Haagse bluf (red currant juice pudding)

My aunt suggested I’d make this traditional, old-fashioned Dutch dessert called Haagse bluf. It’s made of egg whites, sugar and red currant juice. The name Haagse bluf is actually an expression that is used in Dutch. Literally translated it would come to Bluf from The Hague….not that it makes any sense to you now if your not Dutch 😉 I will try to explain… Haagse bluf is an expression that is used for people that pretend to be something more than they actually are….I think the expression that comes more or less close in English is hot air. Well, this dessert pretends to be a big dessert when in fact it is mostly air that meets the eye…hence the name.

My grandmother used to make Haagse bluf for the whole family; she and my grandfather had 12 children. My aunt told me that my grandfather would beat the mixture with two forks because they didn’t have a mixer (and apparently no whisk either). He must have been whisking for ages to make this dessert for 14 people!

It’s very easy and very quick to make (if you have a mixer). Just combine all the ingredients and whisk until stiff. Make sure you serve it immediately because the mixture is not very stable. It will slowly go back to its original liquid form.
My cookbook suggested serving it with ladyfingers but I didn’t listen to this advice and made different but similar cookies: kattentongen (or in French: langues de chat). Translated in English it would be cat’s tongues. Kattentongen are delicate vanilla-flavoured cookies that are light coloured in the middle with golden brown edges. The French variety is usually made with whipped egg whites but this one uses un-whipped egg whites.
Haagse bluf doesn’t contain any fat but is very filling because of the amount of air whipped into it. The red currant juice gives it a nice tangy kick and a beautiful pale pink colour. I think this dessert would work well with cranberry or pomegranate juice as well. I didn’t use too much sugar so mine wasn’t very sweet. If you have a big sweet tooth you might want to use more sugar.

I was apprehensive to make the recipe because it is made with raw egg whites. I don’t like making dessert (or other food) that contains raw eggs because of possible salmonella contamination. It’s a pity though ‘cause there are so many wonderful sweet recipes with raw eggs. Luckily I survived eating the Haagse bluf 😉 no salmonella in the two eggs I used! Maybe that’s because I always use organic eggs.

Haagse bluf
4 big or 6 smaller servings

200 ml (6 ¾ fl. oz) red currant juice
2 egg whites
70-100 g (2 ½ oz – 3 ½) sugar (depending on your taste)

Put everything in a bowl and beat until stiff and moussy. Serve immediately.

makes about 30

50 g (1 ¾ oz) butter, room temperature
50 g (1 ¾ oz) icing sugar, sifted
â…“ vanilla bean
1 egg white
50 g (1 ¾ oz) flour, sifted

Preheat the oven at 180ºC (360ºF). Cream the butter with the icing sugar and the inside of the vanilla bean. Add the egg white and beat until airy. Add the flour a spoon at a time and mix until blended.
Put the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a ½ cm (0.2 inch) plain tip. Pipe ‘tongues’ that are of 5 cm (2 inch) long and space them well apart.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove the tongues with a palette knife and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Warning! – contains raw egg so don’t give this dessert to children, pregnant women, the elderly and the sick.

1 small serving – 115 kcal
1 big serving – 145 kcal
100 g Haagse bluf – 110 kcal
100g kattentongen – 400 kcal

Haagse bluf
carbohydrate 26 g – protein 2 g – fat 0 g (saturated fat 0 g) – fibre 0 g

carbohydrate 47 g – protein 5 g – fat 23 g (saturated fat 14 g) – fibre 1 g

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