This cake is steeped in so much tradition, it ought to be on the national flag! The reason I like all sorts of national and local holidays is simple: they can be often translated into something edible.
In my home town, every year the second Monday of November is celebrated as Ganzenmarkt, which translates as ‘goose market’. In the Middle Ages, geese were traded on the marketplace and would then be shipped off to England in time for Christmas. When the geese trade stopped, the event became a folkloric feast day. Since 1962, there is a pageant contest for which girls dress up in traditional geese herder outfits, complete with wooden shoes and a stick. They navigate the geese through the streets and assemble on the market square, after which the most beautiful looking girl is awarded Miss Ganzenhoedster. Each year, my family eats oliebollen on Ganzenmarkt, but I wanted to bake something extra special for the occasion.
Since we are going down the traditional route already, let me explain the idea behind this cake. Another Dutch goose-related oddity is the board game Ganzenbord - you can guess what that means. Apart from the goose-shaped pawns it is similar to any old game. Yet a rather cruel one at that, as your little goose can get trapped in a water well, stuck in prison, and die multiple times. We actually played the edible board game and my sister won!
Lastly, the cake itself is also a very Dutch phenomenon. The base is gevulde speculaas, normally associated with the Sinterklaas holiday but eaten throughout November - see my recipe here.