Semla

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Semlor (plural) – mini Swedish cardamom buns, usually associated with Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday).

Now, this is may be quite late (ok, really reeeeally late), but I have it on good authority that these little darlings can be eaten in Sweden anytime from around New Year all the way to Easter!

And Easter hasn’t come around yet so….

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Look at them the little cuties! The whipped cream could easily be lace frills!

I chose to fill mine with ground almonds, cardamom and orange blossom. Not overly sweet, and just lush on your tastebuds!

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Seriously, if someone put this filling in some sort of skincare product I would unashamedly slather this all over my face!

Don’t judge till you try it! Eating it I mean. Or putting it on your face, whatever floats your boat! 😉

Onwards to the serious part…

Ingredients

For the dough:

325ml whole milk

50g butter

500g refined spelt flour (or sifted regular spelt flour, casting off ALL lumps)

75g caster sugar

1½tsp ground cardamom

2tsp salt

7g fast action yeast

For the almond filling:

400g  ground almonds

1 or 2tsp orange blossom water (to your taste, some people don’t like to feel like they’re eating perfume!)

splash of milk/cream

For the cream filling:

284ml  whipping cream

3tsp icing sugar

few drops of vanilla extract ( optional)

Method

In a pan, heat the milk and butter till it’s almost boiling. Remove from heat and leave to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt. Then add the yeast.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the prepared milk, making sure the it has cooled down – you don’t want to kill the yeast!

Mix till it begins to resemble a dough.

Pop this dough baby into an oiled bowl (using a flavourless oil, like sunflower or vegetable). Oil an adequate amount of cling film and use this to cover the bowl.

Leave the dough baby to prove in a fridge overnight.

Once the dough baby has grown and risen, divide into 2. Take one half leaving the other wrapped in cling film. Further divide this half into 12 pieces (for me, each weighed around the 40g mark). Roll each into mini buns.

Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Place the shaped mini buns onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for a further 15-20 minutes (until they don’t spring back when gently poked with a finger!).

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Splash a bit of water in the bottom of the oven to create some steam. Bake on the upper middle shelf for 10-15 mins. If you think the buns brown to quickly turn the heat down to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.

Once baked, the buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

In the meantime make the almond filling by mixing the ground almonds, orange blossom water and milk/cream into a thick paste – add more milk/cream if needed to loosen the mixture enough so it can be piped. Set this aside.

In another bowl, whisk the whipping cream and slowly add the icing sugar (so you don’t disappear into a puff of sugar!) and vanilla extract. Whisk to softs peaks then place in to a pipping bag (or in my case, freezer bag) ready to be piped.

Once the buns have cooled, cut the tops off and scoop out the middle. You may crumble this into the almond mixture if you wish.

Fill the hollowed out buns with the almond mixture.

Pipe the whipped cream on top. I had serious troubles stopping the cream from ending up in my mouth! -ashamed face-

Pop on the cut of tops, dust with icing sugar and serve.

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Recipe for the buns was from Signe Johansen -‘Scandilicious Baking’, and the filling adapted from Linda Lomelino’s Semlor post which can be found here.

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