I am a sucker for sweet things, and when it comes to baked goods I am in heaven!
Ever since I can remember, every year for Fastelavn (Carnival) in February in Denmark, we would dress up in funny and creative costumes, walk from the school to the local bakery where the baker had lined up cakes, rum truffles, bread and of course Fastelavnsboller (Carnival buns). Then the whole school would line up and one by one, we would grab a cake or bun, something to drink and eat it while waiting in line to go a second round, or third, or forth…… 🙂
This went on till all of us kids where stuffed and there were no more buns left.
Every year since finishing this awesome tradition in my younger school years, I would make sure to either buy or make my own Fastelavnsboller. And this year I am way early (just so I get to eat a few extra before Carnival season is over).
There are many different varieties of the buns, but the one I like the best is the fluffy ones with vanilla cream filling.
They can be a little challenging to make, but be patient and do your best. They taste great no matter how they end up looking 🙂
Makes 16 buns
25g fresh yeast or 6g dry yeast
2dl (3/4 cup) cold milk
25g (2 tablespoons) sugar
½ teaspoon fine salt
500g (4 cups) flour
50g (1/4 cup) soft butter
300g (1 1/3 cups) non-salted butter to roll out with the dough
Marzipan filling (optional)
50g (1.8oz) marzipan
50g (1/4 cup) soft butter
Vanilla cream filling
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 teaspoons cornstarch
3dl (1 ¼ cup) milk
2dl (3/4 cup) whipping cream
Before making the dough, take out the 300g of non-salted butter so it can soften a little but not too much.
Then start with the dough. In your mixing machine dissolve the yeast in the milk. Then add sugar, salt, eggs, soft butter (cut into cubes) and flour (add half of the flour first and then gradually mix in more till the dough is nice and soft). Mix at low speed till the dough is even but still soft. Don’t knead it too much because it will become elastic and not so easy to work with for this type of bun. Let it rest covered in the fridge for minimum half an hour.
In the meantime we can make the vanilla cream filling.
In a bowl mix the egg yolks, corn starch, sugar and vanilla seeds from the bean.
A neat trick for the vanilla bean seeds is to cut the bean open and scrape the seeds out with a knife. Then, on your cutting board, drizzle a little bit of the sugar and gently massage the sugar into the vanilla seeds. This will help separate the seeds and make it easier to mix into the rest of the ingredients.
Mix with a hand mixer till the yolks turn a little lighter in colour and it has a fluffy texture.
In a pot heat the milk to a boil. As soon as it boils, take it off the heat and pour a thin stream into the egg yolk mixture while mixing on low speed. When all the milk is incorporated into the egg yolks, pour everything back into the pot and heat on medium heat while stirring constantly till it starts to thicken. Once it is thick, you will see and feel it as it happens, take the pot of the heat and transfer the vanilla cream into the bowl again. Cover with plastic wrap, so the wrap touches the vanilla cream. Let it cool completely in the fridge.
Once cool, whip the whipping cream and gently fold it into the vanilla cream. Let it sit in the fridge till the buns are ready to be filled.
If you want to use the marzipan filling, you simply mix the marzipan and soft butter in a bowl till completely combined and soft.
Now it is time to roll out the dough with the butter.
First cut out the butter into 2.5cm (1 inch) thick slices and place them flat on a piece of parchment paper. Lay the slices next to each other to create a rectangle about 10×15 cm (4×6 inches). Place another piece of parchment paper on top and use your rolling pin to “knock” the butter a little flatter and so it sticks together as one piece. If it ends up being too flat and big, simply fold it in half and “knock” it together again.
On a flour sprinkled table gently “knock” the ball of dough so it is a little bit bigger than the piece of butter. Then roll out each side so you end up with a cross where the middle part is thicker than the “wings”.
Then place the butter in the middle of the dough and fold each “wing” over the butter to cover completely. Now roll out the dough till it is about 3 times as long as it is wide, and keep it fairly thick. Then fold one side 1/3 over the middle and then the other side to create a little package.
Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
This is one round of rolling and folding. Repeat twice more and leave it for 15 minutes after the last folding.
Now roll out the dough till about 1/2cm (1/5 inch) and aim to keep the corners sharp.
Cut the rolled out dough into 16 even sized pieces and place a little ball of the marzipan filling on top of each piece of dough.
Now gently press together the sides of the dough to cover the marzipan to make sure it doesn’t run out when baking. Form a round ball and place the nice looking round side up and the seam at the bottom.
Brush with either milk or egg and bake in a 180 C (355 F) hot oven for 15-18 minutes. Keeping an eye on the buns so they don’t get too dark.
Let the buns cool completely and then gently slice them open with a sharp knife.
Scoop the vanilla cream filling on the bottom half of the buns and put the lid on top.
You can sprinkle with powdered sugar or decorate them as on the pictures with a fondant or marzipan tongue and eyes.
Now finally it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labour, so make some tea or coffee and relax with a Fastelavnsbolle!