Sunday, 17 February 2013

Groundhog day in my kitchen.

As Sam came back today and looked all sad at missing the Semlor, I just had to make some more. These are fast becoming an addiction ( and to think, I didn't even know that they existed until last week ) . Anyway, here is a piccy of todays effort.

These just do not last. Quite apart from the fact that they do get eaten so quickly, they dry out like mad so need to be eaten on the same day as baking.



I think that this is simply a Swedish term for almond paste but in this context it is let down with a little milk to make a gooey paste to stuff into my semlor buns. It looks a little like wallpaper paste but tastes like heaven.

Guess what I did this afternoon??


Saturday, 16 February 2013


Another recipe that I had never heard of until now, these sounded delicious so I simply had to try them. I found quite a lot of stuff online for these little Swedish delicacies including a funny you tube posting:

I was aware after deciding to make these that a lot of people don't like the flavour of almond but, given their popularity, it was a chance worth taking so here's how it went for these little babies:

16-20 Semlor
5 tablespoons butter ( about 2 oz )
1 cup milk
3 teaspoon instant yeast (10 gram)
pinch salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon cardamom, Ground (optional)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 lb. almond paste
½ cup milk
1 ½ cup double cream
Icing sugar.
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, pour in the milk , heat until lukewarm (99 F). 
2. Crumble the yeast in a bowl and stir in a little of the warm butter/milk until the yeast is completely dissolved.
3. Add the rest of the butter/milk, salt, sugar, cardamom and most of the flour (save some for the rest of the baking). Knead the dough until smooth and shiny. It should let go from the edges of the bowl. Allow the dough to rise under a  cloth for 40 minutes.
4. Sprinkle flour over a board and place the dough there. Make 1 bun per person by rolling the dough against the  board in your cupped hand.
5. Put the buns on a baking tray with oven paper and allow them to rise for an additional 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 440°F.
6. Brush the buns with the beaten egg and bake them for about 10 minutes in the middle of the oven. Let them cool on an oven rack under a  cloth.
7. Slice the top off each bun. Take out a part of the crumb and put it in a bowl. Crumble in almond paste, mix and dilute with the milk to a rather soft mixture.
8. Distribute the filling in the buns. Whip the cream and put a large dollop in every bun
9. Replace the tops on the buns and sift some icing sugar over semlor.

Many thanks to these people for their recipe, I think that these turned out absolutely lovely, I would definitely make these again.



Well this particular journey ( I really hate that overused term) started with my work colleague Kim announcing that he was leaving this coming Friday. Now, Kim and I have our own particular journey ( oh no, doing it again) with a few ups and downs along the way but I couldn't let him go without making a gesture, and what better gesture than attempting to cook something from his homeland.

Now, other than  Ikea meatballs, Swedish cuisine has pretty much passed me by so I had to get googling - and quick. This recipe seemed to tick all the boxes and I had almost all the ingredients to hand so today was the day to put on the music in the kitchen, chuck the cat out and get kneading. Oh boy, this was a lot of kneading...and with a particularly painful wrist......I made far too many having doubled the original recipe so ended up with enough to feed the whole neighbourhood. So here is how it went:

Makes 25 buns

35g ( 1 1/4 oz ) Yeast

100g ( 3 1/2 oz ) Caster sugar
300mls ( 1 1/2 cups ) Milk
1 Egg ( more about that later )
120g ( 4oz ) Butter
1 tspn Salt
1 tbsn Ground cardamom
750g ( 26oz ) Plain flour
25 Muffin cases


100g ( 4oz ) Butter at room temperature
50g ( 2oz ) Caster sugar
2 tbsn cinnamon


1 Egg beaten and mixed with 2 tbspns water

Pearl sugar

Preheat oven to 220c/425f
Crumble the yeast into a bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter and add the remaining milk to it. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the yeast mixture and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. Cover with a cloth and leave for about 30 minutes to rise.

Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 1/8 th of a inch thick and about 12 inches wide.

Spread the butter evenly on top of the dough.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter.

Roll the dough up length ways into a sausage shape and cut into 25 even sized pieces. Place into muffin cases on a large tray and cover with a cloth for an hour until they have doubled in size.

After an hourish, brush with the beaten egg and water mix, sprinkle with sugar and bake in the centre of the oven for about 5-7 minutes.
Allow to cool.

These look lovely but, I forgot the flippin egg! It was far too late once I had realised so I had to just muddle through and hope for the best. I don't know how much difference the egg would have made - but - they were pretty dry ( although tasty ). 

Would I make these again, I don't know. It was a lot of work and I can't be sure that omitting the egg accounts for all the woes with these.


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Oh man Swedish food!

Cooking up a leaving feast for work colleague who's leaving tomorrow listening to this

mmmmm kitchen smells cinnamonny - recipes to follow


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Yup, it's that time of the year again.

Momentarily distracted by the need to think about this years holiday. My money is on this place :

Seriously addicted to the Maldives.


Celebrity Masterchef

Well, quite apart from the fact that I don't know half the ' Celebrities ' on this re-run on Saturday Kitchen, I was just pondering on the format of this episode ( and every other episode! ). We have nervous contestants cooking for judges, albeit other slebs, and Greg Wallace doing his shouty best....come on...urry up....It's no wonder really that they are then served undercooked food and poke it about a bit whining ' It just needed another 30 seconds '.

Now, it's a poor day that will see me taking cooking tips from a former fruit and veg salesman but what I don't get is this - why do the slebs put up with it? Don't get me wrong, I like Masterchef, I really liked Masterchef the professionals but I'm getting a bit flippin fed up with these two fellas, it's all gone rather flat and predictable.

Come on BBC lets find someone else to mix it up for a change.

Rant over