Text of Dmitry Leus Cuisine Project - Russian Cuisine - The Dessert Edition
1. Russian Cuisine The Dessert Edition A Dmitry Leus Cuisine Project
2. P i r o g i The chameleon of Russian cuisine, its not so much a single dish as a clan of structurally similar foodstuff A Pirog comprises of a basket of baked dough and a filling made out of anything you want. Traditionally, they are either sweet or savoury but enterprising chefs might want to considering bringing a bit of a fusion flavour to this comfort food. The simplest way to make this into a mouth watering dessert is to treat it a bit as you would a crepe or a pie and add in fruit flavoured with spices and sugar
3. P t i c h y e M o l o k o Translated as birds milk, this chocolate covered dessert has been turned into a quite famous product available in Eastern European corner shops. Replicating it at home is a bit more time consuming than that and the main problem people encounter is replicating the soft, airy texture of the base. This is essential because 75% of the joy of tasting ptichye moloko comes from the contrast with the crunchy chocolate. My advice for you: when adding in the milk, make sure you pour it as slowly as possible to avoid clotting the mixture.
4. K h v o r o s t This would be a good place to make a joke about my American friends loving this but in all honesty I think people who dont mix desserts and deep frying should broaden their horizons a little. Crunchy and covered in powdered sugar, this dish is unpretentious and easy to make and the twisting required for the shapes leaves you plenty of space to practice your creative side. Due to the dry texture they can last for a lot longer than other desserts which would make them quite useful for people who prefer to cook their meals in advance.
5. M a n n a y a K a s h a Or Manka for those who were fortunate (unfortunate?) enough to experience it in all its relentless appearances in your life. Its a familiarity that has to be earned, much like a knighthood. As with the ptichye moloko, the trick lies in adding the semolina slowly while continuously stirring the mixture. Making sure you dont accidentally let the milk boil while doing this also helps a great deal. Instead of the normal jam topping why not try a bit of cinnamon?
6. C h u r c h k h e l a Relatively easy to make if you can work out the logistics. This dessert can be made in seconds but requires a lengthy period in which to dry out and mature. Must (unfermented wine) is thickened with flour after which an assortment of nuts stung together are dipped in the concoction. The drying out process can take up to a full week but once it has been completed the churchkhela can be stored for a long time. Since it is a calorie bomb I would recommend saving this one for the cold months of winter when you need all the help you can get to beat the blues.
7. To r p e d o s Flakier than that one friend everyone has, this viennoiserie bread roll will surely test your baking skills. The hardest part is getting a sufficient amount of crunch in your dough without making it too fragile during the folding process. The filling is generally sweet, possibly containing custard of honeyed cream cheese. While I am a big fan of improvisation this probably one of those recipes that are best enjoyed the way it is. The careful balance of flavour hinges on the dough and it would be unwise to alter that.
8. T u l a G i n g e r b r e a d Famous for the cheerful designs imprinted on the dessert via stamping and glazing. Brought into the country via trade relationships with Eastern states it has since become a staple of Russian culture. An interesting regional variation consists in the filling. The traditional recipe calls for fruit preserves but in recent times it has become usual to see condensed milk and various nuts.
9. K u t i a A traditional Christmas pudding. Accounts on when exactly youre supposed to eat it vary greatly between regions and Orthodox denominations. Despite its present day usage its quite an old dish that has survived in some form or another in the region as a remnant of pagan rituals of ancestor remembrance. It is advisable to prepare it a while in advance in order to permit the taste to develop and the cinnamon to fully blossom.
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