domenica 9 marzo 2014

Semla day

Some days ago was Fat Tuesday, the last day of Carnival, and even here in Sweden there are special traditions for that day.
That day is the day that you eat the Semlor.

Even if I came to Sweden for work several times, I never had the opportunity to taste those bunns; this is because usually people eat them during the carnival and, indeed, on the day itself where traditionally they ate Semlor: Mardi Gras [the luxurious food before the start of Lent].

Last Sunday, however, I was finally able to taste a Semla too.

For those who are not native Swedish speakers  ... these cakes are called Semla at singular and Semlor at plural [rule of the regular plural ... as I'm learning during the course of Swedish that I just started].
I had breakfast with the typical pairing "Semla och Kaffe".
But then I discovered, when telling it to my colleagues that laughed for this, that the Swedes never have breakfast with sweet food. 
Usually at breakfast they eat salty food, sweet pepper and cucumber sandwich with ham rather, while the cakes are for an afernoon snack.

Back to Semlor, they are sweet brioche dough with a little marzipan filling and whipped cream on top.
I admit that when I got one of it in front of me I wasn't sure how to eat it; the girl at the café kindly explained that normally people remove the small cap of brioche dough and eat it with part of the wipped cream, after that they continue eating the part below.
I loved it so much that talking about it with my colleagues I discovered that the Semlor day is Mardi Gras, and usually people gather at home, with friends or family, to bake dozens of Semlor all together and have dinner starting with a light soup in order to be able to eat Semlor later on!

If you want to try to prepare them, here's the recipe for 18 pieces:

75 g of yeast
3 dl of whole milk
150 g butter at room temperature
2 eggs
1 dl granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 crushed grain of cardamom
11-12 dl flour
1/2 teaspoon of ammonium bicarbonate

For the filling
300 g almond paste
1 dl of milk
5 dl of whipped cream
powdered sugar

Crumble the yeast into a bowl.
Heat the milk up to a maximum of 37 ° .
Pour it over the yeast and stir.
Add one egg , butter , salt, sugar, cardamom and almost all the flour mixed with ammonium bicarbonate.
Knead the mixture .
Let rise about 50 minutes.
Put the dough on the floured work surface .
Divide into 18 pieces [ or 60 small pieces] and form round buns .
Arrange on baking sheets and let rise covered for about 30 minutes.
Turn on the oven and bring to 225 degrees.
Cover the buns with beaten egg and bake in the middle part of the oven 8-10 minutes for big ones , 4-6 minutes if you have chosen the option small .
Once cooked and cooled , cut a small top cover and excavate by removing a portion of crumb inside.
Mix the breadcrumbs with the almond paste and milk and fill the buns with this mixture .
Whip the cream and arrange the bun with the help of a sac- a-poche  .
Replace the lid that you cut earlier and sprinkle with powdered sugar .

For the lazy people, while I was at the grocery shop, I found something that that I called "Ikea version " : all the ingredients ready , only to be assembled!

Ubicazione: Svezia

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