Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sirkova Masa

I have mentioned the ladies selling dairy products on the old markets. They actually have some very unique stuff, something I have not seen in any other country. One thing I am very glad to have discovered is what they call 'Sirkova Masa', a special kind of desert based on cottage cheese. You can buy it homemade from the old markets or you can buy it factory made from the supermarket. The following recipe tastes more like the homemade, but I guess it is primarily because it is hard to make the cottage cheese smooth without some special equipment. I found this recipe by searching Google for 'сырковая масса', the Russian spelling of Sirkova Masa, and used Google translator to try to understand it. I actually think this might be the first time the recipe has ever been written in English.

To make Sirkova Masa you mix 100 grams of soft (room temperature) butter with 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla/vanillin, 3 tablespoons (remember that those are big in Ukraine) of sour cream and - if the sugar and cottage cheese is not already salted - a pinch of salt. Then add 500 grams of cottage cheese and try to make the mix as smooth and uncrumbly as possible. Finally, add raisins. I used cottage cheese from the old market with great success, I think that kind may contain relatively much fat and it is also dry (there is no kind of liquid by the cheese). I guess it may be hard to make a smooth substance of the rubbery low fat cottage cheese we have in Denmark. As for the raisins it may be a good idea to soak them a little while before mixing.

This is from a place where you can buy both homemade and factory made Sirkova Masa. The homemade is in the big bowl with raisins on top, the factory made is in the small colored cups to the right. In the front cup there is something called Krem Sirkovuy which has a similar taste but it is more sweet and the consistensy is more like thick yogurt. I also really enjoy the small cheese deserts in the little basket to the right.

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