Actually before I made these Dutch treats I haven't tried nor heard about bitterballen. But it's not foreign to most people - it is a variant of a deep-fried croquette. I did the cheese bitterballen and was gearing up to make the prawn version but I ran out of time for the deadline. You can head to the Daring Kitchen's website for the recipes of the beef and prawn renditions of this delicious snack.
I froze my bitterballen for deep-frying a week later. They froze rather nicely.
As instructed by Andrea, you have to add 1 minute to the deep-frying time for frozen bitterballen. It was delicious! Although next time I would do the egg dip and breadcrumbs at least twice to make the breaded crust thicker and crunchier. Plus also making the balls smaller - perhaps 3/4-inch in diameter only. I would prefer more starch/crust in the crust-cheese ratio to make it less rich. All these personal changes are reflected in the recipe below.
Everyone in the family loved it including my youngest who was busy speed reading the very recently released book of her favourite novel series.
1/2 cup [125 g] butter
3/4 cup [110 g] plain flour
2 cups [500 ml] full-fat milk
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup [80 ml] single cream (light cream)
2 tsp gelatine
80 g hard cheese (parmesan, grana padano, pecorino, etc.) - grated
80 g soft cheese (brie, camembert, cream cheese, etc.) - sliced into small pieces
80 g matured cheddar - grated
salt and pepper
*For the breading:
2 eggs - beaten
- Melt butter in a heavy-based saucepan.
- Add flour all at once and stir to cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add milk and bring to boil while stirring continously.
- Bring heat to lowest and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring from time to time.
- While it is simmering, dissolve gelatin with about 2 Tbsp water. Set aside.
- Add nutmeg. Taste sauce and add appropriate amount of salt (about 1/2 tsp) and pepper.
- Stir in the cheese until well mixed in the sauce.
- Add in the dissolved gelatine and stir until well combined.
- Remove from heat and spread out the sauce in a baking dish or plate.
- Cool for about 30-60 minutes then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- After refrigeration, the mixture would have hardened. With a spoon, scoop out enough cheese mixture to form into a 3/4 - 1-inch ball.
- Roll the ball in the plain flour; then dip in the beaten egg; then roll in the breadcrumbs. (The breading may be repeated if you want a thicker crust.) Do the same for the rest of the mixture.
- Rest the breaded balls on a plate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- At this point you may freeze the bitterballen if you wish.
- Heat at least 3/4-inch of oil in a heavy saucepan to 180°C/350°F.
- Deep fry the bitterballen for 3-4 minutes until golden. (For frozen bitterballen, add 1 more minute in cooking time.)
- Serve warm with mustard or chutney.