Bake your own Fastelavnsboller!

DS13 (dear son,aged 13) cycled home like lightning on Thursday – proffering
homemade fastelavnsboller (Danish carnival buns) he had made in
hjemkundskab (home economics class). [Want some background on Danish
carnival? Check out my DIY
Fastelavn
! ]

We made another batch of fastelavnsboller together this weekend.
Check out these big beauties!

Fastelavns boller - carnival buns!

Fastelavns boller – carnival buns!

We based ours on Arla’s recipe. You’ll need:

  • a 50g sachet of dry yeast
  • 100mls or 1 decilitre milk
  • 125g butter or Kærgården
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • about 375g of plain flour (hvedemel) – about 625mls or 6¼ deciltres

.

Mix everything together in a large bowl. It’s easiest to use a mixer (dough
hook) but you can do it by hand if you want the upper arm exercise. When it all
comes together, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for about 45
mins.

Meanwhile prepare the filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 200mls or 2 decilitres milk
  • 1½ tablespoons of flour
  • a tablespoon of vanilla sugar

.

Put everything into a little saucepan and whisk over a high heat until the
mixture comes to the boil. Turn down the heat, keep whisking for about 5
minutes then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

When you’re bun dough is ready, roll it out on to a floured worktop and try
and get it into a large rectangle. You are aiming to cut out around 12 squares,
but don’t get too perfectionist…

DS13 rolling out the dough

DS13 rolling out the dough

Take a spoon of the filling and plop it into the middle of each square. Fold
the edges of the square together, press them together gently (so the filling
doesn’t squish out) and carefully turn them over, so you have a neat little
bun. Leave the buns to rise on a baking sheet for another 45 mins. (Or – if
you want to bake them the next day – put them in a cool place or fridge
overnight.)

Bake in a preheated oven at 225c (450f) for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on
them, you don’t want them to get too dark. Remove from the oven and cool before
topping them with some icing or a dusting of icing sugar. Though if you want to
top them with pålægschokolade (piece of thin breakfast chocolate), do
it while they’re still hot!

When you’re ready to eat the fastelavnsboller, cut them horizontally
and put in a (very l-a-r-g-e) dollop of whipped cream…

My fave combo...choc and cream!

My fave combo…choc and cream!

Velbekomme!

Diane :)


DIY Fastelavn – Danish Carnival

[This post is also published over at www.blogs.denmark.dk – the official website of
Denmark run by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

Last week in We heart Danish Drama, I gave you an idea for a Carnival costume. And, by jingo, if you’re planning to celebrate Fastelavn (as the Danes call it), you’d better get your skates on. Because this year the moveable feast falls early. Really early. Sunday 19 February. Which is the Sunday before the Danish schools’ winter holiday week – eek!



Fastelavnsboller = Danish carnival buns

The kids and I are busy getting into the swing of things. We’ve already eaten several huge, sticky fastelavnsboller (traditional Danish carnival buns). DD9 (Dear Daughter, 9) has her carnival costume ready and waiting on a coathanger – this year she’s Hermione from ‘Harry Potter’, selvfølgelig. And DS12 (Dear Son, 12) has politely informed me that he won’t be needing a costume this year because he’s “too old for that kind of thing, Mum!” ;)

However, he wouldn’t say ‘No’ to a fastelavnsris, so we’ll still be making those… Now we could, of course, buy them readymade from the local supermarket or sweetshop but a) we can save a fortune it’s fun to make our own and b) the kids can choose the sweets themselves. You don’t know what a Fastelavnsris is or how to make one? Never fear! Here’s my post from last year, complete with step-by-step instructions.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(First published 2011)

My DD8 (dear daughter, 8 years old) was looking forward to going to school this morning. Because in art class they’re decorating piñatas for fastelavn (carnival). Carnival in Copenhagen! Okay, so we’re not talking Carnival like the one in Rio. Honestly, would you want to dance around the cobbled streets, half-naked, peely-wally white, in sub-zero temperatures? I think not. If you want the whole historical background of the Danish festival, I suggest you go google or take a peek at Wikipedia. Here’s what I think you need to know:

  • it’s celebrated seven weeks before Easter Sunday (6 March 2011, 19 February 2012)
  • it’s the highlight of the kids’ year (aside from Christmas), it’s basically the Danish equivalent of Halloween
  • kids wear fancy dress (which, for the under 6s, is invariably a superhero or something pink and princessy)

  • the kids make (or buy or receive) a fastelavnsris [don’t know what that is? Hey, you’re in luck! Keep reading for instructions on making your own…]
  • you eat special fastelavnsboller [sticky buns, duh, of course there’s food involved!]

There are tons of parties where the kids get a chance to slå katten af tønden (literally ‘hit the cat out of the barrel’). Schools and kindergartens devote a whole day to the celebrations. And if your child goes to scouts or football practice, there will also be a party organised there. Not to mention events organised by public libraries, museums, local businesses and supermarkets… A tønde (large barrel, similar to a piñata) is filled with sweets and fruit. Much more politically correct than filling it with live cats, as they used to do up until the early 1800s… The barrel is then strung up and the kids take it in turns to whack it with a bat.

The boy or girl who knocks out the bottom of the barrel is crowned as Kattedronningen (the Queen of the Cats). The person who smashes the very last piece of the barrel is crowned Kattekongen (the King of the Cats). A huge honour. You get to wear a little golden crown for your efforts. And be the envy of your friends for years afterwards.

Here’s how to make your very own Danish Carnival essential – a Fastelavnsris. Which is sure to make you the envy of your friends! ;)

You’ll need:

  • a few bare branches (should be easy to find at this time of year…)
  • sellotape, thread, ribbon or wire
  • coloured carton or paper
  • bits n’ bobs
  • some small sweets (wrapped, if possible)

Take a small handful of branches and secure them at one end. You can tie a piece of ribbon around, if you want to pretty up the ‘handle’. Use wire, sellotape or thread to stick on the sweets.

Cut out a few shapes from coloured card and stick on. Traditional shapes are cats (remember those live cats that used to be put inside the barrels…), barrels and masks. Go mad with glue sticks and sequins… The branches should be looking quite colourful now. Add a few coloured feathers if you have them. And streamers. Stick on some Carlsberg or Tuborg bottle tops – a great way to recyle them?! Or whatever takes your fancy…

When you’re all done the fastelavnsris can either be hung up in a hallway or stuck in a vase until it’s ready to be eaten. Back in the ‘good old days’, it was used for flogging. Eek!

God fastelavn! Happy Carnival! :)



Copenhagen Carnival Capers!

DD7 changed her mind several times this week (as is a girl’s perogative…) as to what she was going to be for school today. Flamenco dancer, dalmation dog, secret agent, English teacher, popstar. At 7.30am yesterday morning, we signed an agreement. Here she is…one cardboard box, several glue sticks and some old junk later. A Nintendo DS 🙂

Give us a Twirl, Anthea…

DS10 is (thankfully) a lot more decisive. Started out the week as a secret agent but upgraded to a more challenging costume…a diver who ended up in a tank at Denmark’s Aquarium 🙂

Watch out for those ‘piratfisk’ (piranhas)!

Have a fabulous Friday! See you tomorrow for some Danish Carnival buns 🙂


Catty Carnival in Copenhagen (Fastelavn)

Carnival in Copenhagen. Okay, so we’re not talking Carnival like the one in Rio. Honestly, would you want to dance around half-naked, peely-wally white, in zero temperatures? I think not. If you want the whole historical background of the Danish festival, I suggest you go google 😉 Here’s what I think you need to know:

  • it’s celebrated seven weeks before Easter Sunday (this year, Sunday 14 February)
  • highlight of the kids’ year (aside from Christmas), the Danish equivalent of Halloween
  • kids wear fancy dress
  • the kids make (or buy or receive) a fastelavnsris [see yesterday’s post for instructions]
  • you eat special sticky buns

There are tons of parties where the kids get a chance to slå katten af tønden (literally ‘hit the cat out of the barrel’). Schools and kindergartens devote a whole day to the celebrations. And if your child goes to scouts or football practice, there will also be a party organised there. Not to mention events organised by public libraries, museums, local businesses and supermarkets… A tønde (large barrel, similar to a piñata) is filled with sweets and fruit. Much more politically correct than filling it with live cats, as they used to do up until the early 1800s… 😉 The barrel is then strung up and the kids take it in turns to whack it with a bat.

The first person to break off a piece of the barrel is crowned as Kattedronningen (the Queen of the Cats). The person who smashes the whole barrel down is crowned Kattekongen (the King of the Cats). A. Big. Honour. So cross your fingers and hope that – this year – the force will be with us! 😉

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂


Crafty Tuesday – 9 February 2010 (Fastelavnsris – Carnival decoration)

The kids are excited about their Carnival parties this week. I’ll write more about how carnival is celebrated in Denmark tomorrow. But as today is Crafty Tuesday, let’s set those timers for 15 minutes and make a carnival essential! A Fastelavnsris…

You’ll need:

  • a few bare branches (should be easy to find at this time of year…)
  • sellotape, thread, ribbon or wire
  • coloured carton or paper
  • bits n’ bobs
  • some small sweets (wrapped, if possible)

Take a small handful of branches and secure them at one end. You can tie a piece of ribbon around, if you want to pretty up the ‘handle’. Use wire, sellotape or thread to stick on the sweets.

Cut out a few shapes from coloured card and stick on. Traditional shapes are cats, barrels and masks. Let the kids go mad with glue sticks and sequins… The branches should be looking quite colourful now. Add a few coloured feathers if you have them. And streamers. Or whatever takes your fancy…

When you’re all done the fastelavnsris can either be hung up in a hallway or stuck in a vase until it’s ready to be ‘used’. I’ll write more about the tradition tomorrow…

Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂