Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Introducing the Rainbow Semla!

Just as I was getting to know Max early last year, I saw that one of my favourite bloggers, Bri Emery of Designlovefest, had recently gone to Stockholm and documented her journey on her blog and on her Instagram account. I fell in love with the architecture and colourful captures of her hotel stay and stops at all of the iconic artsy subway stations on her feed, but what caught my eye the most was a photo she took of a pastry shop window. In the photo was a table filled with Semlor (plural for Semla), a traditional Swedish pastry made up of a cardamom flavoured wheat bun filled with almond paste and cream. As soon as I saw that photo, I thought to myself, "I NEED TO TRY THESE!!" not even quite knowing what they were, and of course, did my best to find them when I finally got to visit Sweden in May of last year. But sadly I quickly learned that these delicious treats were only sold between February and March for a holiday known as "Fat Tuesday" (which just so happens to fall on February 13th, a day before Valentine's Day this year). I'm a pretty hopeful person, so every time I visited throughout the rest of the year, I continued to search for them. And then finally, when I came over for Christmas, I got to see them in person! They were being sold even earlier than I had thought they would be at the local most traditional bakery in town, and I got to taste one when I came back to move here in January. And yes, they were as delicious as I had hoped they would be.

I've always been one for testing the limits on traditional recipes, and I knew I would HAVE to put a spin on these guys considering they basically have little to no colouring on them. So, I decided to make rainbow coloured Semla, because, why not? I'm not going to lie, I know NOTHING about the metric system, and I'm also kind of afraid of baking bread (I once tried to make cinnamon rolls and had to re-make the recipe four times because I kept screwing up the dry yeast portion of the recipe), so I asked Max's sister to help make these happen, and they turned out great (albeit a little small as I'm not sure I had the dry yeast portions totally correct; I eyeballed it).

I first found THIS recipe which seemed fool-proof, but quickly realised that we would need to go with a Swedish recipe since we didn't have any US measuring cups to use, so we found THIS and used elements from both recipes. For the whipped cream, we just took a container of heavy cream and mixed it with a little sugar, whipping until it formed a nice semi soft peak, and added in different food colourings to create all the fun colours. I piped them into a piping bag and voila! The first step once they were ready to be filled was cutting the top off to create a little "hat", then added in the almond paste (we just took a couple pats of it and mixed it with a little milk so that it would be softer and less strong), and then piped on the cream. The finishing touch after putting the "hat" back on was a generous dusting of powdered sugar and they were good to go.

This would be a super fun project to do for Valentine's Day as well! You can make them the more traditional way by omitting food colouring and just throwing in some pink & red sprinkles into the cream.

If you decide to try your hand at these (which, duh, you totally should!), I would definitely stick with the US recipe if you are unfamiliar with the Metric system. It's so confusing to me that it makes me want to cry. But I know at some point I will understand it and that will be a great feeling!

Also, the recipe says to bake for up to 10 minutes. In retrospect, I wish I had taken them out after 8 minutes, but they were still really good - just a little extra crunchy (they're traditionally softer).

Getting ready to let these guys rise before putting them into the oven

If you make these, please tag me! I'd love to see your creations and I'll be posting some of my favourites on my instagram stories! Tag: #circusofcakestreats

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