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Sørlandsbolle (chocolate covered vanilla cream bun)

Norwegian baking, Sørlandsbolle
Sørlandsboller are chocolate covered buns filled with a delicious vanilla filling

Norwegians are enthusatic about boller. They are sweet buns made with a yeast (rath like a bread), but enriched with milk and sometimes and eggs and often lightly flavoured with cardamom. The most popular is a simple bolle with raisins and cardamom, or with chocolate chips (my favourite!), but a bolle that many people have not heard about is the sørlandsbolle. It's a sweet cardamom bun, filled with vanilla cream and topped with chocolate ganache. Decadent enough to be a treat, but not too excessive and perfect with a cup of coffee in your favourite cup enjoying a view.

Lyngør, Norway
Sørlandet is the southern part of Norway characterised by picturesque seaside towns like Lyngør

Sørlandet is the part of Norway that is right down in the south on the bulbous bit of the country that juts out into the sea north of Denmark. It's characterized by pretty towns and picturesque fishing villages, white wooden houses and soft gentle grassy hills leading down to the smooth rocks of the coastline. It's Norway's holiday playground and is a popular place for both visitors and Norwegians alike. Of course it has it's own speciality food like so many parts of Norway.

You might find a version of sørlandsbolle in different places and with different names, but a true sørlandsbolle can only be from southern Norway in the far south. Here's the good news - you can make themself at home! And I have a delicious and simple recipe for you.

Shall we bake?

Sørlandsboller (chocolate covered vanilla cream filled buns). Makes 10

For the buns:

60g / 2 oz butter

200ml / 6.75 fl oz milk

60g / 2 oz sugar

400g /14 oz plain, all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

25g / 1 oz fresh yeast or 13g /1/2 oz dried yeast

Pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Beaten egg for glazing

For the vanilla custard:

25g / 1 oz plain, all purpose flour

50g / 2 oz sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

145ml / 1/4 pint milk

145ml / 1/4 pint double cream

For the chocolate icing:

100g /3.5 oz dark chocolate

50ml / 1.75 fl oz double cream


To make the boller:

Melt the butter, add the milk and warm it slightly. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cardamom and yeast in a large bowl and add the butter and milk. Miz together well to form a soft dough. Mix for a minute to be sure it's well incorporated. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove for about an hour until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 10 equal parts. Roll each into a neat ball and place on a greased or lined baking sheet to prove, leaving a few inches between each one for rising. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove for about 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180⁰C / 360⁰F

Brush the boller with beaten egg and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

To make the vanilla custard:

Heat the milk until it is steaming. In a bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla essence. Pour the milk onto the egg mixture and beat together. Return to a clean pan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer gently for 2 minutes. Sieve the custard into a bowl using a metal spoon to push it through, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool slightly before refrigerating until needed.

To make the icing:

Break the chocolate into pieces and put it in a bowl with the cream over a pan of hot water. Stir really well until it all melts and the icing is smooth and shiny. Allow to cool slightly before using.

To put the sørlandsboller together take one of the buns and cut it in half horizontally. Take the top of the bun and scoop out a little of the inside from the lid to create a pocket for the custard. Take a teaspoon or so of custard and fill the gap you have made making sure it stays in the hollow. Put the bun back together. Take a spoonful of the icing and dribble over the top of the bun allowing it to dribble slightly down the sides. Leave it to set on a wire rack. Repeat with the other buns.

For more Nordic living traditions, simple cosy ideas and intentional living inspiration join me in the Living a Nordic Life Facebook group. I'd love to see you there.

Hilsen fra Fiona

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