1 portion of basic sweet yeast dough
for garnish (optional):
1 egg for glazing
chopped or flaked almonds and/or sanding sugar
fresh, homemade almond paste
(dash of milk or cream)
vanilla-flavoured whipped cream
icing sugar for garnish
Prepare and bake 8 large basic sweet yeast dough buns according to the instructions given here.
Before baking, brush the buns with egg wash and, if you like, garnish with chopped or flaked almonds and/or sanding sugar. Loosely cover the buns with a towel after baking and let cool down.
Cut off about 1/3 of the top of the buns, see figures 1 and 2 below. Scrape out a bit of the inside of the bottom part of the buns and replace with a flattened disk of soft almond paste (figure 3).
The almond paste should be very soft and moist in fact it is usually mixed with the fine crumbs scraped out of the buns and a dash of milk or cream, to make it lighter. If the paste is a bit hard and/or dry, it is grated finely before mixing with the crumbs and the milk.
Spoon or pipe a thick ring or layer of whipped cream around the almond paste filling (figure 4). Gently position the cut off "caps" back on top of the buns and dust the tops with icing sugar (figure 5).
Shrove buns can be served as a pastry with coffee or tea, but the traditional way is to serve them on a deep plate filled with hot milk, the bun soaking up part of the milk (see the picture below).
In this case, the bun and milk are eaten with a dessert spoon.
In Finland, Shrove buns are traditionally sold in bakeries or made at home and eaten at Shrovetide. The Shrove bun tradition originates from Sweden, where these buns are called semla or fastlagsbulle.
Recipe source: family recipe/traditional Finnish and Swedish recipe.