Cheese doughnuts with sour cream and jam or Romanian papanasi, a dessert that we are so proud of.
I’m so happy to be taking part in Natascha’s Around the world recipe challenge where you can find some fantastic recipes from different countries. Natascha is the amazing blogger behind Natascha’s Palace, do check her blog for some delicious dishes, she is a great cook. I was delighted to see that Papanasi were on her list, and, since they are such an appetising Romanian dessert, I really had to give them a try. I almost feel embarrassed to admit that it was the fist time I made them myself, although I did try them in past. Any restaurant would serve them, and foreigners would always be welcomed with a nice portion of Romanian stuffed cabbage rolls with chicken and rice, a glass of plum brandy and some papanasi. It may be a rich menu, but it’s worth every single bite. And calorie, as a matter of fact.
Papanasi are usually made of cows’ cheese, we use it in lots of different recipes, from sweet to savoury, and, as a nation, we absolutely love cheese. Papanasi can be either fried or boiled, but l’m sure you’d agree with me that fried taste a lot better, even if they might be less healthy. But then, desserts are not (necessarily) meant to be super healthy, right? ? As long as we don’t eat more of the naughty stuff than the healthy ones, dessert now and then can make no harm.
Cheese doughnuts aka Romanian papanasi
Ingredients: (make 4)
- 200 g cow’s cheese
- 1 egg
- 120 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of sodium
- zest of one lemon
- 50 g caster sugar
- 400 ml vegetable oil to fry
- sour cream
- cherry jam
- Grate the cheese and add it to a large bowl.
- Mix in the egg, sugar, lemon zest and bicarbonate of sodium.
- Add the flour and knead until you get a dought that is still very slightly sticky. Shape it into a ball.
- Let the dough to rest for about 15-20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 4 smaller balls.
- Each ball will then be devided into 2, we will need about 3/4 of that dough for the main doughnut and 1/4 for the small ball that goes on top.
- We will then have 4 doughnuts and 4 small balls in total.
- To make the doughnut, just use your thumbprint to make a hole in the middle of the dough and give it a nice round shape.
- Heat up a large pan and add the oil.
- Add one doughnut and one ball and let them fry on each side for about 2 minutes until golden.
- Remove with a spatula and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorbe any excess oil.
- Repeat with the remaining doughnuts and balls.
- Serve with sour cream and cherry or any other jam you prefer.