There are cakes and other baked goods that are very close to my heart. Mazariner are one of them.
I meant to write this post for more than a year now but I struggled to find the right words and I did not know how to compose this post. Putting too much pressure on yourself is never a good idea and it definitely does not help in a creative process. Since Europe is in the grip of a long-lasting heatwave and since there is no end in sight, I spend less time in the kitchen. Instead of baking I started to tidy up my photo collection on my computer and somehow I ended up editing photos for this blog post. It was no burden at all but it was pure joy. Sometimes time is the solution for letting go of the pressure to write a post.
Mazariner - little cakes that consists of a crispy shortcrust shell with a moist almond filling and a sugar glaze - is one of my all-time favorite little Swedish cakes since I was a little girl. My mom never made mazariner herself but every time I was in Sweden and visiting my family I ate them a lot as an afternoon snack. I was always looking forward to eat these little treats. A few years ago I learnt how to make mazariner myself which means eating a mazarin (mazariner is the plural) anytime and I was not dependent on my visits to Sweden. I often give away mazariner as a little gift when I meet friends because I want to share how delicious these little Swedish treats are. Every time I get compliments on these cakes and it makes me happy to share a little bit of Swedish cuisine.
While visiting my uncle last spring I also had the chance taking an evening class on how to make mazariner at a little bakery located outside of the city where my uncle lives. It was a beautiful evening and I learnt so many things from the baker. Happy and inspired by this evening I rode on a bike home to my uncle's house. The bike ride could not have been more beautiful. It was one of those crisp spring nights; it was still light at 10 p.m. and I was on my bike with a big box of delicious treats from the baking class and I was surrounded by the most picturesque nature. I am always happy visiting my family in Sweden but what I like most is the nature.
Come along for a bike ride and learn how to make mazariner.
Mazariner are oval shaped as you can see in my photos. It is difficult to get oval shaped moulds but you do not have to use oval moulds. You can use a muffin as well. I made a few batches of mazariner in a muffin tin in order to make sure that this is an alternative. I can assure you that it works just as well and I had no troubles getting the cakes out of the tin. I use a non-stick muffin tin and I also greased and floured the moulds. In case you are wondering about the size of the moulds here are the measurements:
Mazarin moulds: 2 cm / 0.8 inch height, 5 cm / 2 inches width, 8 cm / 3 inches length.
Muffin moulds: 2 cm / 0.8 inch height, 5 cm / 2 inches width, 7 cm / 2.8 inches length.
You might wonder what mazarin means or if there is any meaning behind it. Mazarin is not a Swedish name but it is an Italian name. The cakes are named after Jules Mazarin who was an diplomat and an art collector. Why the cake was named after him. I do not have an answer. I did a little bit of research but unfortunately, I was not successful. Mazariner have some similarities to the Italian cake "crosata di mandorle". Maybe there is an connection to it. Who knows...
Last but not least, if you ever happen to be in Sweden, maybe you are on a road trip, near Gothenburg, visit the bakery Nolbygårds Bageri, it's the bakery where I took the mazarin class. It is an organic bakery and a café which used to be a farm. All cakes, cookies, sweet breads and breads taste delicious ( I tried everything) and are typical Swedish. I cannot recommend highly enough this beautiful bakery and the very kind bager Lasse (bager means baker in Swedish) and his team.
Makes 10 - 12 Mazariner *
- 75 g / 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
- 50 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 25 g / 1/2 egg (size L)
- 150 g flour / 1 1/2 cups (preferable pastry flour), all purpose flour: 1 1/4 cups
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Whisk butter and sugar until creamy. Slowly add the egg and mix well.
- Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture and stir until the dough just comes together. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth, try to work as quickly as possible. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky or add a splash of milk if the dough is too dry.
- Form the dough to a flat disc and wrap the dough into cling wrap. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 °F.
- Grease and flour small cake moulds or a muffin tin.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 3 mm / 0.1 inches thick. Lift the dough regularly so the dough does not stick to the surface. If you let the dough rest overnight the dough might be a little bit hard, let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Cut out circles which are a little bigger than your moulds. If you use a muffin tin with 7 cm / 3 inches in diameter, cut out 9 cm / 3.5 inches circles.
- Gently press the circles into the moulds. In case of any excess dough trim it away with a sharp knife.
- Place cake moulds or muffin tin in the fridge while preparing the filling for the mazariner.
- 45 g / 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 75 g / 1 1/2 eggs (size L)
- 75 g / 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 75 g / 3/4 cup almond flour
- Melt butter in a small saucepan.
- Whisk eggs and sugar until fluffy but don't whisk it too much. Whisk no longer than one minute on medium high speed with an electric mixer.
- Add almond flour and melted butter and stir until all ingredients are well combined
- Fill the mixture into the cake moulds, a little more than 2/3 full. Make sure that you do not overfill the cake moulds.
- Bake cakes for 15 to 17 minutes. The top of the cakes get a golden brown color.
- Let the cakes cool, unmold them.
- 125 g / 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Mix powdered sugar with a little bit of water, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, until it is a very thick and chewy consistency. I recommend adding just a few drops of water, mix and then slowly adding a few more drops and mix again until you have the right thickness. If you do not like the icing glaze you can just sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of the cakes.
- Glaze the cakes with the mixture and let dry completely.
- Store the cakes in a tin or an air-tight container up to a week but over time the shortcrust gets soft. The Mazariner taste the very best on the day you make them.
* For size of the moulds, see my notes above.