Some refer to this day as Shrove Tuesday, some Fat Tuesday, and some Mardi Gras – French for Fat Tuesday. It’s the day directly preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of lent) and it’s celebrated in different ways all over the world. The celebratory food choices vary but many include high carb options such as pancakes or varieties of sweet buns. In Sweden it’s celebrated with a semla. A semi sweet bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream. These sweet wonders are so tasty and popular they can now be found in bakeries throughout the year. However, most frequently during the first quarter preceding Fat Tuesday.
Traditionally, a semla is made from yeast dough, but this Gluten Free option is Yeast Free and altogether sweetened with honey and dates.
sweet cardamom buns
This is a small bun creating a small, not quite but almost, bite size semla. Enjoyable filled or plain. For a sweet fruity treat, replace marzipan with jam or fresh fruit or berries.
2 cups almond flour (finely ground almonds)
½ cup tapioca or potato starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamom
¼ cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs
Mix dry ingredients and set aside.
Over low heat, stir milk, butter and honey until melted and incorporated.
Pour hot liquids over dry ingredients and blend quickly.
Stir in the lightly beaten eggs.
Spritz or spoon into a mini muffin pan lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
Bake at 400F/200C for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Makes 15 mini muffin buns.
raw hazelnut date marzipan
½ cup tightly packed dates
1 ½ cup hazelnut flour (finely ground hazelnuts)
1 cup almond flour (finely ground almonds)
2 drops almond oil (optional)
In a food processor, process all ingredients until it forms a ball.
Shape ball into a roll and refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes one 9 oz roll.
whipped honey glaze
whipped honey glaze
Whipped honey glaze is an excellent alternative to glaze made from processed confectioners sugar. Not only will it keep its shape and stay glossy, it tastes delicious and includes honey’s many health benefits. The honey will stay white and fluffy in a jar.
Beat honey with an electric mixer until white and fluffy.
Cut the top of the sweet buns.
Apply a generous amount of raw hazelnut date marzipan.
Cover with whipped heavy cream.
Put the tops back on and glaze with whipped honey.
Photography by Philip Blankenship.