Tag: sweets

Francis Kuijk’s pandan fudge

Francis Kuijk has a well-known and beloved face in the Dutch food scene since she made it to the season 4 finale of Heel Holland Bakt (Dutch Bake Off). She has large online following, makes regular TV appearances and has released four cookbooks in the Netherlands up to date.

Her new book, Manis (Indonesian for ‘sweet’), is coming out this week and I had the pleasure of having a look before it hit stores. Like me, Francis is of Dutch-Indonesian descent so after her tomes on the foundations of Indisch and Indonesian cooking it was time for a book on Indisch and Indonesian sweets and baking.

Pandan all the things!

Manis offers a nice combination of nostalgic Indisch and Indonesian recipes alongside more modern concoctions that Francis came up with herself. Though her editor told her that maybe that was enough pandan for one book, personally I can never get enough pandan so I was quite happy to see so much of it (and gula djawa) in one book.

If you don’t know what pandan is, it’s often called ‘the vanilla of South East Asia’ but I never know if this is because it is so widely used or because people need to come up with useless comparisons. Flavorwise, except for the subtlety, it is nothing like vanilla in my opinion. All you need to know is that pandan is good, makes everything sweet more delicious and that it turns everything green (including my nose when I was making this fudge).

While we can now get fresh or frozen pandan in Europe, I remember the first pandan I ever had coming from Indonesian pandan chiffon cake mixes my grandmother brought over in the 90’s. This is probably why I prefer artificial pandan over ‘real’ pandan which is too mild for my tastes. I recommend the Koepoe Kopoe brand of pandan paste. I’ve tried those extracts in small brown bottles but suffer from a bitter note that is really gross and drowns out subtle pandan. Furthermore, as Francis points out in her book, extract ads more liquid to your bakes, which tends to cause problems.

Oh fudge

The recipes I was most eager to cook were the pandan and gula djawa fudge (Javanese palm sugar,  my other favorite Indonesian sweet ingredient – more on that that some other time) as they seemed the easiest to tackle. I’d wanted to combine them with one a swirl to the other, but as I’m a shit baker and they are made with two different techniques, Francis warned against it. I got the ingredients for both though, so I guess I’ll be eating fudge for the next month or so.

If you want to make pandan fudge yourself just follow the recipe below, for the gula djawa fudge I’m afraid you’re going to have to hope Francis will one day share it in English, or get the book and figure out the translations for yourself.

Other recipes that caught my eye are rose syrup marshmallows, kue putu mayang (fresh made noodles in a gula djawa sauce), rotikukus vanila cokelat (this is a steamed Indonesian cake I used to get for all my birthdays but I have yet to replicate my grandmother’s recipe) and brownies with a kue lapis crumble (hello?!).

Manis is unfortunately only available in Dutch right now, if you’re looking for an Indonesian cookbook recommendation Sri Owen’s Indonesian Food (UK) or The Indonesian Kitchen (US) is your best bet in English.

A wall made with green pandan fudge pieces in stacks of seven and rows of three, on a green marble and plain green backdrop.

Francis Kuijk's recipe for Pandan Fudge

Dorothy Porker
Make a sweet, soft and delicious venture into pandan with this super easy pandan fudge recipe from Francis Kuijk's Indische sweets andb baking book Manis.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting time 1 d
Course Birthdays, Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine Dutch Indonesian, Indisch, Indonesian


  • Baking tray the lower wider kind, that you'd use for brownies
  • parchment or baking paper
  • heavy bottomed large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fridge
  • trivets


  • 3/4 c - 170 g unsalted butter roomtemperature + extra for greasing, see note in recipe and below
  • 2 c - 500 g white caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt leave this out if you only have salted butter
  • 2/3 c - 150 ml unsweetened evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp pandan aroma I prefer Koepoe Koepoe paste, see blogpost above
  • 7 oz - 200 g white marshmallows see note
  • 8.5 oz - 240 g white chocolate callets, but you can also just coarsely chop up a bar


  • Grease your baking tray and line it with parchment. Set aside.
  • Place the 3/4 c - 170 g of butter, 2 c - 500 g of sugar, 1/4 tsp salt (if using salted butter) and 2/3 c - 150 ml of unsweetened evaporated milk in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Place on a medium low heat and allow to melt and bring to a gentle boil while stirring continously.
  • Leave to simmer at a light boil for 4 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary, and keep stirring.
  • Once the 4 minutes have passed, add 1 tsp of pandan aroma before you add 7 oz - 200 gr of white marshmallows (see note). Keep stirring until the marshmallows have dissolved completely.
  • Turn the heat down and stir in 8.5 oz - 240 g of white chocolate callets or coarsely chopped chunks, stir until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Pour your mixture out into your pre-greased and parchmented baking tray and leave to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Place in the fridge and leave to cool for at least 2 hours. I set mine on some trivets as the baking tray was still very hot and I didn't want to accidentally shatter my fridge shelves.
  • For best results, leave to cool overnight before cutting into even squares and tucking in.


  • I picked out all the white marshmallows from the bag and then used the pinks to reach 200 grams, it turned out fine.
  • The original recipe was written in grams, milliliters and teaspoons. Follow those measurements for the best results.
  • The fudge keeps for 2 weeks in an airtight container. Be sure to separate the fudge by placing layers of parchment in between each layer.
  • If well packed, you can also keep this in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • This recipe is very sweet, if I make it again I would drizzle dark chocolate over the top.
Keyword Asian sweets, fudge, pandan

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor pandan fudge uit Francis Kuijk’s Manis.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

This recipe for salted caramel butter bars from The Domestic Rebel is perfect for finishing left-over sugar and butter. If there is no such thing I am telling you maybe you’ve never organised an art show where a friend made a platypus cake and then moved back to the States and left you with all the sugar she bought for that cake.

Dorothy Porker surrounded by pink tule ruffles biting into a butterbar

I make mine with my own salted caramel sauce because it’s kind of ridiculous to pay for a jar of sugar and cream when it’s so cheap and easy to make yourself.

A wall of butterbars

A wall of butterbars

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Dorothy Porker
These indulgent caramel butter bars are made with home made caramel sauce and make a great party favor or treat.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert, Treat
Cuisine American, Dutch
Servings 10


  • Small saucepan
  • Oven
  • Food processor
  • Baking tin (20x20cm/ 7.5"x7.5")
  • Parchment


For the caramel sauce

  • 7/8 c - 110 gr plain sugar
  • 4 T - 60 ml water
  • 1 1/3 c - 300 ml double cream
  • 1/4 c - 30 gr butter
  • flakey salt to taste

For the butter bars

  • 2 c - 250 gr butter room temperature
  • 1 c - 130 gr plain sugar
  • 1 1/2 c - 200 gr powdered sugar
  • 1 t - 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 4 c - 500 gr all purpose flour


Make the caramel sauce

  • You will need to allow this to cool fully, so be sure to prepare this at least an hour ahead of time to allow it to cool.
  • Place 7/8 c - 110 gr sugar in a small heavy saucepan with 4 T - 60 ml of water. Set on a medium heat and let sit, lid off, no stirring, no shaking, no nothing, until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  • Now increase the heat and leave on a roaring boil until the mixture turns golden brown and a caramel starts to form. This usually takes 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in 1 1/3 c - 300 ml of cream, 1/4 c - 30 gr of butter and flaky salt to taste. Be sure to be careful because it’ll be really fucking hot, when you add the cream it'll bubble up and all look a bit scary. The caramel may congeal at first but if you keep stirring it should turn out fine. Once mixed, set aside and leave to cool completely.

Make the butter bars

  • Once the caramel sauce has cooled completely, you are ready to start making bars. Preheat your oven at 180° C/ 350° F and line a 20x20cm/ 7.5"x7.5" baking tin with parchment.
  • Mix together 2 c - 250 gr of butter, 1 c - 130 gr of plain and 1 1/2 c - 200 gr of powdered sugars together until light and fluffy. This should take 2 minutes or so. I use my food processor because if you try to mix powdered sugar with anything without using a cover, you’re going to have a bad time.
  • Finally mix in 1 t - 5 ml of vanilla extract and 4 c - 500 gr of plain flour until a soft dough has formed.
  • Spread out half of the dough into the lined baking tray, place the remainder of the dough in the fridge. This will seem like too short of a time to put the dough away but cooling it will allow it to stiffen up a bit for the final part of the bake.
  • Bake the first half of the dough for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Your bake will be super wobbly and won't look anywhere near done: this is part of the plan. Pour your salted caramel sauce over the first layer of dough and crumble the remainder of the dough from the fridge over the top.
  • Now bake your butter bars for another 25-30 minutes. Until the top starts to look golden brown. A slightly wobble is allowed because it will continue to cook and set as you remove it from the oven. Leave to cool before cutting into squares.


Provided they last that long, these butter bars will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
The salted caramel sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight jar in the fridge.
Keyword baking, bars, butter bars, salted caramel, salted caramel sauce, sweet treats

Zoek je de Nederlandse versie van dit recept? Je vindt salted caramel boterkoek op VetteSletten.nl.