The bakeries start selling the Semlas right after new-years and all the way until Easter. Most people have their favourite bakery and so have I. In a way. The very best ultimate Semla is made by my friend Kristina. She makes them the perfect size, (small) and the perfect taste, with a delicious not too sweet filling. This weekend we were lucky enough to have her and her family as guests. And YES, she brought some Semlas!
Traditionally there is one specific day for eating Semla, called Fettsidagen. "Fat tuesday". That is the last day before the pre- Easter fast. There are records in old books as far back as the 16th century of people eating Semla. In the beginning the bread was baked without any spice, but eventually people started to sweeten it with honey and later with sugar.
Semla is made of a wheat bun, where the top is cut off and a hole is carved out inside. It is filled with a sweet almond cream, then a thick layer of wipped cream and at last the top powdered with icing sugar. Mmmmm....
Some eat their Semla dipped in hot milk in a soup plate, so that the wheat bun slowly goes mushy. It´s called hetvägg "hot wall". There are different traditions, but I prefer mine as it is. With a perfect cup of coffee of course.
Kristina brings her own vintage almond grinder, to have complete control of the filling... Impressive.
The crushed almonds are mixed with bread crums and boiled in cream for the perfect creaminess.
Another friend of mine hade one Semla a day as a craving when she was pregnant. It is a very tasty thing, but one a day would be too much for me.
It was however not enough for the Swedish king Adolf Fredrik who died in 1771 after eating too much Semla, on the very day before the fast. A bit stupid I must say.
So, if you visit Sweden in the beginning of the year, don´t miss out on ordering a Semla at the nearest bakery:
Kim is originally Danish with a Norwegian mother and Veronica is all Swedish. We live on the west coast of Sweden and run the design brand Born in Sweden with a true love to the all Scandinavian lifestyle.
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