Of Russian origin: Syrniki
All-time favorite Russian breakfast! Farm-cheese pancakes known as syrniki are loved by kids and grown-ups alike.
“Beat the eggs and then add the cheese, vanilla, flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Mix well until it forms a nice pasty-like dough.”
That’s part of one of the recipes for syrniki, a famous Russian dessert or breakfast, with soft, warm and sweet cheese surrounded by a golden, crisp coating. In poor villages the simple ingredients needed to make syrniki made them widely popular. This traditional fried cake has been a special treat across Russia and Eastern Europe for centuries.
The “Syr” part of the name refers to cheese in both Russian and Ukrainian. The basis of syrniki is cheese, but no ordinary cheese. Quark cheese (nothing to do with quantum physics!) is similar to cream cheese. It is soft, white and unaged. No enzymes are used to break it down (except in some commercial varieties), just heat. It also has a much lower fat content than other similar cheeses.
The quark used for syrniki has cream added to it (so perhaps not such low fat content after all!) This cream makes the cheese very soft and smooth in texture. It’s this mixture that is then rolled into patties and gently fried to give the syrniki their hard on the outside, soft on the inside texture.
- Salt and sugar to your taste
- 2 tablespoons not too full of flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoonful of sour-cream
- ½ pound of cream cheese or quark
Add all those delicious things to the cream cheese and mix well to get a homogeneous mass. Now form little round things about half an inch thick, roll them in crumbs or semolina and fry on a medium heat in vegetable oil.
Once cooked, syrniki are made more zingy with the addition of sour cream, jam, honey or apple sauce. Throw fruit or raisins into the mix as well, or use them as a condiment, and you have a delicious plate full of snacks!
Written by Tom Barton, RT correspondent