If you’re as culturally obsessed with Sweden as I am, then you’ll probably know all about the delectable goodness that is Semla. If not, then allow me to enlighten you on this mouth-watering, fluffy and creamy treat.
Every year in Sweden, the Swedes celebrate Fettisdagen (The Fat Tuesday). Fettisdagen falls during the month of February and it is on this spectacular Tuesday that the Swedes indulge in eating semlor (plural of semla). Is it because it’s the last day that they can stuff their faces with fatty, sugary goodness before lent? According to Wikipedia, yes.
Whatever the reason, semla is life.
Swedish Semla Recipe
(Makes ‘tolve’ twelve semlors)
Let's start with the buns
- 75g Butter
- 200ml Milk
- 25g Yeast
- 50ml Sugar
- 1 Pinch of Salt
- 1 Egg
- 700ml Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
- 1 Whisked Egg
- Prepare the oven at 225°C.
- Pour the milk and butter into a pan and heat up until it hits finger temperature.
- Crumble the yeast and put it in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the milk and butter mix into the bowl and mix until the yeast has dissolved.
- Add 600ml of flour into the mix.
- Add 50ml of sugar to the mix.
- Add a pinch of salt to the mix.
- Crack in an egg.
- Mix and massage the dough until smooth.
- Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has risen, mix 2 tablespoons of baking powder with 100ml of flour and massage it into the dough.
- Put the dough on a floured workspace and divide it up into 12 even, round pieces.
- Let it sit for another 10 minutes until they rise again.
- Place them on a tray with baking paper and brush the whisked egg on top of them.
- Put it in the oven for around 10 minutes.
Let's move on to the yummy almond paste filling
- 100g Almond Flour
- 100 ml Icing Sugar
- 100 ml Sugar
- 50ml Milk
- Mix 100g of almond flour, 100ml of icing sugar and 100ml of sugar in a bowl.
- Add milk to the mix and stir until the paste has the right consistency.
- Wrap the paste with some cling wrap and put it in the fridge until it stiffens a little.
- Get your buns and cut a loose lid on every bun.
- Scrape out the middle of the buns until all that’s left is a hollow shell of a bun.
- Mix the scraped-out bun innards with a little bit of milk.
- Add the almond paste to your scraped-out bun innards and mix.
- Fill up your hollow buns with the new almond paste mix.
And now for the cream on top!
- 200-300ml Whipped Cream
- A little bit of sugar as recommended by Pappa Holmbom
- Icing Sugar
- Whip up some cream.
- Add a pinch of sugar to the cream (Pappa Holmbom’s Secret Recipe).
- Decorate your buns with the cream.
- Put the lids back on top of the bun.
- Sprinkle icing sugar over the tops like it’s a snow blizzard.
Enjoy your semla!
I remember the first time I discovered semla. It must have been in the wee hours of the morning when I was browsing the interwebz for all things Swedish. I saw an image of perfectly baked buns with fluffy cream exploding from it’s pits and a cute little lid on top. I thought I had died and gone to fika heaven, but alas there I was at 4am in the morning, salivating on my own pillow and dreaming of a life that could have been.
Well, about a year or so later, I finally got my taste buds on a semla (courtesy of Mattias) and was sufficiently satisfied. I couldn’t get enough of it and every day that I was in Sweden, I was always on the prowl for more.
Of course, back here in Australia it’s pretty hard to find semla – I think it’s exclusively a Swedish thing. So, for those of you who are craving semla but can’t get your hands on them – or for those of you who are baking enthusiasts, I hope you make the most of the recipe above! Mattias and I have put it together with love so that you can enjoy your very own semla… however, nothing beats the taste and feel of an authentic Semla made in Sweden – so if you’re ever in Sweden, GET ON IT!
If you do end up baking your own semla using this recipe, I’d love to have a look! Tag me in your semla photos on Instagram @TheLeonieSii.
Vi ses snart!