Sunday, 17 February 2013

Semlor and a very Swedish weekend

I have had a very Swedish themed weekend. Sweden was furtherest from my mind when the weekend started out but I am now jealously looking at photos of Stockholm and imagining myself strolling down the Swedish snow flecked street, ruby cheeked, popping into a Swedish bakery for a cinnamon bun and a coffee. 

I have wanted to make Semlor for months after happening across a recipe while researching Swedish cinnamon buns. They are a sweet enriched cardamom flavoured yeast bread dough filled with marzipan and cream and are one of my favourite creations of the last few months. Light, scented and fluffy they are a beautiful Scandinavian treat. 

In other, but related news, I am moving to a new apartment next week. My first proper home in many ways. A home for me is a place that you bake and cook in, share and relax in. I could not really do any of those things in the places I lived in while at college so I am really excited about this new chapter I am starting. I went to Ikea today to pick up a few ideas and bits and pieces in anticipation of the move. I respect Ikea as a brand that not only embraces its nationality but uses it as a seminal marketing tool. Ikea is Swedish all over, from the food to the names of the items on sale. I picked up some loganberry jam so I can make proper Swedish meatballs next week as well as some adorable decorations for the kitchen and living room. I can't wait to get settled in and make it a proper home. 

Adapted from
Makes approx 9

350g strong white flour
70g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom (break open the pod using the flat of a knife and grind the seeds)
pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter
175ml milk
1 sachet easy action yeast (7g)
1/2 egg beaten

1. Mix flour, sugar, cardamon, salt in  a bowl and make a well in the centre.
2. Melt the butter gently and then add the milk. It probably won't need much heat to bring it to lukewarm. Add the yeast and whisk gently.
2. Add the milk, butter and egg to the dry ingredients and mix throughly until a soft dough is formed.
3. Turn out on a floured counter and knead for 4 minutes. Turn back into a large bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for 1.5 hours to double in size.
4. Once the dough has risen punch the dough and turn out onto the counter. Divide the dough into nine. Each section should roughly weigh 80g. Roll into balls and put on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Cover with the clingfilm loosely and allow to rise up for 15-20 minutes. While rising heat the oven to 190oC.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden on top. Allow to cool.

For the filling 
100g marzipan, from the fridge
2-3 tbsp milk
250ml cream
2 tsp icing sugar

1. Grate the marzipan. Cute a triangular hole out of the top of each bun and scoop out the insides. Break the bread into breadcrumbs. Put in a bowl with the marzipan and add the milk to make a paste.
2. Spoon the marzipan/breadcrumbs mix back into the buns.
3. Beat the cream and icing sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
3. Pipe the cream on top of the triangular hole and then place the triangular piece on top.
4. Dust liberally with icing sugar.


  1. Did you like them?
    I was never partial to the taste cause i always thought it was pepper flavoured i've learnt it's cardamom since then, i'd like to go back an have a bite.

  2. @ Fuchs- I LOVED them! Although cardamom is a weird flavour but it works here I think because the marzipan is so sweet so it balances out. I sweetened the cream for that reason too. Try the cardamom again!

    @ baby in a corner- just got decorative things, an enamel jug/vase, kilner jars, a rose enamel pot for putting herbs in, a grater etc. I love looking at the rooms though!