20 January 2015

Syrniki Recipe

I love cooking! I love Postcrossing! I love having breakfast for dinner! I especially love when these two hobbies and one passion collide, as they recently did with the making of this delectable Postcrossing-inspired, breakfast for dinner extravaganza: Syrniki.

It all started when I received a gorgeous recipe postcard from Belarus. For those of you who might not be geographically inclined, let me begin by giving you a teensy bit of background information about The Republic of Belarus, which can be found here:

Belarus declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, and now is home to roughly 9.5 million people. The capitol is Minsk (where more than 1/5 of the population lives). Perhaps one of my favorite Belarusian tidbits is that they have insanely gorgeous stamps! Every time I receive a Postcrossing postcard from Belarus, I am blown away by the stamps! Their wildlife collection is far-and-away my favorite.

Oh, yes, I was talking about a specific postcard before my propensity to go off on geographical and philatelic tangents took over. This postcard, to be exact:

Ain't she a beaut? 

The pictured syrniki, or Belarusian cheese pancakes looked delicious, so Anjo and I decided to try making them (after perusing the interwebs for other syrniki recipes to make sure the postcard recipe was comparable. I'm on to you, cake recipe card I purchased in France!). 

They turned out as delicious as we could have imagined. These are not going to feel like your typical breakfasty pancakes. They are much more dense, quite filling, and oh-so-tasty! Naturally I would expect this given that the average winter temperature in Minsk, (the capitol, in case you forgot) is 20.46 F degrees (or -6.41C). In that kind of weather, you need hearty food! ...Said the Texas gal who lives where it has not even dipped below freezing this winter. 

After making the recipe twice, Anjo and I have filled in the gaps that were in the postcard version. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did! Spoiler alert for your tastebuds: Anjo said these are officially his favorite pancake. 

  • 2 eggs
  • 500 grams of cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 4-6 Tbsp. sugar
  • scant 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • oil for cooking (I used vegetable, the card suggests sunflower)
1) Crack 2 eggs in a bowl.

2) Add 500 grams of cottage cheese and mix. It will stay lumpy. I tried to measure it out in cups, but a scale really worked best.

3) Add 1.5 cups of flour, a scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I just don't have a 1/3 tsp. scoop!) and 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and mix. I found varying info about how much a "packet" of baking powder contains, but this amount seemed to give the pancakes a wonderful texture, so I'm sticking with it.

4) Add 4-6 tablespoons of sugar and mix. The postcard called for 6-7 tablespoons, so we tried 6 the first time and it was too sweet for us. Four tablespoons made for a nice and savory pancake. Basically, add how much sugar your heart tells you to... Provided it is somewhere around the 4-6 range.

5) Heat a splash of oil in a pan. Add batter to the now heated, and oiled pan. A 1/3 cup measuring scoop works well at keeping the pancake sizes even.

6) Cook the pancakes covered for about 5 minutes, over medium low.

7) They should look about like this when they are ready to flip. 

8) Carefully flip them. Cook on the second side for about 3 minutes. If they are too brown or too pale after flipping, adjust either your heat or the length of time on each side. Not all stovetops work exactly the same.

9) Transfer to a paper towel lined plate/tray and dab some of the grease off. Or just eat them greasy. This is a judgment-free grease dabbing zone. Apologies for the gratuitous engagement ring shot! 

10) Enjoy! The postcard suggests topping the pancakes with sour cream, but syrup would also work if you are trying to convince these pancakes to be more like other pancakes. Personally I feel they are fine without any topping, but a nice serving of fruit and a slice of bacon definitely rounds out the plate. Eat them hot or put them in the fridge and microwave them later. If they get too soggy after microwaving, pop them in the toaster oven for a bit to crisp them up.