Semlor is all the rage in Sweden this time of year. Let's do a short recap: It's a yeasted bun, flavored with lots of cardamom, and filled with almond paste and whipped cream. Just what you need during a cold and dark Swedish winter, to be sure. It's what we eat on Shrove Tuesday, rather than pancakes. Semlor are sold in every Swedish pastry shop from January to March, basically. (I refer to this post to see a good picture of what they should look like.)
There's rarely much variation. You see a vanilla creme filled semla here, or a chocolate cream one there, perhaps swapping the bun for a saffron bun, but most people stick to the original. Then this year, Mattias Ljungberg of T�ssebageriet hit a home run with the wrap-semla (pictured above). It's a raging success and it's all over social media. It's pretty damn smart - it's the same, but the dough is rolled thinly and baked into a wrap rather than a bun. Much easier to eat on the go and AWESOME. However, not super easy to replicate at home.
Enter the Semla Blondie, or the semmelkladdkaka as it's already known in the Swedish blogosphere. I stumbled upon it via Dagmar, who posted a photo on Instagram.
The same flavors are there - cardamom and almond - and it's definitely very reminiscent of a semla, but with hardly any of the work. Do give this one a try - anyone can do it, and it's delicious. I promise! I started with the recipe found here and played a little with it. My version is slightly less rich, although still plenty full of fat and sugar. Perfect for the winter, like I said.
Semmelkladdkaka or Cardamom-Almond Blondie
140 g butter, melted
Start by melting the butter, and let it cool slightly.
Stir together the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla sugar and cardamom. No need to beat, just stir. Add the flour and the butter, and mix until uniform. Finally add the almond paste and fold together. Pour into a buttered springform pan (about 24 cm in diameter).