supermarket, but you can also do it yourself. Gather all ingredients and get started!

Recipe for orange tompouces

A tompouce consists of three parts: a puff pastry bottom and top, a filling of pastry cream with whipped cream and a top layer of glaze. To create 8 pieces, you need the following ingredients:

8 slices of puff pastry
3 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod
25 g flour
250 ml whole milk
50 g sugar
125 ml whipped cream
150 g icing sugar
Orange colorant (or carrot juice)
Water

First, preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Cut the puff pastry slides in half and place them on a oven tray. Pierce the pastry with a fork and cover it with one egg yolk. Bake the slides in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Next, you can make the filling of the tompouce. Mix the two remaining egg yolks with the floor and a shot of milk. Add the remaining milk with the sugar and the seed from the vanilla pod into a pan and bring to the boil. While whipping, add the warm milk to the egg yolk mixture. Put the mixture back into the pan and bring to the boil while stirring. Boil for approximately 5 minutes. After this, put the pastry cream in a bowl and let it cool off. First let it cool off outside the fridge, next cool the cream in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile, you can whip the cream. For the orange top layer, you have to make glaze. Mix the icing sugar with two spoons of water and the orange colorant. You can cover half of the puff pastry slides with the glaze.

When the pastry cream is cooled off, mix it with the whipped cream for a delicious, airy filling. Next, you can put together the tompouce. This can be a clumsy job! Start with a puff pastry layer and add a thick layer of cream with a piping bag or spatula. If you want, you can add a layer of whipped cream on top of this. Place the glaze-covered tops on the filling and smooth the sides of the tompouces.

Now it's time to enjoy your homemade tompouce!

Licking, splitting or piercing?

Did you know that there are several techniques for eating a tompouce? How do you eat yours?

Picture Inge

written by Inge

My love for exploring new cities has grown since I live near Eindhoven’s city center. Hopefully, I can share some valuable content with you to help you feel at home in your city as well!