Swedes eat a traditional sweet called a semla every Tuesday from just before Lent through Easter. It's a soft cardamom-spiced bun filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream.
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3/4 cup milk
1 envelope active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
6 ounces almond paste (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon), broken up
1 cup heavy cream
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, warm the milk over moderate heat, about 2 minutes. Stir in the yeast until dissolved. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the 3 cups of flour with the granulated sugar. With the mixer at medium speed, pour in the warm milk. Add the butter, cardamom, salt and 1 of the eggs. Mix until a smooth dough forms, about 8 minutes.
Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough into 8 balls. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet and wrap the sheet with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until the balls have doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the buns for about 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden brown. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Immediately brush the hot buns with the egg wash, then transfer to a rack to cool, about 30 minutes.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the almond paste with 3 1/2 tablespoons of water until creamy. In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff.
Using a small paring knife, cut a deep 1 3/4-inch round plug out of the top of each bun, making sure not to cut through the bottoms; reserve the plugs. Fill the buns with the almond paste and top with some whipped cream. Replace the plugs. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.
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