See that up there? That’s one way to do Fat Tuesday right.
Today (commonly known as Mardis Gras and the last day before Ash Wednesday) may more often be associated with New Orleans culture, drink, and food, but it also marks a more general last-call-for-indulgence celebration for many Christians observing the 40-day Lent period before Easter.
Over in Sweden, this means partaking in the semlor tradition. On their fettisdag (literally, “Fat Tuesday,” or Shrove Tuesday), Swedes eat up millions of these delectable cream puffs: cardamom-inflected wheat buns, sliced open and filled with almond paste, freshly whipped cream, and a showering of confectioners’ sugar. Some soak their semlor in warm milk; others do not.
Homesick Swedes in New York can get their fill at FIKA NYC locations throughout the city until March 3, but if you’re of the ambitious lot, try this fantastic recipe out for yourself at home. We’d say there’s no better way to celebrate Fat Tuesday than with this irresistible little piece of heaven.
The FIKA Semla
500 grams milk
50 grams yeast
850 grams all-purpose flour
145 grams sugar
220 grams butter
7 grams salt
6 grams ground cardamom
250 grams almond paste
60 grams water
3 grams ground cardamom
50 grams roasted sliced almonds
Powdered sugar, to garnish
How to Make It
Make the bun dough:
Mix the milk, egg, yeast, flour, sugar, butter, salt, and ground cardamon on low speed in a food processor for approximately 30 minutes.
Divide the dough and shape into round balls, each weighing approximately 50 grams. Let proof on a baking sheet for two hours, covered in plastic film.
Once proofed, bake at 450 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes Let cool completely, then slice each bun to create a “bottom” and “lid" (see photo above).
Make the almond filling:
Mash together almond paste, water, ground cardamom, and sliced almonds together with a fork until fully combined.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the almond filling into each bun “bottom” and gently press into the dough. Top with whipped cream.
Place “lid” on bun and finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar.
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