Now aren’t these semlor first-class beauties? Perhaps it’s not that appropriate to blog about pastries on the first day of Lent, but since vegans abstain from plenty of other not-so-good-foods out there and usually consume quite consciously, I think this should be okayed. So last week I wrote about the Belgian pancake tradition during this time of year, which is simple and straightforward, contrary to the often rather sumptious (often wine- and beer-based) local customary cuisine. Now in Sweden (where our family once spent 2,5 years), it seems to be the other way around: husmanskost, traditional Swedish food, is quite modest, but exceptions are gladly made for baked goods that are linked to various festivities throughout the year. When Shrove Tuesday approaches, for instance, semlor, cardamon-scented pastries amply filled with marzipan and whipped cream, are eaten in bulk. And every year I bake them too.
I use the recipe by Karolina Tegelaar (kakboken (Swedish version) or Swedish Vegan (English version)) from one of her vegan baking booklets (svenska klassiker), but which she each year also re-publishes on her facebook page and encourages people to share. So this is exactly what I will do below. Just like I made a minor adjustment to her original recipe for cinnamon rolls (kanelbullar) by partly substituting the soy milk by aquafaba, you can also here opt for doing so. As with the cinnamon buns, I also here need more flour than in the original recipe (which perhaps is down to the fact that I use spelt flour), and I do not use the indicated amount of marzipan, but mostly half of it (otherwise I find it too decadent and heavy, but that’s perhaps just me).
Don’t wait for next mardi gras to bake these – just go for it now :-).
- 50 g vegan butter
- 1 dl soy milk + 1 dl vegan cream OR 0,5 dl aquafaba + 0,5 dl soy milk + 1 dl cream
- 25 g yeast
- 0,75 dl sugar
- 0,5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 7 dl spelt flour
- 250 g marzipan (less will work too – I usually use about 150-200g)
- 2 TB water
- 1-2 packages of whippable cream (I use only 1)
- powdered sugar for decoration
- Melt the margarine and add milk/cream(/aquafaba) and sugar.
- Mix yeast, sugar, salt and cardamom and add the mixed fluid ingredients. Mix unti you obtain a workable dough. Don’t add too much flour at a time, so you can stop adding flour once the dough is non-sticky enough to work with.
- Let the dough sit for 40-60 minutes.
- Divide the dough in about 10-15 equal portions and roll into balls.
- Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Brush them with some soy cream (this is optional, but this will make them more shiny).
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 9-14 minutes at 225°C. Keep a close eye on them and take them out when they have turned golden.
- Let them cool a bit. then cut out a lid, skoop out some of the inside and keep apart. You can mix part of it with the marzipan and water. Fill the pastries with the marzipan mixture and pipe some whipped cream on top. Close with the lid, and dust with powdered sugar.