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Syrniki and blins: Pancake day!

For pancake day, I wanted to try something a little different. I’m a fan of Eastern European recipes, and follow a YouTuber (Life of Boris) who does tongue-in-cheek Slavic recipes. He’s done a whole range of pancake recipes, but one that I hadn’t heard of before was the Russian Syrniki. These are basically pancakes made out of ricotta cheese. Here’s Boris’s recipe:

Helpfully, he provides measurements in the video description:
400g ricotta cheese
100g all-purpose flour
2 eggs
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
vegetable oil
some butter
1 teaspoon salt

I was visiting a friend for pancake day, and kinda bodged together the recipe from what he had spare, and what I’d been able to procure. So, it ended up being more like:
300g cottage cheese
90g flour
1 large egg
An amount of sugar
Splash of vanilla essence
Big glugs of sunflower oil
1/2 tbsp salt

Honestly, it didn’t look great.

Despite extensive hand mixing, I just wasn’t able to get the cottage cheese lumps out of it. I also made the mixture a bit thin, leading it to spread out a lot more than anticipated.

My first attempt still ended up quite thick though. I had the heat a bit too high and so by the time the bottom was cooked enough for me to have to flip it, the top was still molten. It made a bit of a splash!

I then proceeded to burn the thing.

Let’s just cover that up with Boris’s recommended toppings: Doctor’s sausage, cheese, and sour cream.

If you’re a bit more refined (as my friend is), add chives and posh cheese.

I ended up making a whole stack of them and honestly, they were pretty good!

They didn’t taste cheesy as I’d assumed they would. They were just like regular American-style pancakes really. I’d definitely make them again!

Another Boris recipe that I decided to try was his special condensed milk blins.

The ingredients are again given in the video description:
200g condensed milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups kefir or regular milk
1 egg
1tsp of salt
1tbsp of baking powder

We actually had most of the stuff for this, though I was eyeballing measurements a bit as I didn’t have a cup measure. I put in I think 400g of flour, and then eyeballed the kefir for consistency (ended up using most of a 500ml bottle). The batter looked a bit more appealing this time!

The pancakes themselves looked very good.

They weren’t nearly as sweet as you’d expect, given how sweet condensed milk is. I decided to go to sweet toppings because of this.

My main issue with these pancakes was that they were quite bread-y, both in flavour and texture. I probably put in too much yeast. Still, they were quite nice! I tried them with a bit of condensed milk as Boris recommended.

I think I’ll stick with chocolate and strawberries.

In addition to these, we also had more traditional pancakes, with various toppings selected by my friend (paneer cheese/harissa/bacon, and bacon/avocado). I think that my favorite of the lot was the cottage cheese syrniki. They had a pretty good flavor and texture, and so will be my future go-to style of pancake! Though I might try and make sure I have all of the ingredients available first in the future so that they’re less of a bodge job.

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