2017 Kattedronning “The Cat Queen”
Our lodge hosted our first annual Fastelavn party yesterday for our families and friends in the community and it was a resounding success. We had just over 50 people attend to make the party magical for the children. We enjoyed seeing the children really work hard to “beat the cat” out of the barrel, make fastelavnsris, run the relay race, and enjoy our Carnival themed Photo Booth.
“Beating the Cat” out of the barrel in the Slå katten af Tønden game.
2017 Kattekonge “The Cat King”
Thank you to all who came to our party and to those those who volunteered to make it a lot of fun for everyone –including those without little ones.
Adult Costume Contest
There is really nothing better than Danish pastries and there is pastry for every Danish occasion, including Fastelavn. There are many kinds of Fastelavnsboller and many different kinds of filling. I made several batches prior to Fastlavn to determine which would be best for our party. First, I made the traditional boller made from yeasted pastry dough and filled with vanilla bean crème patisserie and almond remonce, all made made from scratch. It was stuffed, baked, glazed, and oh, so delicious! It was also quite labor intensive since the yeasted dough had to rise, and be perfectly sealed so that the filling wouldn’t leak whilst baking. The result were these luscious little boller, pictured here. I think these are best suited to making small batches for friends and family.
With such a large attendance for our party, I made the version that uses a choux pastry dough instead of a yeasted pastry dough… there are many recipes for this type of fastelavnsboller that can be found, but I use my tried and true choux pastry recipe for this version. Choux pastry dough comes together relatively quick and it’s simple to make in double batches, or in this case to make a quintuple batch for a large event.
Instead of filling the dough before it bakes, you halve the baked bun after it finishes baking, and then assemble the fastelavnsboller with fancy fillings just before serving. I decided on two options to serve at our party: fastelavnsboller med flødeskum og marcipan (boller with whipped cream and marzipan) and fastelavnsboller med flødeskum og chokolade glasur (boller with whipped cream and chocolate glaze). My personal favorite is just the simple marzipan filling and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, but children inevitably like the chocolate glazed boller with sprinkles the best.
Fastelavnsboller with whipped cream and chocolate glaze.
It’s so simple and cost effective to make marzipan at home in large batches for the purposes of Danish baking, I don’t know why anyone would bother buying prepackaged. I mean, if you need marzipan for baking, you probably need a lot of it. And if you like Danish baking, or Scandinavian baking in general, you’re going to go through marzipan like nobody’s business! Here is my recipe for marzipan. You can find others out there and they are all pretty good too, but here is my version that I think tastes best in my Danish baked goods.
I received Trine Hahnemann’s cookbook, Scandinavian Baking, for Christmas, and I just love it. I’ve made 5 recipes already from her cookbook, and it’s proving a household favorite. Marzipan can be expensive if needed in great quantities. A good quality marzipan should have the majority proportion ingredients from almonds, but most store-bought brands offer only 1/3 to 1/4 almond ratio. You can make a large quantity, of really excellent quality marzipan, very economically. It’s perfect for Fastelavnsboller, Othellokage, Tebirkes, and more! This recipe is adapted from Trine Hahnemann’s cookbook. I like the portion here, as I can use it for 2-3 different baking projects on average. I like to make a large batch of marzipan and then freeze any unused portion.
1 1/8 Lb. (500 g) raw almonds
7/8 Cup ( 100 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more to dust
1-3 Tbsp pure almond extract (or to taste)*
1 splash food grade rosewater
3 ¼ Tbsp (50 ml) water
In a medium saucepan, bring enough water to boil to cover almonds. Once at a full boil, add almonds and blanch for several minutes. Drain the hot water from the almonds and rinse with cool water. Keep the almonds moist as you remove the almond skins.
Put the almonds in a food processor, and using a blade attachment, process until it becomes a paste. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and blend again until completely incorporated and smooth. Then add the almond extract, rosewater, and water and blend well in the food processor for a final time. *I prefer a strong almond flavor in my marzipan (especially if it will be made into remonce or frangipane), so I typically add more almond extract, but 1 Tbsp is a good baseline.
Take the marzipan out of the food processor and knead by hand on a clean work surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Let the marzipan rest a least 1 hour before using and store in the refrigerator. It keeps for up to 3 weeks, sealed in plastic wrap in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It may be frozen for up to 3 months.
Makes 1 1/3 Lb. (600 G)
Enjoy! – Ava
Danish Language Lesson
almonds = mandler
sugar = sukker
almond extract = mandel ekstrakt
water = vand
confectioner’s sugar = konditor sukker