A Bossche bol (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌbɔsə ˈbɔl], Dutch for 'Bosch ball'), sometimes called chocoladebol ('chocolate ball') in its city of origin, is a pastry from the Dutch city of 's-Hertogenbosch (also called Den Bosch). It is effectively a large profiterole, about 12 cm (5 in.) in diameter (i.e., somewhat larger than a tennis ball), filled with whipped cream and coated entirely or almost entirely with (usually dark) chocolate.
Bossche bollen (chocoladebollen) are usually eaten as an accompaniment to coffee, etc., rather than as a dessert.
They are traditionally eaten with the fingers, which can be quite messy. The best way to avoid spillage is by eating the pastry upside down, so that the hard layer of chocolate serves as a bottom. It is also possible (though frowned upon by traditionalists) to use a knife and fork.
Even before the start of the 20th century, a predecessor of the Bossche Bol was being sold in Den Bosch by baker Lambermont, who had a store in a building called “De Kat” on the Vischstraat number B61. The ball made by Lambermont resembled a moorkop and was filled with custard.
In 1920 a baker from The Hague called Henri van der Zijde took up shop in the same street on number 25 and invented a variation filled with whipped cream and covered with real chocolate, which his heirs see as the first real Bossche Bol. In the twenties Lambermont started selling a chocolate ball much like this one.
The name "Bossche bol" only became common when the treat became popular outside of the city. The exact recipe varies between bakers. Although, the recipe that is acknowledged as the 'real Bossche Bol' is the one made and sold by confectionery 'Jan de Groot'.
There is a version of the Bossche Bol twice the size, called a reuzenbol ("giant ball").
A similar but smaller Dutch pastry is called a moorkop - a profiterole which is usually not glazed with chocolate, but with a chocolate-flavoured glaze made with cocoa powder. Sometimes a puff of whipped cream is added to the top of a moorkop.
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