March 03, 2011

Shrove Tuesday buns with almond butter and berry ricotta

 
Admittedly I am taking a false start by sharing this recipe with you today, but lets just blame it on my impatient nature and the fact that Shrove Tuesday - or laskiainen as we call it in Finland is one of my favourite days of the year. What is there not to like when traditions for the day include things like snow sledding and eating pea and ham soup and pancakes? This coming Sunday is in Finland known as 'Shrove Sunday' and I personally think traditional Shrove day pastries are allowed for any day of this week.


Traditional Shrove Tuesday pastries are known as laskiaispulla (Shrove Tuesday bun). They are cardamom buns filled with marzipan or jam and whipped cream and yes, of course they are delicious! My version, however, is a rather modern take on these buns. It's a version that is completely guilt-free but definitely tasty.


So what have I done differently? Firstly, I've left out the yeast and made a quicker version by using baking powder. Secondly, I've used white, unbleached spelt flour instead of plain wheat flour. I've also cut down all butter on the recipe and pretty much halved the amount of sugar. What else? For the filling, I've made my own almond butter (this could be my newest addiction) and used low fat ricotta instead of full fat cream. I've used frozen berries instead of sugary jam and sweetened the mixture with a bit of natural honey. Delicious! 


The good thing about taking a false start is that I get to make another batch for the actual day! ;-)
 


Shrove Tuesday buns with almond butter and berry ricotta
(Makes 4-5 big individual buns)

{Shrove Tuesday buns}
200ml low fat milk
100ml unsweetened apple sauce
1 large free-range egg
1tsp natural vanilla extract
230g white, unbleached spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
45g brown sugar
2 tsp ground cardamom

{almond butter}*
1,5 cups raw almonds
1-2 drops bitter almond extract (optional)

{berry ricotta}
1,5 cups frozen berries, slightly defrosted
140g low fat smooth ricotta
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1tbsp raw honey

icing sugar, to serve
hot chocolate, to serve

Start by preheating the oven to 190C. Mix the milk, apple sauce, egg and vanilla in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and cardamom. Pour the milk mixture onto the dry ingredients and fold well to combine. Scoop the batter into prepared cake or muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. 

For the almond butter, place the almonds on a roasting/cookie tray and bake in 200C for 8 minutes. Leave to cool, then place the almonds in a food processor. Process for 8-10 minutes or until the consistency is smooth and 'butter-like'. Add a drop or two of bitter almond extract if you wish. Set aside.

For the berry ricotta, place the berries, ricotta, vanilla and honey in a bowl and mix well. 

To assemble, cut the tops of the buns and using a spoon, cut a small cavity in the middle of the 'bottom' part of the bun. Fill the cavity with a spoonful of almond butter, scoop some berry ricotta on top and close 'the lid'. Dust with icing sugar and serve with hot chocolate.

*You can store any left-over almond butter in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to three days. It's delicious on toast or with cut vegetables!

Happy Shrove Tuesday (for next week)!

39 comments:

  1. Ohhhh, lovely! If I bring the tea, will you offer me a few? ,-P

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. They look EXCELLENT! I love the color of the berry ricotta mixture. Delicious- can you send me some- its not like I live that far away? LOL! Kidding- i need to try making these though and soon

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  3. Ah next week, good I was thinking how did I miss that? A lovely snack with tea!
    Cupcake
    xo

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  4. Delightful recipe... and I love your chocolate jug!!

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  5. Ooo these look really yummy!!! ... almond butter sounds heavenly!

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  6. These look amazing.....
    especially the berry ricotta, actually the whole thing!

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  7. Ihana,terveellisempi versio laskiaispullista ja tuo täyte,varmaankin todella herkullista!

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  8. Gorgeous photos!
    I have never seen, nor heard of Shrove Tuesday buns, but love learning new things and these look yummy!
    :)
    Valerie
    PS
    Greetings, Maria!
    Thanks for visiting my site - and I would love to continue to read yours. I never get to my readers or feeds in a timely fashion, so if you could upload Feedburner, I could subscribe to your site and get your new posts delivered to my mail box. Many others would love that, too. I use a different subscriber as my site platform is Wordpress.
    Thanks for your consideration!
    Valerie

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  9. Indulgent, yet healthy! Just the thing for a relaxed weekend morning.

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  10. Another beautiful post. I definitely want to try these when I'm back home in the kitchen!

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  11. Berry ricotta! I would love to try that.

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  12. I can think of at least 20 things that berry ricotta would go great on.. and that's just the sweet stuff! Will be trying it, yum

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  13. yummm ricotta instead of cream! great idea...and all those healthy substitutions sounds delicious! love that wooden mug too!! cute.

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  14. Eep! I was all prepared to just be lovin' the almond butter as I'm petrified of baking with yeast, but then you go and adapt the recipe perfectly to my needs. Wow!

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  15. These look really delicious! Hugs

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  16. You had me at cardomom! What a lovely recipe.

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  17. hehe I wish someone would put out a calendar reminding me of all of the important food days to make food for! Beautiful styling Maria!

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  18. These look delicious and somewhat healthy with the almond and the ricotta. I love your wooden cup too.

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  19. Help me! I think I have to stop reading your blog when I am hungry. These look so good - I actually feel like licking my screen. Oh yes, berries and almond butter go so well together! I have been thinking of making my own almond butter for the longest time, but have not gotten around to making it yet. I think I should really attempt to make some almond butter too!

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  20. wow the colours in the berry ricotta looks so pretty!

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  21. I just love the shape of these buns! Is the wooden mold in the background what is used to give them that distinct plump shape?
    I also admire your photos. Beautiful.

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  22. Thank you all for your comments, I am so glad you're enjoying this recipe!

    A lot of you have noticed the wooden cup in the photo. It is actually a traditional cup called 'kuksa' from Lapland, Finland and it is made out of birch. Needless to say this particular cup means a lot to me :-)

    Maria
    x

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  23. Those are the cutest little buns! May have to try some on the weekend.

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  24. Extremely cute and delectable!

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  25. Amazingly creative! Love the photographs too!

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  26. Yum sounds delicious. Buns filled with marzipan. In Holland we eat marzipan with Sinterklaas. Love the wooden hot chocolate cup. Your pictures are again so beautiful.

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  27. These are lovely, Maria! I'm a sucker for all things almond - and berries, for that matter. :)

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  28. I love stopping by your blog every now and then...and these buns look absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your updated version of the traditional Finnish Shrove Tuesday buns...can't wait to try them. Alison x

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  29. These buns sound wonderful and your photos of them are delicious. I collect traditional recipes and I've added yours to my collection. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  30. Absolutely scrumptious! An excellent recipe for the buns and they sound perfect with almond butter and berry ricotta, yum!

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  31. What a nice new version of the traditional Shrove Tuesday buns - although I can't imagine to not having one of the traditional ones with heavy cream as well.

    Have a happy Shrove day!

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  32. Almond butter and Ricotta couldn't be more divine = )

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  33. Lovely recipe, Maria! I was just wondering if it is possible to make almond butter in a vegetable chopper as I don't have a food processor?

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  34. Hi Sarah,

    I was using a small blender and it worked fine. You need to process the nuts for quite a few minutes to make it into a smooth paste. Depending on the vegetable chopper, I think you could give it a go :-)

    Maria
    :-)

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  35. I came across this site by pure accident, following a link to your recipe, and I love it1 Your photos are beautiful, by the way!

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  36. how do you always manage to make eating look so elegant!? beautiful!

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  37. These look adorably elegant! They've officially been added to my "to make" list, and I cannot wait to see how they turn out, they just sound sooo delicious.

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  38. didnt have time for the muffins so i put this on whole wheat toast so delicious ! Thanks for the receipt

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