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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Semla(Semlor in plural form)

I have decided to blog for the next few post about my fav Swedish food/pastry.

Havign stay in the coutnry for a period of time, I have grew to like some of their food despite of the big texture and taste difference. For example, we are very use to soft fluffy cakes, while their cake are rather dry and hard.

One of the pastry I like is Semla. I rem it was Yanyin who actualy introduce me to this pastry or rather bun if u wan to call that. She told me its a festive pastry, and so they do not have it often... onli during the period of Lent. Of cos I wasnt game to try it at all bcos I am afraid of the sweetness.. but the word almond paste make me soft hearted and wants to try. I love anythg w almond.. the smell perks me up. and so I bought 1 piece to try when I was out doing my usualy grocery shopping at Maxi then. oh mine its really good... subsequently whenever i sees it, i will alwasy buy 2 for myself as lunch since I hardly have anythg for lunch back thr.

A quick search on the web explains more bout this pastry

A semla is a traditional pastry in Sweden, Finland and Estonia, associated with Lent and especially Shrove Tuesday. The name derives from the Latin semilia, which was the name used for the finest quality wheat flour. In the southernmost part of Sweden, Skåne and by the Swedish speaking population in Finland, they are known as fastlagsbulle (fastlagen being the equivalent of shrovetide), and in the rest of Finland as laskiaispulla. In Estonia it is known as vastlakukkel.
The oldest version of the semla was a plain bread bun, eaten in a bowl of warm milk. Today, the semla consists of a cardamom-spiced wheat bun which has its top cut off and insides scooped out and is then filled with a mix of the scooped-out bread crumbs, milk and almond paste, topped with whipped cream. The cut-off top is then put back as a lid and dusted with icing sugar. It is nowadays often eaten on its own, with coffee or similar, but there are still those who eat it in a bowl of hot milk. In Finland, the bun is sometimes filled with jam instead of almond paste.
The semla was originally eaten only on Shrove Tuesday, as the last festive food before Lent. However, with Protestantism the Swedes stopped observing Lent, and the semla in its bowl of warm milk became a traditional dessert every Tuesday between Shrove Tuesday and Easter. Today, semlas are available in shops and bakeries every day from shortly after Christmas until Easter. Each Swede consumes on average five bakery-produced semlas each year, in addition to all those that are homemade.
King Adolf Frederick of Sweden died of digestion problems on February 12, 1771 after consuming a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, which was topped off by 14 servings of semla, served with bowls of hot milk. Semla was the king's favorite dessert.
This was the sweet chosen to represent Finland in the Café Europe initiative of the Austrian presidency of the European Union, on Europe Day 2006.

Just now I was digging out all my swedish cookbook.. and finaly I found the piece of recipe Elisabeth (my very close swedish friend) gave me just before I came back to singapore.
I guess I do not want to lose this piece of valuable recipe and thus i decided to safe keep it by bloggging bout it here.

Recipes as follows

25g fresh yeast
75g butter
2.5dl milk
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 dl sugar
7-8dl white flour
1 egg

Prepare the dough in bread maker or mixer till smooth , then knead down dough on a floured tabletop. divive to 10 big bun or 20 small ones.

Let it rise for 30 mins till double the size.

Brush bun with beaten egg and bake at 225 degree int he lower rack for 10 to 15 mins.


Almond paste 200 g
1 1/2 dl grinded almond
1dl sugar
1 dl milk

Fill bun with almond paste, whipped cream and decor with icing sugar... Viola.. u get nice semla.

In fact for the sake of this semla, I even buy a cookbook that feature this recipe in english.. let mi dig it out.. I suppose my collection of the sweidish cookbook have this recipe too..

now im missing my friends over there....