Semmeltårta
Swedish Semla Layer Cake

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Semmeltårta

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
For the dough:
300 ml Milk
25 g Fresh yeast
2 Eggs
60 g Granulated sugar
Salt
1/2 tsp Ground cardamom
50 g Butter
600 g Wheat flour
Icing sugar
For the filling:
150 g Almond paste
2-3 tbsp Milk
500 ml Cream
Cuisine:

Ingredients

  • For the dough:

  • For the filling:

Directions

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Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) is the Swedish name for the Tuesday, the last day before the Lenten fast, a tradition has developed of eating buns, called fastlagsbullar, fettisdagsbullar (Fat Tuesday Buns) or semla. The day is also called White Tuesday because the buns are made out of white flour.

The day is called Mardi Gras in France, Carnaval or Vastenavond in the Netherlands and Belgium, laskiainen in Finland (generally celebrated by eating green pea soup and a pastry called laskiaispulla – sweet bread filled with whipped cream and jam or almond paste, same as the Swedish semla) and Fastelavn in Denmark and Norway. In Iceland, the day is known as Sprengidagur (Bursting Day) and is marked by eating salted meat and peas.

February, 13 – the big day for having a Swedish semla! All the bakeries are making their own versions of the traditional semla. Today, semlor are available in shops and bakeries every day from shortly after Christmas until Easter. Each Swede consumes on average four to five bakery-produced semlor each year, in addition to any that are homemade. My version is a semla layer cake to show you guys what to do if you want to celebrate fettisdagen in a different way.

Heat the milk until luke warm (37°C). Crumble the yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add 1 egg, sugar, salt, cardamom and butter and mix. Then add the wheat flour little by little. Mix until smooth. Knead firmly for several minutes. Let rise for 60 minutes under a clean, damp tea towel and in a warm place, but not on the heater!

Coat the spring form (Ø 24 cm) with butter and line the bottom with baking paper. Knead the dough again for 1 – 2 min. Form a ball and place in the mold so that the bottom is well covered. Cut into 8 points, but do not cut too deep (halfway through the dough and not to the bottom). Let rise again for 30 minutes under a clean, damp tea towel.

Preheat the oven to 230°C. Brush some beaten egg over the dough. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the mold.

Cut the cake in half with a long sharp knife, so that you get a top with eight points, but the bottom remains a whole.

For the filling: mix the almonds with the milk and spread everything on the bottom of the cake. Beat the whipped cream and spread over the almond sauce. Put the top back on again. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Serve with coffee or milk or the old fashioned Swedish way: put your slice of the semla in warm milk in a soup-plate.

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