Danish Fastelavnsboller (Shrovetide buns)
In the beginning of February we celebrate Fastelavn here in Denmark. Fastelavn is the name for carnival here in Denmark, and the other Nordic countries. It’s a bit like the Nordic Halloween. Its all for the kids really. They dress up and ‘slå katten af tønden‘ (“hit the cat out of the barrel”), which is somewhat similar to a piñata. Back in the day, there actually used to be a real cat in the barrel, and beating the barrel was superstitiously considered a safeguard against evil. Thankfully we don’t do that anymore. Now the barrels are full of candy and oranges.
We also eat fastelavnsboller (Shrovetide buns) which are sweet buns filled with either, custard, whipped cream or remonce (a Danish heavenly filling made of butter, marzipan and sugar) and topped with icing. They are really delicious and I always eat way too many. But they are only around once a year, so I don’t want to miss out, that’s my excuse anyway.
This year I baked my own batch. I decided that the filling would be both custard and remonce.
2 dl milk
50 g yeast
1 ½ dl heavy cream
3½ tbsp sugar
125 g of soft butter
½ tsp salt
500 g wheat flour
6 dl milk
6 tbsp sugar
Seeds from 2 vanilla beans
4 Tbsp cornflour
100 g of sugar
100 g marzipan
100 g butter
250g icing sugar
100 g pasteurized egg whites
Optional. 2 Tbsp. cocoa
What to do:
Add all of the ingredients to a pan and heat for about 15 min. or until you have the right creamy consistency. I stirred constantly to ensure that it did not burn and because the cream suddenly begins to thicken and it’s nice to have control over it.
Mix sugar and marzipan. Add butter and beat for a short minute, so it is just incorporated.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan with the milk. It should boil, just be hot enough to melt the butter.
Crumble yeast in a large bowl, add the lukewarm milk-butter mixture.
Add the sugar, salt, cream and flour and knead well. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
Roll out the dough on the kitchen table into a large square of approximately half a cm thickness and then cut into squares of 10 × 10 cm.
Add 1 ½ tsp. of each the custard and the remonce filling on each square.
Fold the corners of the dough over the filling and pinch the dough together in the joints, so the filling does not spill out. Place them on a baking sheet.
Let them rise for 1 hour.
Bake at 225 degrees C for 10-15 minutes or until golden.
Decorate with frosting when buns have cooled.
This recipe made 18 cream buns.