Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Delicious Lenten Buns with Marzipan and Raspberries (Vastlakuklid)
It's Shrove Tuesday here in Estonia today, which means that people eat copious amounts of vastlakuklid aka Lenten buns aka semlor today. For the past decade I've been baking my own Lenten buns using this excellent recipe of mine. However, this year I decided to be a bit more adventurous, so I flirted with chocolate Lenten buns and marzipan-raspberry buns. Both were excellent and worth sharing with you. I start with the pink ones (after all, the pink-and-red-filled Valentine's Day has just passed).
The recipe is very slightly adapted from the Finnish Kotiliesi. Note that these can be on your table within two hours from starting. But when I mixed the dough on Sunday morning I realised that I didn't actually have the time to bake and fill the buns. So instead of quick-rising the dough in a warm place, as usual, I transferred the bowl to a very cool garage, where it had about 24 hours time to prove and rise slowly. It did wonders to the dough, I must admit - the flavour was even better than usual, so I'll be slow-proving my yeast doughs in the future as well.
Decadent Lenten Buns, filled with marzipan and raspberries
Makes about 16
300 ml milk
25 g fresh yeast or a sachet of dried instant yeast
85 g sugar (100 ml)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
half of a beaten egg
450 g all-purpose/plain flour (about 800 ml)
75 g unsalted butter, softened
half of a beaten egg
150 g marzipan
2-3 Tbsp milk
200-250 ml whipping or double cream
2 tsp vanilla sugar (or ordinary caster sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract)
200 g raspberries (frozen are fine)
If using instant yeast, then mix flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the lukewarm milk, whisked egg and mix until you've got a soft dough. At the end add the softened butter and knead into the dough. Cover the bowl with a clingfilm and place into a warm and draft-free place for about an hour. The dough should rise nicely and about double in size during this time.
Dust your working board with some flour and roll the dough into a long "sausage". Cut that into 15-16 chunks and form these into a nicely-shaped round balls (see my previous post for one way of doing this).
Place the dough balls onto a large baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let rise another 15-20 minutes.
Brush with the rest of the egg, then bake in the middle of a pre-heated 225 C oven for about 15 minutes, until the buns are lovely golden brown.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a metal rack to cool.
When cool, then cut off a top from all the buns. Using a teaspoon, scoop a small hole into the middle of each bun.
Put the scooped-out bun pieces into the food processor alongside the marzipan and some milk. Process until smooth, then spoon the marzipan filling back into the buns. Like this:
Whisk the cream and sugar until thick and fluffy. Gently stir in the raspberries (use a slotted spoon to add the raspberries - you don't want the "raspberry juice" you get when defrosting the berries). Spoon or pipe the cream onto the buns, then replace the "lids".
Dust with icing sugar and serve.