Today Heather of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks has the Festive Foodies are sharing Mardi Gras recipes. Check out these other delicious Mardi Gras recipes...
- Cajun Chicken Pasta from Jolene's Recipe Journal
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo from The Spiffy Cookie
- Fastelavnsboller from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- King Bundt Cake from The Redhead Baker
- King's Cake Cinnamon Rolls from Kate's Recipe Box
- Mardi Gras Monkey Bread from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Muffaletta Salad from A Day in the Life on a Farm
- Oven-Baked Mardi Gras Empanadas from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Shrimp and Grits from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Shrimp Creole from Caroline's Cooking
- Shrimp Dirty Rice from Palatable Pastime
- Shrimp étouffée from House of Nash Eats
Mardi Gras, Carnevale, and Fastelavn
So, everyone is probably familiar with Mardi Gras. Carnevale is the Italian version with the name, in Latin, literally meaning 'Bye, Meat!' And I just learned about Fastelavn...so, I'm going to share it with you.
|photo by Rikke
I saw this photo posted on one of my best friend's social media with the caption: "Årets første fastelavnsboller." It means 'First fastelavnsboller of the year' and I immediately sent her a message that I needed to know what those were and a recipe! Here's the Danish culinary history lesson, paraphrased a bit...
Before the reformation, in 1536, Denmark was Catholic. And Fastelavn marks the beginning of 40 days of fasting. So, it surrounds enjoying all of the foods that would be off limits for the duration of Lent. The Fastelavnsboller, dating back to the 1600s, are part of the 'let's eat all the nice foods' tradition since it uses up the expensive white flour, sugar, and eggs.
Rikke mentioned two versions: the old-fashioned which is a simple yeast-based dough filled with vanilla cream; the buttery dough which is baked, opened up, and filled with a mixture of vanilla cream, whipped cream, and sometimes raspberry jam, prunes, or mocha cream.
And a tradition that she shared had me laughing and laughing. "In the 1800s, Fastelavn was a big celebration for dressed up grown ups - with plenty of alcohol etc. - and they would hang a barrel with a live cat inside and beat the barrel with a stick until the cat fell out. The cat symbolising evil!"
She said the tradition came from Holland. Okay, blame the Dutch! LOL. She continued, "Today this tradition is adapted for kids - they wear costumes and ‘slår katten af tønden’ (hit the cat out of the barrel). The barrel being filled with candy, apples, oranges etc. - and decorated with cardboard cats."
So, this isn't Rikke's recipe as I still need to wrangle that from her. This is one that I found and adapted from ScandiKitchen.
And you know I'm ready for some serious baking when the scale comes out. A friend joked that he was shocked because he figured I eye-balled everything. I usually do, but bread making requires precision and, for that, I prefer weight versus volume amounts. If you don't have a kitchen scale, you can find a converter online; but I really urge you to use a kitchen scale for making breads and pasta.
- 13 g dried/active dry yeast
- 250 ml whole milk, warmed to steaming but not boiling
- 100 g butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 40 g organic granulated sugar
- 450 g flour + more for kneading
- 1 t baking powder
- 2 t ground cardamom (this results in a strong flavor, reduce if you prefer)
- 1 t salt (I used a Danish flake salt, but use whatever you have)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 500 ml whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthwise with seeds scraped
- 3 eggs
- 100 g organic granulated sugar
- 30 g corn starch
- 25 g butter
Baking and Finishing
- 1 egg, beaten
- 150 g organic powdered sugar
- freshly squeezed lemon juice, approximately 1 T
- 50 g dark chocolate
- sprinkles or chopped nuts
Place the milk and the vanilla bean and scraped seeds in a medium sauce pan and let stand for 20 minutes. Then scald the milk and let the vanilla steep in the milk for 10 minutes. In the meantime, in mixing bowl, blend the sugar and eggs until the mixture becomes fluffy and pale. Add the corn starch and whisk to combine.
Slowly pour the warmed milk into the egg mixture, whisking as you pour. Place the saucepan back on the stove and bring to a boil. Whisking vigorously the whole time. Once the mixture has thickened and just started to boil, remove from the heat. Keep whisking to keep it smooth. Spread the pastry cream into a dish and cover with plastic wrap, touching the top to keep the cream from developing a film. Refrigerate until cool.
Pour warm milk into a large mixing bowl, stir in sugar, and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let bloom for 10 to 15 minutes. It should be foamy and frothy. Add in the butter and egg. Whisk to combine.
Add in the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Knead until a scraggy dough forms. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. It should be doubled in size.
Dust a workspace with flour and turn out the dough. Knead the dough, dusting to prevent sticking if needed. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a rectangle, approximately 12" x 16". Cut the dough into 8 rectangles..
On each rectangle, add a generous dollop of pastry cream. Gather the corners together on top to form a sort of purse shape. Press the seams together to ensure the vanilla cream stays inside the bun and won’t leak out during baking.
When bun is completely closed, invert it, and place it on parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking sheet, seam side down. Brush the buns with beaten egg and let them rest and rise for 20 to 25 minutes.
These were so much fun to make. I can't wait to try them again...and the boys want to have a cat piñata to have the full Fastelavn experience. Hmmm...maybe next year.