The original machine used to make the Café Noir is the latest addition to the Verkade Experience in the Zaans Museum. And to celebrate, a baking competition was organized to see who can make the tastiest Café Noir. To their great surprise, the VN team of Veerle and Nora won because quite a bit went wrong during the baking.
The Café Noir is already 100 years old and was made by hand for decades. Spreading the brown glaze layer on the biscuit was painstaking and time-consuming work. For that reason alone it was an expensive biscuit until 1956. But then came the machine: “That was a very revolutionary device”, says 80-year-old Tom Verkade, a descendant of the family, “with which you could perfectly make that layer on top. ” There were five of these in total and because Café Noirs are no longer made in the Netherlands these days, the machine has been retired.
Six duos from the Zaan region participate in the baking competition. All girls who love to bake. Some taste the Café Noir for the first time. “I think it’s quite a tasty cookie,” says Veerle, who forms the UN team with friend Nora. A cheerful smart duo that hopes to finish a cookie in time. It is a shock when their glass bowl falls off the table and lies on the floor in a thousand pieces. But no one was hit and the dough was already out. It is a race against time, just like in the popular program Heel Holland Bakt. This year’s winner Enzo Pérès-Labourdette walks around, advises and announces the winner after blind tasting the cookies.
And the winner is …
All teams with beautiful names such as the Pink Ladies, the Tina Meiden, Rabbits Kontjes, Harare 4 and Bliksenstraal, manage to present their Café Noir on time. Tension rises as Enzo tastes a cookie one by one. In between, he takes a sip of water to remain objective. And then the winner comes out. “Team 5 because it’s a nice airy yet crispy cookie,” says Enzo. Veerle and Nora let out a cry of surprise. No, they had not expected this because what was wrong with it? “They were in the oven too long, and that time limit and the tray that fell. In pieces,” they say, beaming with their victory. “Would you like to taste one too?” Veerle asks and hands the reporter a winning cookie.