As it’s semlor season here in Sweden for Fettisdagen, or ‘Fat Tuesday’, when these buns are traditionally eaten before lent. The traditional semla is a cardamom- enriched bun with homemade marzipan, called ‘mandelmassa’ and plenty of whipped cream. For this raw vegan version, I’ve decided to use persimmon/ kaki/ Sharon fruit in place of the bun. I was going to use peaches, but they seem to be impossible to get at the moment, not being in season. As I’ve used persimmon, I decided to top it with a bit of matcha powder, a nod to the asian heritage of the fruit,
Makes 6 mini semlor bites
To make you’ll need:
- 3 persimmon/ kaki/ Sharon fruit
- 1.5 litres of water
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp almond oil
- 1 shot of amaretto (optional- don’t use if want to make it totally raw vegan)
- 2 tbs raw agave syrup
- 1tbs matcha powder, to top
For the mandelmassa:
- 150g soaked almonds
- 150g coconut sugar
- 1-2 tbs water
For the coconut & cardamom cream:
- The ‘cream’ from 2 tins of full fat coconut milk
- 3 tbs raw agave syrup
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/ fresh vanilla bean
Start the night before by making up the syrup. Mix the water with the almond oil, agave and cardamom. I also added in some Amaretto, in the spirit of the decadance of a semla bun, but by all means, take it out. 3 big persimmon will make 6 mini semlor buns. To make them, I’d recommend slicing each fruit into 4 equal pieces and cutting out the middle with a round cookie-cutter. This should leave you with a top and bottom bun for each ‘semla’. If there is any lefover persimmon, simply chop it up and keep in the fridge, it’s a great addition to any curry or jerk recipe. De-leaf the top and place into a shallow dish. Once you have done this with all 3 fruits, cover with the syrup. This should soak up all those cardamom & almond flavours of the syrup. Leave overnight.
The next day, turn the persimmon buns in the syrup and make the mandelmassa. I used the recipe off this blog to make it, but essentially, de-skin the almonds and blend it up with the coconut sugar in a food processor, adding a teaspoon or two of water to bind.
To make the cardamom cream, spoon out the coconut cream portion of 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk into a bowl, adding the ground cardamom, agave and vanilla bean paste. Whip up into a thick and aromatic cream.
When you’re ready to assemble your mini persimmon semla, take them out of the syrup and pat dry. roll a little ball of the mandelmassa and squish into the palm of your hands. Top the bottom of the buns with the disk of mandelmassa. Next, spoon on about a tablespoon of the cream. Top with the ‘top bun’ of persimmon and dust with some matcha powder.