World Food Challenge

Day 144: Romania and Papanasi

Good evening, Raffies!

Today we are going to enjoy a nice Romanian dessert: Papanasi.
This dessert is a popular treat in Romania. Usually fried, it resembles a doughnut with a hat. It is filled with liquid jam, mostly cherries or berries, and smetana, the Romanian crème fraîche.
Actually, there are two versions: the fried one and the boilt one. It is said that once you have tried them, you will be craving them.

The recipe is really easy and the result is delicious:

500 g cottage cheese
2 eggs
a few drops rum aroma
1 package vanilla sugar
75 g sugar
230 g flour
1 tsp baking soda
oil for frying
250 g smetana or crème fraîche
runny berry jam

Start by mixing the cottage cheese, eggs, rum aroma, sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl. The cottage cheese should not get well blended. It should stay grumbled.
Now add the flour and baking soda to the cheese mixture. Stir it with a spoon, in order not to get a too smooth dough.
Flour a working surface and put the dough on it. Form a ball and add flour if the dough is very hard to work. Add flour if you really cannot form any ball and if the dough is too sticky.
Divide the dough into 9 balls. Roll 8 of these balls into thick sausages and join the ends to form a circle. Repeat with all balls but one. Form 8 small balls with the last ball. These will be the hats for our volcanoes.
If you want to make your own runny jam, join 200 g frozen cherries (I used cherries and a handful of blueberries) with a bit of water and 2 tbsp sugar in a pot and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat oil in a pot. It should be about 4-5 cm, in order to cover the whole papanasi. Fry the dough until golden brown. Place on some kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.
Serve immediately with smetana and your berry jam. Fill the hole with smetana and berries and cover with the hat of dough and top this with some smetana and jam too.

They were absolutely divine! I understand the craving now. The hot and crunchy dough with the creamy smetana and the juicy berries is just incredible!

Love, Raffi

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