cheese strudel 13

Cheese Strudel (Placinta cu Branza)

This is a recipe that brings back many good memories as it has been in our family for a long time. I got the recipe from my mother, my mother got it from my grandmother and so on. The cheese strudel (placinta cu branza) is very popular in Romania so everybody has their own version, however I find this one really easy to make and its delicious. Also it is a versatile recipe as you can replace the cheese filling with apple or pumpkin filling or you can be creative with the cheese – a sweet cheese filling or a salty one using feta cheese works just perfect.

This time I used feta cheese and made a salty cheese filling, however I added some raisins to give it some sweetness. The following is enough for 2 rectangular large baking pans.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 8 cups of flour
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 TBS of dry yeast
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 cups cooking oil
  • Powder sugar to dust over the baked strudel

Ingredients for the cheese filling:

  • 3 pounds feta cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 10 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla sugar

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven at 375°F
  • Put 6 cups of flour on a flat surface
  • Mix water with the dry yeast and salt, pour over flour
  • Mix everything together and knead, add one more cup of flour so the dough can be easily mixed, without sticking to your hand (if needed add a little more flour)

  • Cut the dough in 4 parts
  • Sprinkle the table with flour and start stretching the dough as much as possible

  • Mix all the cheese filling ingredients together
  • Brush oil over the dough and add a layer of the cheese filling

  • Roll the dough and place it in the pre greased baking pan, if the dough sheet is very wide you can roll it from both sides that would meet in the middle.
  • Once everything is in the pan, let it rest for about 10 minutes
  • Brush the remaining oil on the dough and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden

  • Take it out of the oven, brush a little water on top and cover it for about 30 minutes
  • Dust powder sugar on top and ENJOY!

Kurtos

Chimney Cake (KÜRTŐSKALÁCS, Kürtos Kalacs, Cozonac Secuiesc)

The KÜRTŐSKALÁCS is one of my favorite desserts. I would never say no to such a delicious pastry. Although known today as being a Hungarian pastry, the chimney cake originated in Transylvania, Romania.

I will post a recipe for the Chimney Cake (KÜRTŐSKALÁCS, Kürtos Kalacs, Cozonac Secuiesc), however I never adventured to make one at home because of the equipment needed to cook it – the Chimney Cake is cooked over open fire using sort of a rotisserie device. Also, it tastes so much better when its freshly baked and its too much work to do a couple Chimney Cakes at a time.

Anyway, whenever I find it (which is not very often in the US) I treat myself with one. The Chimney Cake (KÜRTŐSKALÁCS, Kürtos Kalacs) is a sweet bread dough flat rolled and cut into thin long stripes which are then rolled on a wooden cone. Before being cooked (grilled), the dough is rolled through sugar which caramelizes during the cooking process.Once cooked you can either eat it plain (just the caramelized sugar on top – my favorite) or roll it through other delights like coconut, cocoa, sprinkles, ground walnuts, cinnamon or many other creative ingredients.One thing I forgot to mention is the irresistible smell while cooking. You will definitely not be able to pass by without stopping to get one.