The Great British Bake Off Calendar Challenge ~ April

We’re more than half way through April already and so it’s time for The Great British Bake Off Calendar Challenge. Last month I made Mathri, a spicy Rajasthani snack, this month I’m making Syrniki.

Syrniki’s are thick Russian pancakes, made from a soft cheese and are also popular in Ukraine and Poland. When making these pancakes, the eggs are separated. The yolks enrich the mixture and the stiffly whisked whites are folded in to add lightness. The finished product results in the pancakes being pillowy-soft and are delicious accompanied with fresh berries and syrup.

Ingredients ~ makes around 16

400g quark (low-fat soft cheese)

4 tablespoons caster sugar

finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon

100g plain flour

3 medium eggs

good pinch of salt

50g raisins

1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil, for frying

To Serve

Your choice of fresh berries (I used raspberries and blueberries), soured cream or yoghurt, honey or maple syrup (I used maple syrup), conserve or jam.

Method

  1. Put the quark into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and lemon zest, then sift the flour into the bowl. Stir everything together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into another mixing bowl and stirring the yolks into the quark mixture.
  3. Add the salt to the egg whites, then whisk with a hand-held electric whisk or the whisk attachment of the mixer, until stiff peaks will form.
  4. Sprinkle the raisins over the quark mixture (I personally didn’t add raisins, as this was just a personal choice), then carefully fold in the whisked egg whites in 3 batches to make a thick but very light and fluffy batter.
  5. Set a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add a couple of teaspoons of oil, just enough to coat the base of the pan. When it is hot, add a couple of tablespoons of the batter and gently ease it into a disc about 7.5cm across and 1cm thick. Make another disc of batter in the pan – depending on the size of the pan, you can probably cook 3 or 4 pancakes at a time.
  6. Leave the pancakes to cook for 2-3 minutes until puffed and the underside is a rich, deep golden brown. Carefully flip the pancakes over and cook the second side for about 2 minutes until a good golden brown. Once the pancakes are ready, transfer them to a warm serving plate and add your berries and syrup to serve. Enjoy!

These pancakes were so easy to make and tasted absolutely delicious. They’re a great breakfast alternative and would also be scrumptious as a dessert and are sure to be enjoyed by everyone. If you decide to have a go at making these Russian pancakes, let me know how you get on and don’t forget to look out for next month’s calendar challenge, where I’ll be making Zingy Citrus Madeira Cake. Can’t wait.

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