Fastelavn is upon us. Every Scandinavian child’s favorite holiday. If you haven’t already prepared fastelavnsboller this year, you’re in luck! These buns are simply delightful and they bring a smile to everyone in the family.

Fastelavn is the Nordic version of carnival. Kids dress up in costumes and go from house to house where they sing songs in exchange for a few change. The highlight is a knock-down-the-barrel contest, in which the winners are crowned queen-of-cats and king-of-cats.

This fastelavnsboller recipe is by blogger Ann-Christine of Valdemarsro.dk. She created the recipe to capture the childhood memories of what fastelavnsboller taste like – I think she comes pretty close!

The magic is in the filling. By combining remonce and creme with chopped nuts, every bite of this bun is a little piece of heaven. Remonce – for those of you new to it – is a sweet pastry filling from Denmark with a french-y name. When making these, I was out of graham flour. I substituted with whole wheat flour, which worked well, and gave the buns a nice and hearty crumb.

Ingredients

    Dough

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 50 grams sugar (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup graham flour
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 25 grams of fresh yeast
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
    Creme

  • 1 vanilla bean<>/li
  • 1 egg
  • 20 grams sugar (or 2 small tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 75 grams chopped blanched almonds
  • 25 grams chopped unsalted pistachios
    Remonce

  • 100 grams sugar
  • 100 grams marzipan
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Icing and decoration

  • Powdered sugar
  • A bit of cold water
  • Cocoa, unsweetened
  • Coloured sugar sprinkles and unsalted pistachios

Dough

Heat the milk in a pot. Remove from the stove and melt the butter in the milk. Crumble the yeast into the pot and stir. (Not sure where to find fresh yeast, take a look at our tips)?

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and mix thoroughly with the sugar. Combine the vanilla sugar, the whole wheat flour, salt and cardamom in a bowl.

Add the two eggs and the dry ingredients to the pot. Stir to combine. Then add the remaining flour, bit by bit, stirring constantly.

Kneed the dough by hand for about 5 minutes. It should be soft and smooth without sticking to the hands. Let the dough rest in a bowl, covered, for about an hour to rise.

Cream

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and mix thoroughly with the sugar. Whisk together egg, corn starch, and vanilla sugar in a bowl.

Warm the milk in a pot until just below boiling point and combine with the egg mixture in the bowl. Stir and return to the pot. Using a whisk, continue to stir while heating the mixture until the cream has a perfectly thick and smooth consistency.

Turn the chopped pistachios and almonds into the the cream, and let cool.

Remonce

Kneed together sugar and marzipan, then whip in the butter and cinnamon using an electric mixer or small blender. Be careful not to over-whip.

Buns

When the dough has risen, roll it out in a big square, about a 1/4 of an inch thick, and cut out smaller squares of about 4 inches.
On every square, place a dollop of cream and a dollop of remonce. Fold the corners over and close the bun by carefully squeezing the dough together in the seems so the filling won’t run out. Place the buns seem down on a lined baking sheet.

Let the buns rest another 30 minutes under a clean piece of cloth. Preheat the oven to 350F. Brush the buns with milk and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Let the buns cool off on a rack while preparing thick white and chocolate icing. Decorate with icing, chopped pistachios, sugar sprinkles, or colorful chocolate buttons… anything goes.

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