Fika involves taking time out to enjoy cake and coffee with friends or family or even alone. It’s about slowing down and enjoying a moment in the day, which we think can only be a good thing.
Our favourite baked good to enjoy during fika is the classic cardamom bun. You’ll see them everywhere in coffee shops windows from Stockholm to Gothenburg and are enjoyed by Swedes regularly with their daily cup (or three) of filter coffee. We have been so inspired by the Cardamom Bun during our travels to the Scandinavian motherland that we decided to make a flavoured coffee that tastes just like it! We are taking you back to its roots with this awesome Cardamom Bun recipe so you can enjoy the full Scandi experience. It requires a bit of time and love, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
**FYI – this recipe uses yeast so requires a rising time of 2 hours**
LITTLE’S CARDAMOM BUN RECIPE
You will need:
35 Cardamom Pods
350ml Full-Fat Milk
200g Cubes of Butter
500g Strong White Bread Flower – plus extra for dusting
225g Golden Caster Sugar
7g Sachet Fast-Action Dried Yeast
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Vegetable or Sunflower Oil
1 Large Beaten Egg
2 tbsp Pearl Sugar
Start by cracking open 10 of the cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar (or a rolling pin is just as effective)! Tip the cardamom into a saucepan. Add the milk and warm until it looks as if its about to start boiling. Add 50g of butter and pop to one side to cool down slightly, swirling the pan from time to time to encourage the butter to melt.
Next put the flour, 75g of the sugar, the yeast, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt into a large bowl. Mix until all of the ingredients are combined. When the milk mixture has cooled, strain it through a sieve into the flour mixture.
Grab a wooden spoon and mix to create a soft dough. Now for the hard work. Role up your sleeves and tip the dough onto a floured work surface. Knead for 10 mins or until until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Clean the bowl and grease with oil. Pop your dough back in the bowl and give it a roll around until it’s well covered in oil.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, crack the remaining cardamom pods. Prise the pods open and collect the seeds. Crush the seeds into a powder and combine with 150g of sugar. In a bowl mix the remaining butter with all but 2 tbsp of the cardamom and sugar mix. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Punch the dough down (you can take out any anger from the day on the poor dough) and roll into a large rectangle roughly 35 x 45cm. Have the longer edge facing you. Spread the cardamom butter over the top making sure it gets right to the edges.
Now for the complicated part. Fold the top third of the rectangle down to the middle and the bottom third up, like an envelope, so you have three layers of dough. Cut into 12 equal strips – these don’t have to be super accurate but as close as you can get them. Take a strip and cut down the centre but leave it attached at the top. Repeat this step with all of the strips.
Now for the signature cardamom bun shape. Twist each strip away from the centre two or three times, then tie the dough in a knot and tuck the ends underneath the bun. Pop them on the tray when they’re done.
This sounds way more complicated than it actually is but we have found a video which might help with this step!
When you have finished this part cover both trays with a sheet of lightly oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise for 30 mins – 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
Heat your oven to 190c/170c Fan/Gas 5 and whilst it is warming up uncover the buns and brush over with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with the pearl sugar and bake for 20-25 mins until golden brown.
Finally tip the remaining cardamom sugar into a pan and add 50ml of water. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool swirling to dissolve the sugar. Brush the syrup over the buns a couple of times as they cool. This will make them extra yummy!
And there you go! It is quite a mammoth task but totally worth it! We love seeing your homemade creations so don’t forget to tag us @wearelittles #LivenUpYourCup