White Chocolate Lemon Cream Filled Liquorice Buns
I started out with the idea of introducing non-Swedes to the Swedish Semla Bun. This was supposed to be one of those ‘typical Swedish’ posts that I publish from time to time…
What can I say? When you start to think of all the wonderful ways you could adapt a Semla. Not to mention that today is International Nutella Day. It had to be done.
3 Delicious Twists on the classic Swedish Semla.
All of which ‘look’ like Semla; at least at the start of the recipe, sound like Semla …Then, well, there’s liquorice. And no almond paste in sight…
May I present:
– White Chocolate Lemon Cream Filled Liquorice Buns
– Chocolate Toffee Filled Liquorice Buns
– And Nutella Filled Liquorice Buns
Mouthwatering extravaganzas to be enjoyed right through to Easter (…If you’re going to do it the Swedish way).
When I first came to Sweden and studied Swedish Language and Culture, we were told by our lecturer that the story behind eating Semla buns during Lent was that whilst it ‘looked like’ you were only eating a bread roll and sticking to your fast, you could fill it with meat …Or sugary sweetness; neither of which you were supposed to be eating. Obviously then, the cream filling wouldn’t have been bulging over the sides!
Having been reliably informed about this, I have to admit that I’ve never since found any such explanation of the history of the Semla. In fact most sources would have us believe this is what you ate before Lent to fill up on as much loveliness as possible before 40 days without.
Well, there isn’t much Lent fasting going on in Sweden now. According to wikipedia, the average Swede purchases and eats 5 of these between January and Easter, on top of homemade ones. And you can’t underestimate the quantity of homemade ones! Without going into any details about how much tasting ‘research’ has gone into this post.
Sweet Liquorice Buns
(makes 24-30 mini buns)
75 g unsalted butter (2 ½ oz)
150 dl milk (1 ½ dl)
100 dl boiling water (1 dl)
25 g fresh yeast
1 egg (beaten)
400 g flour + an extra 50 g for dusting/ kneading (3 1/3 cups + 1/2 cup)
50 g caster sugar (½ dl/ ¼ cup)
1 tbsp liquorice powder
½ tsp salt
1. Melt the butter in a pan, then add the cold milk and boiling water (heat gently until the liquid is lukewarm (37°C / 100°F).
2. Combine the flour, sugar, liquorice powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and set aside.
3. break up the yeast into a separate small bowl. Add a little of the lukewarm liquid at a time, gently stirring until the yeast is dissolved, add the rest of the liquid, and lastly the beaten egg. Stir through.
4. Pour the yeast liquid into the centre of the flour and start to combine the flour into the liquid – either by hand or with a food mixer.
5. Combine and knead the dough until it is firm and smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is sticky add a little of the extra flour.
6. Leave the dough to rise in a warm, non-drafty place under a clean kitchen cloth for about 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
7. Prepare a few baking trays with baking paper on them.
8. Knock back the dough and gently knead it into a ball. Sprinkle a little of the extra flour onto the work surface, divide the cough into 24-30 pieces, and form each into a small round bun. Place on the preprepared baking trays and leave to rise, covered with a kitchen cloth for about 30 minutes or until they have approximately doubled in size. In the meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 250°C/ 480°F.
9. Place a tray of buns at a time into the middle of the oven and bake them for 5-7 minutes, just until they start to get a light golden colour.
10. Let them cool on a wire rack under a kitchen cloth, while you prepare the fillings.
500 ml double cream, whipped.
White Chocolate Lemon Cream Filling
100 g Lemon Flavoured White Chocolate – Fazer have this (3 ½ oz) …otherwise you can use white chocolate and add the zest from ½ a lemon
6 tbsp whipped cream
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water (keeping the bowl above the water). Set it aside to cool to room temperature (if you’re using lemon zest, add it now and stir through the melted chocolate to combine).
Stir the whipped cream slowly into the chocolate and refrigerate it for about 10 minutes
Chocolate Toffee Filling
1 tin caramelised condensed milk
75g milk chocolate (2 1/2 oz)
2 tbsp whipping cream
– Find the method here: Chocolate Banoffee Crêpes with a Kick of Coffee
Well, this one was easy enough! …You’ll need a jar of Nutella 🙂