25 August 2007


These are one of many sweet bites that are so popular in Sweden along with coffee or tea. It's called fika and corresponds roughly to the British afternoon tea. However it can be taken at any time of the day, the drink is usually coffee or tea, and is accompanied by a variety of sweet pastries or bites.

The following is called dammsugare, which literally means vacuum cleaner. The reason for this is that it does indeed resemble the old-fashioned vacuum cleaners used in Sweden a few decades ago (here's a picture, second from the top).
This is the second recipe I've tried and it's a lot better than the first one. The original is here for those who speak Swedish, there's a lot more there, so watch this space, as I work my way through the lot.

This time, I made one change and completely not on my own accord, but the Swedish liqueur punsch is just not readily available outside Sweden, but dark rum is a good substitute.


Inner part:
400 g finely grated digestive biscuits
100 g finely grated marzipan
1 dl apricot preserve/jam
50 g melted dark chocolate
3 tbsp dark rum

200 g finely grated marzipan
2 dl icing sugar + some for rolling
2 tbsp liquid glucose
1 tsp water
green food colouring


150 g melted dark chocolate

  1. As stated in the ingredients, grate everything finely.
  2. Mix the ingredients of the inner part into a dough. I used my electrical mixer with the spirals for dough - worked very well.
  3. Mix all ingredients for the cover. This I did manually and it took a while. Also I had to add additional food colouring, as it was a bit pale. Green is traditional, but any colour can be used. And yes, my fingers were green afterwards.
  4. Now, roll the inner part into long strings, about the thickness of your thumb and place on sheets of greaseproof paper. The above quantity was quoted for about 35 dammsugare, I got 41 out if it.
  5. Next divide up the cover part into the same number of pieces as the number of strings of the inner part. Using a bit of icing sugar, roll out with a rolling pin, the same length as the strings and wide enough to wrap around them fully.
  6. Do just that, place the inner part string on the rolled out cover part and roll so that it is completely covered.
  7. Cut up the strings into bits of about 5 cm.
  8. Melt the finishing chocolate over a waterbath (bain marie if you want to get technical) and dip each end of each piece, then put back on the greaseproof paper and leave to cool and solidify. I used a teaspoon to scrape off some of the excess.
  9. Store in the fridge.

Now, if you've been to IKEA and their Swedish food shop, they sell these dammsugare there under the name punch rolls. Now the English "punch" is nowhere near the Swedish "punsch". The rolls are very tasty though.

After having made the above, I have the following observations to make. The inner part is very tasty and also quite close to the shop bought ones.

The cover part was not very good, as it kept "sweating" in room temperature. Maybe I rolled it too thin, but it wouldn't have been enough otherwise. So this'll need some experimentation. The first recipe I tried only had marzipan and that was very difficult to roll, so this is a definite improvement. I wonder if it would help if I added some corn starch or skipped the glucose. Lundulph will have to eat a few batches of these, until I get them right.

Last, the chocolate finish looked very nice immediately after dipping (hence the photo), but after it cooled down, it went white-ish. Now this happens to all chocolates that are stored in room temperature - it's simply too hot and the fat mixed into the chocolate percolates to the surface. So I should probably have put them in the fridge right away.

Of course none of the above stopped us eating far too many today.

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