Saturday, April 1, 2017

Dreaming of Swedish Cardamom Buns

If you're going to crack open your blog after a long period of absence, it'd have to be a pretty special post. Well, look who's here - Swedish cardamom buns!

I have been pining for these since I got back from Edinburgh a couple of months ago. Yes, I miss my family. Yes I miss my friends. I miss the constant company and the constant chitter chatter. And walking everywhere inhaling the architecture. But foodwise I have not stopped thinking about the cardamom buns at Peter's Yard (and yes, I have trumpeted about these before here).

At the first chance I got, and after an eighteen month absence, I braved the Edinburgh wind chill for a brisk walk to the Swedish cafe for the usual flat white and cardamom bun. This time I managed to get both sisters there. Much younger sister (her words, not mine) swooned over the cinnamon buns and was hesitant to diversify. Middle sister kept to other fancies. All of us had lunch there one afternoon - the only time I didn't have a cardamom bun because, let me tell you, their soups, served with chunks of wholesome bread and silky butter, are delicious too.

So, short of planning a weekly visit to Edinbugh from New Zealand, all I've been doing since my return is sifting through the photographs and dreaming about them.

Then I googled and found this recipe for Swedish Cardamom Buns on the FixFeastFlair blog. I was a little hesitant as I have tried other recipes without success, but the comments on this post seemed positive and it was all so well mapped out.

I'm not going to lie, it did take a lot of the day to get this done but this was more to do with my speed, lack of pre-planning and waiting for dough to rise rather than any problems with the recipe. In fact the whole process was relatively easy and, as I said before, explained thoroughly with lots of hints and a video on how to twirl up those buns.

I had managed to grind the spices the day before which was a big help and also a sensory wonder as the sharp, exotic scent of cardamom hit me. As the recipe states, use cardamom pods and remove all the seeds (this is a very meditative process, especially while you ponder the rewards to come) and crush in a grinder. It is absolutely worth it as the flavour is way more intense.

Just after the first rise, I discovered the newly-bought jar of yeast had expired the day before which made me a trifle deflated (along with the dough). At that point I nearly gave up as I didn't think they would be successful without the rise but thankfully I didn't.

I halved the recipe (as there is only two of us) which made the strands shorter to work with in the final execution.  So there I was, more like a contortionist than a baker. Of course I didn't reach the perfection of FixFeastFlair's design, nor Peter's Yard (although my sister did think I'd pinched one of their photos) but for a novice bun twister I think I did okay.

So, how did they compare to Peter's Yard? Well, I absolutely loved them! I couldn't compare them side by side but I'd swear the flavour was all there and I was ecstatic. The dough was less dense than the cafe one and I actually preferred that.

This is an absolute keeper recipe. Thanks to Alana at Fix Feast Flair who has made me a very happy person.

If you want to have a go, the recipe is here on FixFeastFlair.  If you are in Edinburgh, you can find Peter's Yard or Soderburg cafes here.

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