Do you know that Russia have some of the world’s most delicious dairy desserts? Variety of cheese, milk, butter, and yoghurt occupy a large part of every Russian grocery store. You cannot even come to a true Russian home without finding a platter of them served for guests. The most popular among Russian dairy products is probably the legendary Russian cheese, Tvorog. However, in recent years, a certain classic Russian Ice Cream called Syrok (singular) or Syrki (plural) is starting to gain international recognition.
Historically, Syrok is developed as an innovation in serving Tvorog. Bars of Tvorog are baked and wrapped in a thin layer of chocolate, then it is kept in refrigerator or freezer. It is a familiar snack for children in Russia and a divine temptation for every dairy lovers. Currently, Syrok is mass-produced and sold all over Russia in various different flavors, similar to chocolate bonbon in another part of the world.
Any tourist who come to visit Russia at any time of the year might find them in the refrigerated section of any Russian grocery store. Unfortunately for those of us who live outside of the country, they will not last long as souvenirs . We also will not find them in the neighborhood as Syrok is uniquely Russian. But, don’t worry, because Syrok is quite easy to make by yourself.
How to Make Classic Russian Ice Cream in Original Flavor
Before starting, make sure that you have all the necessary equipments. You will need a food processor; a bowl; a colander; a cheesecloth (substitutes such as paper towel or linen cloth might not perform well enough); and several lollipop sticks or cake sticks (depends on how big you want it). Afterward, gather the ingredients, then start making it.
- 12 oz farmer’s cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- zest of 2 lemons
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 12 oz chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of solid vegetable shortening
- Mix farmer’s cheese, cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, and lemon juice in the food processor. Make sure that they mix well to a stable consistency.
- Grate the two lemons directly over the mixture, or mix in lemon zest that you have prepared beforehand.
- Prepare a colander lined with cheesecloth, place it over the bowl. Put in the cheese mixture into the middle of cheesecloth, then fold them. Make sure that the cheesecloth perfectly cover the cheese mix. Add some heavy cans over it.
- Keep it in the refrigerator overnight or at least 12 hours to allow the cheese mixture solidify. They should not be hard like ice pops, but only slightly harden into a cheesecake-like consistency.
- After the mixture solidify, take it out of the refrigerator.
- Melt the chocolate and mix in the shortening.
- Scoop the cheese mixture bit by bit to form small balls, squares, or cylinders. Insert sticks, then dip it in the melted chocolate.
- Place them on a cookie sheet, then refrigerate again until the chocolate layer harden.
Well, there, the classic Russian Ice Cream is done. Line them up along with other tasty Russian snacks on the table. You could serve them for a party or even for personal enjoyment while watching your favorite TV program.
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Add Flavors to Syrok
A long, long time ago, you might only find authentic ice creams in flavors such as chocolate, and vanilla. As time goes on, ice cream makers start to create newer, more modern ice cream dressings such as caramel sauce, cookies, and so on. Syrok also receives similar treatment.
Actually, the word “Syr” (сыр) in Syrok means cheese. But nowadays, there are also Syrok flavored with caramel, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, apricot, and many others on sale along with the original unflavored Syrok. Some flavored Syrok might even be more popular than the original.
How do you make the flavored Syrok? Well, basically, there are two ways to do it. You can try it after successfully making your first batch of the classic Russian ice cream.
- First, add some flavors into the cheese mixture. It is quite risky as the consistency might not as good as the original one. You might have to experiment several times to find the perfect balance.
- Second, fill the unflavored cheese mixture with fruit jam, thick caramel, or condensed milk before dipping it in chocolate. Pretty easy. Choose fruit jam with moderate flavor, such as apricot or strawberry. Avoid extreme fruit flavors of tropical origin, such as Durian or Jackfruit. Also important to note, don’t insert fresh fruit.
Does Syrok Healthy?
Fans of Syrok will say that it is not an important question. It tastes like heaven, perfectly delectable, and will not break the bank. What else do you need!? Well, health-concious crowd might beg to differ. So, here are some things you have to consider if you want to know whether Syrok is healthy.
As is any other dessert, Syrok is healthy snack if consumed moderately. However, it is full of sugar, fat, and of course, calories. Syrok will satisfy your sweet tooth, but may also boost your blood sugar levels. Careful not to eat too much, particularly if you are on a diet.
Otherwise, you might seek healthier alternatives for some ingredients. For example, choose low fat cream cheese for the cheese mixture. It will help your diet. Also, pick unsweetened chocolate for dipping instead of white chocolate or milk chocolate. The result will not be less delicious. You can exchange them in the original recipe easily without altering their measures.
If you are looking for healthier Syrok, then you also need to think twice before making the flavored ones. Jams, caramel, and condensed milk flavors are even less advisable. Instead, try making variations of the classic Russian ice cream by adding biscuit or nuts. You might even like it better than the other, less-healthy options on the table.