As I already mentioned in my post about Swedish curiosities, we are having some special food days here. Today is the most popular one, fettisdagen, which can be translated as shrove Tuesday. Today is the perfect excuse for any diet, since it implies that you are eating fat meals. The name of the day dates back to the 15th century and is part of Christian traditions. Every year, Fettisdagen is taking place exactly 47 days before Easter as the last day before fasting starts.
No need to mention that I love this date although I am not fasting. It is the day of “semlor”, buns made of white wheat flour. The most traditional semla is filled whipped cream and almond paste, although the shops are coming up with different variations every year. The last days I have seen semla filled with vanilla cream, apple and cinnamon cream, or chocolate semla with Nutella cream, which are by the way just delicious. I had to admit that I cheated a bit and ate my first semla already at the weekend. But I kept one for today, to “celebrate”.
If you feel like celebrating this day too and you are not in Sweden to buy some delicious semlor, here is a recipe for a traditional semla:
-50g yeast 2dl whipped cream
-100g butter or margarine Icing sugar
-2 ½ dl milk
-1 egg 1 egg to brush the semla
-1 dl sugar
-1 ml salt
-1 ml ammonium carbonate
-ca 480 g white wheat flour (8dl)
-100g almond paste
-6-7,5 tea spoons milk
Crumble the yeast into a bowl, then melt the butter or margarine in the microwave for about one minute (800W). Add the milk and warm it till body temperature (37 degrees Celsius). Add a bit of the warm butter and milk mix to the yeast and stir until it is dissolved. Add the rest of the butter-milk mix, the egg, sugar and salt, ammonium carbonate and nearly all white wheat flour, save a bit for rolling out the dough. Work the dough with your hands until the dough is coming loose from the bowl. Let the dough rest coated with a fabric for about 30 minutes.
Put the oven on 250 degrees Celsius. Work the dough on the kitchen counter with the rest of the flour. Divide the dough into 10 parts. Form every part into a plain bun and put it on a plate with baking paper. Let the buns rest coated with a fabric for about 20 minutes. Brush the buns with the whipped egg. Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for about 10 minutes. Then let the buns cool down on a grid.
Filling: cut off a lid of every bun. Dig out some of the filling. Grate the almond paste and mix it with the crumbs and milk. Fill the buns again.
Decoration: Whip the cream until it is firm, favorably with an electric hand mixer. Garnish the buns with the whipped cream and put the lid on again. Dust the icing sugar over the buns and serve them.
Enjoy your meal!