Danish cream buns (fastelavnsboller)

In Denmark we don’t (or we used to) celebrate Halloween. Because of all the American films about this holiday we have kind of adopted it. Even though we take on new traditions from abroad, we will always stick to our own as well. And in February that means Danish Cream Buns or fastelavnsboller.

I’ve recently learned why we eat these buns at this time of year in Denmark, which had something to do with eating lots of bread before the fasting began. Nowadays we don’t fast, and the recipe has changed quite a lot from being a plain, white bun to this delicious bun filled with homemade vanilla cream, marzipan remonce (Remonce is a Danish pastry filling or topping made from gently mixing creamed butter and sugar) or a mix. You can even add chocolate if you feel like it.

To get the distinctive look of a fastelavnsbolle it’s important that you create a glaze typically made from icing sugar, cocoa powder and boiled water (it’s important that it’s boiled water as this creates a smooth and super shiny paste).

You’ll need:
Cream Buns 
150 g butter (slightly warm)
350 g flour (you might need a little more)
1,5 dl whole milk
5 cardamom pods – the seeds from – grinded)
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 g organic fresh yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg for glazing

Vanilla cream
2 eggs
2 tablespoon cane sugar
2,5 dl whole milk
1 vanilla pod
2,5 teaspoon corn flour
250 g shredded marzipan

Danish pastry filling: Remonce
75 g icing sugar
75 g butter
100 g shredded marzipan

Chocolate glaze
120 g dark chocolate of good quality
2 tablespoon butter
3 dl icing sugar
A small amount of boiled water

How to:
Cut the butter into squares. Crumble the butter in the flour with your hands. Add the ground cardamom and sugar.
In a small pot heat the milk until it’s pinky finger warm (meaning when sticking your clean little finger in the milk, you can’t feel anything because it’s roughly the same temperature as you). Add the yeast and stir until dissolved. Mix the milk mix with the flour mix and add the egg. I’d highly recommend you to use an electric mixer with dough hooks – and if you don’t have one, well then up with those sleeves and start to knead the batter using your hands or preferably a large spoon as the dough is rather sticky.
Knead until you have a smooth dough (don’t worry if it seems wet. I made the mistake of adding more flour but that gives you a dry bun). Cover the dough with a thin layer of flour, and leave to rise for about an hour in a warm spot, covered with a clean tea towel.

Vanilla Cream
Whip together eggs, sugar and cornflour in a thick-based pot. Mix until smooth. Add the milk and the vanilla seeds- and pod, and bring to the boil whilst stirring continuously. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then let it cool down completely.
Add the shredded marzipan and mix together.

If you choose to fill the buns with the remonce the procedure is easy peasy – simply just mix together all the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.

Cover your kitchen table in a thin layer of flour and roll out the dough. Add as little flour as possible so it’s still “wet”, elastic and easy to work with, but not wet enough so that it sticks to the table.

Roll out to a square and create 8-12 squares depending on how big you want them. I made 12 squares.
With a spoon, gently scoop your chosen filling onto every square and fold all the ends around it. Make sure it’s closed properly so the filling stays put.

Cover a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and place the buns here with the assembled side down. Leave to rise for a further 30 minutes, covered with film.

Glaze the buns with a whipped egg (room temperature) and bake them in the oven at 200 C for 12-15 minutes.

Chocolate glaze
Gently bring butter water and chocolate to the boil in a small pot. Stir until the chocolate has melted and add the icing sugar. Mix it all together until you have a smooth, shiny paste.

Cover the buns with the chocolate glaze with a spoon and enjoy!

p.s best to eat on the same day but you can choose to freeze them as well.

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