It’s February! The month which I look most forward to as its SEMLA month in Sweden! Semla is one of my favourite Swedish desserts. Its a cardamom sweet bun, with almond past in the middle topped with whipped cream. It may not sound complicated, and it isnt, sometimes simple just works best! It takes a little time to bake because of the bun, but its soooo extremely yummy! However I decided to make a smaller, lighter version, for those who just want a taste, and not go all in! Here is a simple choux recipe, with a little cardamom to give it the semla feel, and filled with almond paste and whipped cream. Easy and faster to make than a traditional semla, but with all the tastes!
Here’s how you bake it!
For the choux –
- 115 g unsalted butter – room temp
- 236 ml water
- 140 g flour (sifted)
- 4 eggs (large)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
For the filling –
- 100 g almond flour
- 1 egg white (pasteurised) , lightly beaten
- 35 g icing sugar
- 2 cup whipped cream, chilled
For the choux –
- Pre-heat the oven to 190 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place salt, water, sugar and butter in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the water is starting to boil (butter should be melted at this point), add the flour and cardamom in one go (do this with the saucepan away from the stove/heat) and vigorously mix the flour in, so that it absorbs all of the water (use a wooden spoon or spatula to do this). You will know when its fully absorbed once the dough pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.
- Then pour the mixture into a stand mixer (you can do this by hand – takes ages and your hand will break lol, or with a hand held mixer) and whisk on high for 2-3 min, until the dough has slightly cooled down.
- Then add the eggs one by one until fully incorporated, still whisking at fast. the dough is ready when there is a glossy sheen to it, and when piped it will hold its shape.
- Pour into a piping bag, and pipe onto the prepared tray (I used a Wilton 1A tip) leaving roughly 2 cm in between. Add a few almond slices on top (optional)
Bake in preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes in the center of the oven, or until the choux pastry shells puff up and are golden brown on top. Do not open the oven door, at least until you have reached the 25 minutes. Importantly, baking time depends on the size of your pastry shell. If you prefer a drier shell, bake for a couple of minutes longer. During the last 5 – 10 minutes of baking, prick each shell with a skewer or toothpick and let them dry out in the oven while baking.
- Remove from the oven, and let the choux pastry cases cool completely in a draft-free area. Preferably in a place that is not cold. (Letting them cool in an open but turned off oven is even better, but not necessary).
For the filling –
- In a small bowl add the almond flour, egg white and icing sugar. Mix using a fork until all combined.
Once the choux pastries are completely cooled, with a cerated knife, slice a bit of the top off, and pipe in a small amount of the almond paste top with the whipped cream, and cover with the lid (that you sliced off). Additionally you can dust some icing sugar on top for a little extra touch. Repeat with the rest and Voila! You’re all done!