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Swedish Semlor Buns with a Middle Eastern Twist

To celebrate the launch of CLOUD, Head Chef of our Coal Office restaurant in London, Nitai Shevach, has created a classic Swedish dessert with a Middle Eastern twist. Semlor is a popular Swedish dessert made of a cardamom spiced bun filled with cream. In Nitai’s version, his signature Kubalah bread forms the fluffy base and marzipan, pistachio halva and cream fill the centre, creating a rich and velvety dessert. To create Nitai’s Semlor buns, follow the recipe:

Start by making the Kubalah bread. This recipe makes 10-12 small buns.

Ingredients for Kubalah:

White flour (T45) – 175 G

Strong Bread flour – 330 G

Sugar – 88 G

Fresh yeast – 35 G

Salt 1.5 G

Water – 175 G

Whole egg – 88 G 

Soft butter 35 G

Method for Kubalah

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  2. Mix flours, salt, sugar and yeast. Try to separate the salt from the sugar and yeast (if you use dry yeast divide the quantity in 3 and melt the yeast in the water).
  3. Mix the water and whole egg.
  4. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Mix on low speed for 8 minutes then switch to a medium-high speed for 8 minutes.
  6. Stop the mixer and add the soft butter before mixing again.
  7. Mix again on a low speed for 4 minutes then a medium speed for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Rest for one hour.
  9. Once the dough has rested and doubled in size, cut into units of 150g, roll into balls and let rest for 30 min.
  10. Put the dough balls onto an oiled tray with baking paper on the bottom. Range the pieces one-by-one.
  11. Bake for 12-14 minutes
  12. After the buns have cooled, gently cut the tops off and remove the fluffy bread from the inside so you have space for the filling.

Ingredients for the filling & topping

Marzipan Filling

Breadcrumbs from inside of buns

Eggless marzipan – 206 G

Cream or milk – 128 G

Almond extract pure if available – 1/4 Tsp

Halva pistachio – 50 G

Cream Topping

Whipping cream – 256 G

Powdered sugar – 2 Tbsp

Vanilla – 1 Tsp

Extra powdered sugar for sprinkling on top