Monday, February 4, 2008

Swedish Mardi Gras Sweets - Semlor

So we are a day early, but we had the smell around all since we made the sweet bread for this yesterday. We just couldn't resist any longer...

Those are traditional Swedish Mardi Gras treats. It's really quite simple. A bun made from sweet bread dough (any recipe could be used, preferably a one that produces a light result.. many traditional recipes contain a leavener with ammonium bicarbonate in addition to yeast to achieve this). Some almond paste. A little cream and confectioner's sugar.

To put them together, cut a bun into two. Remove most of the interior of the bottom part with a spoon. Crumble this and mix with about an equal amount of almond paste. Add some cream or whole milk to get a mixture that holds together somewhat. Put back into the hollow bun. Spoon or pipe some cream, but the hat back on and sift on some confectioner's sugar.

Traditionalists eat it like D. did, in a bowl of hot milk. I prefer eating them as they are. Any way, this is how Tuesdays between now and Easter should be celebrated.

One more comment to add the day after (I just made a couple more for tonight which is, after all, the right day). The bread should of course contain cardamom. This is just the way sweet bread is to me, so I even forgot to mention it. The only time I ever make sweet bread without cardamom is when I make it with saffron, then I might choose not to have cardamom. (And that one time I tried to make cinnamon rolls in Prague, where I just couldn't find cardamom. The rolls didn't turn out as they should - no good idea.)

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