Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Every Child Must Eat This

Syrniki. Those black things are raisins. 
It's time to talk about the most popular children (and adult) breakfast in the former Soviet Union. Cottage cheese pancakes (syrniki).

Now, there is a certain amount of hysteria connected to the consumption of cottage cheese (tvorog) by children. The Russians and Ukrainians are convinced that no child will grow up healthy and strong without eating cottage cheese, as it's full of calcium! Mothers despair on mothering websites; 'my child won't eat tvorog!", a grandmother of my university boyfriend would make us syrniki almost every day to make sure we ate well (and they were delicious too). You get the gist. It's a BIG DEAL!

A clarification is needed here. The East European cottage cheese (tvorog in Russian, twarog in Polish) is slightly different to the one we get here. It's just the cheese bits, none of that liquid stuff you get in your cottage cheese in the UK. And it's not as salty.

It's not that easy to get hold of. You really need to go to an East European food shop to get it. Polish cottage cheese is good too. This is what I used when I was making the syrniki below. In Polish it's called Twarog and you want the full fat one for this recipe. (Tesco's stocks it, but it may only be available online, and of course all Polish shops will have it).

You must try syrniki. They are absolutely wonderful. I made eight yesterday. My kids had one each and I ate the rest! They are so easy to make, I don't know why I don't make them often enough. You can even cook them in the morning before school/nursery/work. Yes, it's THAT quick. And of course it's full of calcium!

Serve for breakfast with sour cream
Cottage Cheese Cakes (Syrniki)
Makes 8

250g pack of East European cottage cheese (tvorog or twarog) - full fat
3tbsp golden caster sugar
1 large egg
100g plain flour
50-80g raisins
Sunflower oil for frying
Sour cream to serve


Beat the cottage cheese in a bowl with the caster sugar and the egg. It needs to be smooth. Add raisins and flour. Mix well. It will turn into dough, firm enough to roll in your hands.

Divide into 8 parts and turn into thick flat round cakes.

Fry on a medium heat frying pan. They burn easily, so turn them quickly. They need to be golden on both sides, and one the pan is hot, it takes less than a minute (each side) to fry them.

Serve warm with sour cream (See cooking essentials).
I like to have sweet black or Earl Grey tea with them too.

1 comment:

  1. Super blog. I came across it by accident and really enjoy reading it. It brings back nostalgic memories :)
    For syrniki I used quark a few times - you can find it in any supermarket. It works really well. It basically same as tvorog but with less fat Try it. :)