Week 9: Syrniki (sweet cheese fritters)
If it’s possible to serve up heaven on a plate, syrniki is it. It’s hard to properly describe them as there really is no parallel in modern Australian cuisine. Slightly sweet, slightly crispy on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth soft in the middle, these things are to die for. Syrniki are traditionally served with sour cream and jam, but we had some frozen raspberries in the freezer so we opted to make our own raspberry sauce. They’re quite filling but devilishly morish. I dare say I think we’ll be making these again…
We actually tried out two different recipes for syrniki. The first one used cottage cheese but the texture was nowhere near as nice as the second batch that we made using Russian farmers’ cheese (also known as tvorog or quark). The consistency of this cheese is very much like fresh ricotta (the kind that you buy from the supermarket deli) so if you can’t lay your hands on the real deal, I think fresh ricotta would quite adequately serve the purpose (there are a number of recipes that back this up). The recipe that we ultimately went with was more or less based on this one.
What you will need:
For the syrniki
- 250g tvorog (quark) (or fresh deli-style ricotta cheese)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2/3 cup plain flour (plus some extra for rolling)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- extra oil for frying
- 1 tbsp icing sugar for dusting
- electric beater
- sour cream for serving
For the raspberry sauce
(can be substituted with jam if preferred)
- handful of frozen raspberries
- approx. 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp sugar
1. To make the sauce, cook raspberries, water and sugar over a low heat until it reaches the desired consistency. Turn off and let sit while you cook the syrniki.
2. Combine cheese, flour, egg, sugar, oil, baking powder and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric beater until you have a sticky dough.
3. Prepare a non-stick surface with flour and use a soup spoon to scoop out ‘patties’. Lightly coat the patties with flour and roll into balls of about 3cm diameter. Flatten them slightly on top.
4. Heat oil in a heavy based frypan and fry over medium-high heat on both sides until lightly browned. If the syrniki are cooking too quickly, turn the heat down – the filling should be soft but not ‘gooey’.
5. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of sour cream and raspberry sauce.
Join us on our journey!
This is the ninth of our ‘Around the World’ breakfasts. Each week we’ll be making something from a different country as part of our ‘Around the World in 18 Breakfasts’ series. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Pinterest to be part of the journey. Next stop: Spain!