Kanelbullar


It is no secret that I bake a lot. I try out new recipes, I create my own recipes and every now and then I try to recreate cakes from bakeries and pâtisseriesI go through phases where I make a ridiculous amount of financiers, all different kinds of chocolate cakes or French pastries. At the moment I am in a tartlet phase: in the last two weeks I made more than hundred tartlets. Is there anything better than making the filling for tartelettes au citron or making dozens of plum marzipan tartlets? I do not think there is. Just typing these words I want to run  into my kitchen and make more plum marzipan tartlets. I am not sure if I am "halvgalen" (little bit crazy) or maybe I am already "galen" (completely crazy).
And then there are kanelbullar which are probably one of the best invention of humanity besides the invention of the bicycle. I might be in a tartlet phase or in a financier phase but I am always in a kanelbullar phase. I never get tired of making and eating kanelbullar. I make kanelbullar at least twice a month.
Kanelbullar - kanel means cinnamon and bulle (bullar is plural) means bun in Swedish - are one of the most popular pastries in Sweden. I do not know anyone who does not like a bulle and every single bakery, grocery store, café or the smallest train station kiosk sell kanelbullar (and coffee as well). It is a staple food.


A while ago I escaped the city life and I travelled to Sweden and visited Alingsås which is the hometown of my mom and my uncle is still living there. It is a little picturesque city - half an hour from Gothenburg - with beautiful little wood houses, little cute cafés and the city is surrounded by the most beautiful nature. Whenever I travel to Sweden I am most of the time outdoors. I hop on a bike and cycle to one of the countless lakes that the city is surrounded by, breath the fresh and clean air, read Swedish (cook)books that I borrow from the local library, snacking on a kanelbulle or a wienerbröd (Danish pastry) and soak in the beauty of the nature and the silence. I am surrounded by no noise of cars, no human being far and wide but instead I listen to the rustling of tree leaves in the wind and the chirping of birds.

While I was in Sweden one morning I got up very early and decided to stroll around the city. It was early in the morning and the city was completely empty. While walking through the little cobblestone alleys I did not meet a single person. I was soaking in the calmness and looking at all the beautiful wood houses. And then all of a sudden it happened: I was surrounded by the irresistible smell of cinnamon and cardamon. Obviously the Café Ringen (see the photo above) around the corner was making kanelbullar
On my way home to my uncle's house I reflected on the power of smell. It is amazing how closely smell is connected to memories, experiences or childhood. Strolling around the city early in the morning and smell of cinnamon and cardamon from the café are one those moments that I cherish a lot. 

This is the entrance of the rådhus (city hall). Fun fact: The wife of the opera composer Donizetti Viginia Vasselli was a guest in Alingsås  and she stayed  a few nights at the rådhuset.
On that day I could not resist and made a batch of kanelbullar for my uncle. And there again was this incredible smell of cinnamon and cardamon in the air and it made my uncle's kitchen smell heavenly. My uncle freezed a few bullar and gave some of my kanelbullar to an acquaintance who really liked my kanelbullar. Hearing this made me, of course, very happy. 
Over the years I have perfeced (at least I think so) my kanelbullar skills and I am very pleased how my bullar turn out every single time I make a batch. 
I think it is time to share my Swedish cinnamon bun recipe with you dear readers!

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Makes 15 kanelbullar

INGREDIENTS

Dough
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 325-350 g all-purpose flour
Filling
  • 75 g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
Decoration
  • 1 egg (small)
  • Pearl sugar

DIRECTIONS
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add milk to the melted butter. The mixture should be lukewarm. It is really important that the mixture is lukewarm because the yeast does not like cold and too hot ingredients. :-)
  • Crumble the yeast into a big bowl. Add a little bit of the butter milk mixture – about 2 tablespoons – to the yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the rest of the milk mixture, salt, sugar, cardamom and mix well, Then add most of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and knead the dough until smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. 
  • Place the dough in a big bowl and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm and draft-free place for 30 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size. I always place my bowl in a oven (I switch the oven to 45 °C) and let it rise there. 
  • In the meantime combine softened butter, sugar and cinnamon and mix until it looks like a paste. 
  • Place the dough onto a well-floured surface and roll out the dough into a square (45cm 45 cm). Spread the butter paste onto the square evenly and roll it into a tight roll. 
  • Cut the roll into 15 pieces (each piece should be 3 cm thick). Place the rolls onto two baking sheets. Make sure that there is enough space between each bun. 
  • Cover the baking sheets with kitchen towels and let the buns rise in a warm and draft-free place (I place the baking sheets again in the oven and let kanelbullar rise at 45 °C) for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 225 °C. 
  • Beat the egg with a teaspoon of lukewarm water. Brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar. 
  • Bake for 6 to 7 minutes until the rolls are golden in color. The kanelbullar brown quickly, so make sure you are in the kitchen while the bullar bake in the oven. 
  • The bullar taste best fresh out of the oven but you can freeze them as well. 

Marianne's Gugelhupf



If you read my blog for a while you know how much I like gugelhupf. There are not only many gugelhupf recipes on my blog but I also wrote about the history of the gugelhupf [read it here] and about the Austrian Franz-Joseph gugelhupf [read it here].

A few Sundays ago I was craving a gugelhupf and I made a very traditional Alsatian gugelhupf which consists of a yeast dough with almonds and raisins. The gugelhupf or kouglof how the French call this sweet bread was good but it was not good enough that I would make it a second time. For my taste it was a little bit too salty and a little “tasteless”. Ever since I made this Sunday gugelhupf I was craving a gugelhupf that was a little bit sweeter and flavored with orange. In the end I made gugelhupf with caramelized almonds, chocolate chunks and orange zest which combines my favorite foods in one yeast bread. I love almonds, I love oranges [and everything that is orange flavored] and I love chocolate [who does not], so I name this gugelhupf “Marianne’s Gugelhupf”.


Makes 5 little gugelhupfs* [ø 12 cm/ height 5 cm]

INGREDIENTS
  • 100 ml lukewarm whole milk
  • 15 g fresh yeast
  • 225 g all-purpose flour
  • 75 g softened unsalted butter
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of orange zest [finely grated]
  • 75 g almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of almonds slivers.
  • 50 g semisweet chocolate [roughly chopped or use chocolate chips]
  • 2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
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Some extra flour for kneading the dough
Powdered sugar for decoration

*You can also make a big gugelhupf instead. Double the recipe and bake the gugelhupf for 20 to 25 minutes. If the surface of the gugelhupf color too quickly, cover with aluminium foil.


DIRECTIONS
  • Crumble yeast into a big bowl. Add two tablespoons of the lukewarm milk. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the rest of the milk and about a third of the flour and mix well. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rest in a warm and draft-free place.
  • In the meantime whisk butter and sugar creamy; then add one egg yolk at a time. Add salt and orange zest and stir well.
  • Add this mixture and the rest of the flour to the yeast dough and mix well.
  • On a well-floured surface knead the dough until the dough is smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
  • Place the dough in a bowl and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size.
  • Roughly chop the almonds. Add chopped almonds and powdered sugar to a pan and cook at high temperature. As soon as the powdered sugar starts melting lower to medium heat. Stir constantly, so the almonds do not get burned. As soon as the powdered sugar is completely melted, stir for two minutes, remove from the stove. Place the almonds on parchment paper and let it cool. If the almonds chunks are big, chop them into smaller pieces but wait until the almonds are completely cooled.
  • Butter and flour gugelhupf moulds. Sprinkle the bottom of each mould with almond slivers.
  • Take the risen dough out of the bowl and knead the dough again on a well-floured surface.
  • Roll the dough into a square [about 1 cm thick]. Sprinkle the square with almonds and chocolate. Roll the square into a roll and cut the roll into five pieces. Place each roll into a gugelhupf mould.
  • Brush the surface with melted butter and cover the moulds with a kitchen towel. Let the gugelhupfs rest for 20 or until the dough has risen to the edge of the moulds.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Bake the gugelhupfs for 9 to 11 minutes.
  • Let the gugelhupfs cool for 15 minutes. Unmould the gugelhupfs and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Enjoy. The gugelhupf tastes the very best while lukewarm.

Orange Chocolate Brioche






















I have a weakness for sweet yeast bread and buns. It is my favorite weekend breakfast and my favorite afternoon tea snack. I love the moment when I take out the bread out of the oven and I love the smell of freshly baked bread. It is such a beautiful moment. Every single time I am looking forward to this moment. This is probably one of the reasons why I like making sweet yeast bread so much.

Whenever I make sweet yeast buns I follow a routine. Most of the time I make it on Sunday mornings. After I take the bread out of the oven I let it cool for a little while - I think homemade bread tastes best when it is lukewarm - and in the meantime I always make a big pot of tea. 
When I made these orange chocolate brioche the other day I prepared a pot with Earl Grey tea. The bergamot flavor of the Earl Grey tea was the perfect combination to the orange flavored brioche with chocolate in the middle. I cannot think of a better way to start a day. 

Makes 10 to 12 brioches

INGREDIENTS
  • 450 g all-purpose flour
  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 75 g confectioners' sugar
  • 75 ml lukewarm whole milk
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of orange zest [finely grated]
  • 125 g semi-dark chocolate [I used 55%]
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  • 1 egg
  • pearl sugar
DIRECTIONS
  • Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. 
  • Crumble the yeast into the well. Add half of the confectioners' sugar and half of the lukewarm milk. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Dust the sponge with flour and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the spomge rest in a draft-free place for 15 minutes. 
  • I wrote a little advice post about yeast dough which you can read here.
  • Melt the butter and let it cool down.
  • Mix mleted butter, rest of the milk, rest of the confectioners' sugar, eggs, pinch of salt and orange zest. 
  • Add the mixture to the sponge and mix all ingredients well. 
  • Knead the dough on a well-floured surface until the dough is smooth. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm and draft-free place for 45 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size.
  • Grease and flour brioche moulds. You can also use a muffin pan.
  • Break the chocolate into pieces or chop the chocolate roughly. 
  • Knead the dough again and divide the dough into 10 to 12 pieces [it depends on the size of your brioche moulds and muffin moulds]. 
  • Flaten each dough piece and place a few chocolate pieces in the middle. Form each piece into balls.
  • Place each ball into the moulds. Place brioche moulds onto a baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a kitchen towel and let the brioches rise in a wram and draft-free place for 30 minutes or until the brioches are roughly doubled in size. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Brush the brioches with beaten egg. Sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  • Bake brioches for 10 to 12 minutes. If the brioches color too quickly, cover the brioches with aluminium foil.


Eggless Chocolate Cake

There are countless recipes of chocolate cakes. There is chocolate mouse cake, Sachertorte cake [my recipe is here], French chocolate tartes, chocolate cake with beetrootes, chocolate cake with potatoes [my recipe is here], chocolate zucchini cake, flourless chocolate cakes, chocolate cakes with lots of eggs an so forth.
Today I want to share a chocolate cake recipe which requires no eggs. Yes, a chocolate cake without eggs. I came across this recipe while browsing through my mom's recipe folder - where she saves recipes from old Swedish magazines - in order to find inspiration for new cake recipes. When I showed my mom the recipe she told me that this is really a good recipe and she made the cake "a while ago". A while ago means 20 years ago and I cannot remember that my mom made this chocolate cake. I guess I was too young.
I was not so sure that a chocolate cake without eggs will be a hit. But I was too curious and decided to make this eggless chocolate cake. And what can I say: I love this chocolate cake. A lot. The cake is not over chocolately but it is a dense, rich and a very very moist cake. Sometimes I crave a chocolate cake but not an overly chocolately cake. For those cake moments this is my new favorite chocolate cake. 
I served the cake with freshly whipped cream and strawberries which compliments the cake very well. And as a bonus I think the cake looks very fancy with strawberries and whipped cream on the side. But shhh, don't tell anyone that this is a very easy cake to make. No stand mixers or any fancy kitchen equipment are needed. You need a bowl and a spoon. That is all.




Makes one round cake [ ø 20 cm/ 8 inches]

INGREDIENTS
  • 270 g all-purpose flour
  • 270 g granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cacao
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 75 unsalted butter, melted
  • 100 ml boiling water
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  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Fruits such as strawberries or peaches

DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  • Line the bottom of cake pan with parchment paper. Do not skipp this step. Grease and flour the cake pan, too.
  • Mix flour, sugar, cacao, baking powder and vanilla sugar in a big bowl.
  • Add milk, melted butter and boiling water to the dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan.
  • Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clear the cake is done.
  • Let the cake cool completely. Remove cake pan.
  • Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.
  • Serve cake with freshly whipped cream and fruits.


Coconut White Chocolate Financiers

This month it's all about financiers. 
I made blueberry financiers, raspberry financiers, a few dozens of chocolate financiers, orange financiers and coconut white chocolate financiers. Next on my list are matcha financiers. I have a feeling that matcha financiers will be another favorite of mine since everything tastes great with matcha or anything that has a green tea flavor. At least I think so. Maybe because I am a green tea-holic. 
I don't know how many financiers I made in the last three weeks but I know that I made more than 100 financiers. Let alone on Sunday I made more than 50 financiers. Sigh. Yes, I am addicted and I do not mind being a financier-holic; and you don't have to worry about me. I did not eat all finaciers because I gave most of them away and made other humans happy. Who does not like a petite cake which is the moistest and delicate cake that you can imagine? Financiers might not look spectacular, such as a raspberry mascarpone tartlet [my recipe is here] but don't be fooled by the simple shape of these petite cakes because as soon as you bite into a financier you will understand why I rave so much about financiers. 
I already shared my raspberry financiers here and my chocolate financiers here and today I want to share with  you my recipe of coconut white chocolate financiers. 


Makes 16 financiers

INGREDIENTS
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 135 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 45 g all-purpose flour
  • 90 g almond flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 100 g white chocolate [roughly chopped]
  • 50 g unsweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • I use silicon moulds, so I don’t grease and flour the moulds. If you use other moulds butter and flour the moulds. If you don't have financier moulds you can use a muffin tin as well.  
  • Melt the butter over medium heat until the butter turns golden brown color and develops a nutty flavor [beurre noisette]. 
  • Sift confectioners' sugar and flour into a bowl. Add almond flour and coconut flakes and mix well. 
  • Whisk the egg whites in another bowl until they form light foam [use a egg whisk].
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and tip in the egg whites. Add the beurre noisette gradually and mix well until all ingredients are well combined. 
  • Fold in the roughly chopped white chocolate into the mixture. 
  • You can also make chocolate financiers from the same batter. Replace the coconut flakes and white chocolate with 100 g roughly chopped milk, dark or noisette chocolate [I like noisette chocolate the best because the financiers will taste like a delicate praline] and 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cacao.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly into the financiers moulds [about 1 tablespoon for each financier mould]. 
  • Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. If you use a muffin tin [fill the muffin moulds half full] and bake the financier for about 15 to 17 minutes.  
  • Let the financiers cool for a few minutes. Remove from the moulds. 
  • Store the financiers in an airtight container [up to a week].