Late to the party? Who me? Noooo. But. To my excuse, Fastelavnsboller is not something we eat on a special day here in Denmark, but on any day around a special time of year - around Fastelavn. Fastelavn is, as far as I can gather just our version of Lent, but also sorta like Halloween - kids dress up, go trick-or-treating and bash up a barrel filled with candy (and in ancient times a cat - you know, to knock evil out of this world or something?! - it's our version of a piñata. But, back to the Fastelavnsboller - they take over after all of the Christmas goodies disappear from the shops, are here until the bakers seem to run out of them and then we don't see them until next year.
There are actually two (or more) versions: a cream filled one, like this one, and a more eat-on-the-go version which is more like a Danish (or wienerbrød, as we would call it here) I never tried making these before, but surely had my share of them when I worked at a bakery as a teenager. And not to toot my own horn, but these are TONS better! Heh! It's a yeasted dough, but you then treat it like you were making puff pastry, rolling it out and putting thin, thin slivers of butter, folding it up, roll it out, another layer of butter, etc., etc. It works a charm. And they go nice and buttery, and who doesn't like nice and buttery?
For other versions, check out Pille's regal looking ones or Dagmar's Marzipan-filled version.
Fastelavnsboller - from Camilla Plum's Dejligt
15 g. fresh yeast
200 ml. milk, lukewarm
500 g. all-purpose flour
100 g. sugar
zest of one lemon
1 tsp. ground cardamom (original recipe calls for 2, but I think that's just a tad overwhelming)
175 g. butter, cold, cold, COLD!
1 egg for brushing
Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add sugar, flour, lemon zest, cardamom and eggs, kneading to make a smooth dough. Leave to prove until double in size - I let my dough prove in the fridge overnight, about 8 hours and it worked a charm.
Roll out the dough very thin - as thin as you can. Now, for the butter/puff pastry-ish method: I froze my butter about an hour before I needed it for this, and then sliced it, ever so thinly on my mandoline. It worked really well. Cover the right two thirds of the rolled out dough, then fold over the last third on top of the middle third, covered in butter. Complete the folding by folding the double layer of dough and butter on top of the last butter-covered third. That made complete sense, didn't it?:-) Continue rolling and foldind until you've used all of the butter. Fold one more time, and roll out to a thickness of about 1 cm. Cut into desired shapes - amount depending on the size (mine were about 5 centimeters in diameter and I made about 40) Brush with beaten egg.
Leave to prove until well risen, about 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 190 Celcius and bake for 10 minutes, more or less. They have to be brown and beautifull on top, and baked all the way through - no worse thing than yeasted, buttery UNbaked dough!
Leave to cool, then cut in half through the middle. Fill with a teaspoonfull of your desired filling and a spoonful of créme (see below). Decorate with the funniest color of icing you can come up with and little piggies, if you have them. Or dust a shower of icing sugar on top or - you know, do what you like!:-)
For the filling:
some really nice jam (I used strawberry - a tart version of something might be nice, too. You could try marzipan, or maybe a dollop of apple compote also?)
Icing sugar for the icing
A nice thick, vanilla-y custard, with a bit of whipped cream folded in - use your favorite recipe or this one here:
4 egg yolks
85 g. sugar
330 ml full-fat milk
25 g. corn starch
250 ml. whipping cream
In your pan, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch with a little of the milk, then add this and the rest of the milk to the egg yolk-mixture, whisking again.
Bring to the boil, while continuously whisking. Boil for about 5 minutes, until you have the desired thickness. Leave to cool. You can make the custard up to this step a day or two in advance.
When ready to use the créme, whip the whipping cream until a little harder than soft peaks form. Fold together the whipping cream and the custard.
One little piggy went to market... Two little piggies went to market... Three! little piggies went to market - and ate way too many fastelavnsboller!