Semla is a Swedish (Scandinavian) tradition. Semla is traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday. In recent years it has become a trend to make different variations on Semla, like Semle wrap or Semmelkladdkaka.
The dough is the same as the cinnamon-roll dough. Imagine a semisweet bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream.
As a child I loved to eat “Het vägg”. That’s when you put the Semla into a bowl and add some hot milk over it. An old Swedish tradition. And it’s delicious! You have to try it!
The best way to enjoy your Swedish Semla is fresh. You can have them in the refrigerator for a day. Otherwise you just put the baked buns in the freezer and take them on an other occasion and fill them.
How to make Swedish Semla
- In a small sauce-pan warm milk with sugar and cardamon to 37°C (98.6°F). You can dip your finger into the milk to check, if it’s too hot let it cool down.
- Cut the room temperature butter into small pieces.
- Place the yeast in a large mixing bowl and pour over the milk mixture and stir until the yeast has melted. Use a stand mixer with dough hook.
- Add butter, salt and half of the flour into the mixture.
- Mix until combined and then add the rest of the flour.
- Knead well so that the dough becomes smooth and don’t stick to your fingers. About 5 min with a stand mixer or 10-12 min by hand.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until double in bulk (for about an hour).
- Form into small balls (about 80 gr (2.8 oz) each ball) and place onto a non stick baking paper.
- Cover with a towel and allow to rice again until double in size (35-40 min).
- Preheat the oven to 200° C.
- Beat the egg and brush the buns
- Bake for 10 minutes until you reach your desired level of golden brown.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
Filling and topping
- Pour heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk on high speed until medium stiff peaks. Do not over beat.
- Grind the almond paste with a grater. You can make your own almond paste or use bought.
- Cut off the top of each bun and set them aside.
- Scoop out some of the center (crumbs) of the bun, creating a hollow space for the filling. And then mix the crumbs with milk, grated almond paste and ground cardamom . Fill the buns with the mixture. (You want it to be like a paste.)
- Then add the whipped cream on top using a piping bag.
- Finally, add the top that we cut earlier and place it over the whipped cream.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Now it’s time to savor the scrumptious Semla! Serve the pastries with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy the rich flavors and textures of this Swedish delicacy. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself, Semla is sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the charming streets of Sweden.
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