Semlor. Have you ever had them? They’re a pastry with many aliases whose appearance marks the beginning of the Lenten season in Scandinavia. In Sweden, they go by Semlor (plural for Semla) but can also be found under the name Fastlagsbulle. In Denmark and Norway, their code name is Fastelavnsbolle (and they often have chocolate on top) and in Finland they go by the name of Laskiaispulla (and often have jam inside). You can find this pastry also in Latvia (as Debeskūka), in Estonia (as Vastlakukkel), in Lithuania and in Iceland. Normally, this gorgeous pastry (I’ll call it Semla because we met in Stockholm) is a surreal bomb of sugar and butter, sensational in its sweet almond softness and its creaminess.
From the moment it entered by life, I thought that Semla – with its soft, cakey, and exploding creamy interior – would make one hell of a good protein dessert. Year after year, I promised kära Stina and myself that I’d try it but, year after year, as Shrove Monday/Tuesday approached and Semlor began adorning shop counters, I let go of that plan. Well, no more broken promises because, finally, here it is: a recipe for Protein Semlor!
Vanilla & Almond Protein Muffins:
1/2 cup millet flakes
1/2 cup vanilla brown rice protein
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
4 tablespoons white chocolate protein powder
4 tablespoons ground almonds
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons almond essence
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
1. Blended and baked inside 8 muffin cups at 160 C (320 F) for ~ 25-35 minutes (watch them so as to not overcook them).
2. Take out the muffins, allow them to cool and, once they’re cool, behead them. By this I mean to slice them where the body meets the head. This is because you’re going to use the bodies to make the filling and the heads to enclose the cream (see the diagram). Now, make your Semlor filling.
8 muffin chopped muffin bodies
1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein
1 tablespoon ground cardamon
1/4 cup baked almonds
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup almond milk
1. Mixed together in a bowl until the muffin bodies absorb the liquid and spices; you may have to drain some if you end up with too much leftover liquid; remember that the point here is to end up with a soggy kind of cakey mixture
3 tablespoons mascarpone
1 small tub Total 0% greek yogurt (with a small tub = 170g)
1/4 cup white chocolate whey protein
1. Mix all together.
2. When this is all nicely mixed, stick it in a plastic bag out of which a piping nozzle is sticking out. Then, just squeeze the bag and start layering around and on top of your filling.
3. Finally, top the whole thing with another muffin top and THAT, my friends, is it :-D (I went ahead and topped the whole thing with powdered stevia (for the sake of the semlor’s aesthetics) but this, of course, is optional).
10g carbs (3.8g sugars)
7g fat (2.8g sat)
Making this is so ridiculously easy and fun! And it’s madly delicious too because, well, you BITE down into the Semla and AAAAAAAAA an explosion of cream! with cardamonness and the crunch of the almonds and the wetness of the coconut milk and AAAAA, you’re left wiping your mouth and reaching out for another one and Ohhhh, mighty deliciousness!!!! The fun thing about this recipe too is that you can grab the concept and apply it to your own protein muffins. I mean, you can go ahead and behead them, scoop the top, mix the bodies with milk, almonds, and spices add them back to the muffin head, frost them up and cover them. It’s ludicrous. It’s surreaaaaaaaal!!!!