Swedish Semlor

I know, I know!  January is supposed to be a time for shelving the snacks and substituting cake for kale and spirits for smoothies, blah, blah, blah…  But guess what?  January is OVER.  It’s done for another year, thank God, and I don’t know about you but this time of year I’m always in need of a few pick-me ups to get me through to Spring.

Over in Sweden ’tis the season for scoffing Semlor.  These cardamom-flavoured buns stuffed with plenty of whipped cream and almond paste (marzipan) are traditionally eaten between Shrove Tuesday and Easter, and they’re really good (…unless you’re trying to lose weight!).  They’re also relatively easy to make if you’ve got a bread-maker or a dough hook.

Semlor – (Fat Buns)

For the Buns:

  • 125ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 1/2 a packet of instant yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 20g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp of orange zest
  • 225g strong white flour
  • An egg (beaten) to glaze

For the filling:

  • 100g of grated marzipan
  • 100ml milk
  • Squirty cream 🙂
  1. Heat the milk until warm, then remove from the heat and add the butter.  Allow it melt into the milk and then cool to lukewarm.
  2. Peel open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds.  Grind them into a powder.  Grate the orange peel.
  3. Once the milk and butter have combined and cooled slightly, pour them into the bread machine/mixing bowl.  Add the dry ingredients (including cardamom and orange zest) on top.  If you’re using a bread machine, set it to the dough programme (number 6 on mine).
  4. Once the dough is done separate into six equal balls, cover with cling film and allow to rest until they’ve doubled in size.
  5. Brush with the beaten egg and then cook in a preheated oven (180°C) for around twenty minutes or until golden brown.  Be sure to turn them once or twice to get an even colour!
  6. Once cooled, slice the tops off the buns and scoop out a little of the inside into a bowl.  Combine with the marzipan and milk to make a paste.  Fill the buns with the paste and then the cream – then replace the tops.  Dust with icing sugar to finish.
  7. Scoff and worry about your waistline later.

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