Ukrainian Cheese Cake – Lvivsky Syrnik

Ukrainian version of cheesecake made from quark/farmer cheese (tvorog) and covered with chocolate glaze. Lviv is a city in western Ukraine – cultural capital and museum. People here loves coffee and there is many café with cakes and pastries.

This recipe adapted from book of famous Ukrainian pastry chef – Daria Tsvek (general circulation publications is about five million copies!). There is some variation for this cake – some adds mashed potato in dough, some bake sirnik with chocolate streusel, some add raisins or dried apricots. I made light version without fruit additions.


Yield: 12 servings

1 lb. farmer cheese or tvorog (full fat is best choice, but low fat works too)
2 large eggs (original recipe has 4 eggs)
pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar (original recipe has about 1 cup of sugar, but it’s too sweet)
4 tbsp. butter (original recipe has 8 tbsp.), softened
zest from 1 lemon
1 tbsp. with hip manka (semolina)
optional – raisins, dried apricots

For glaze:

1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder (not sweet)

Farmer cheese must be smooth, so blend it with blender or pass through a sieve. Whip egg whites with pinch of salt, set aside. Whisk egg yolks, lemon zest and sugar until pale. Add farmer cheese, manka/semolina, raisins (if using) and butter and mix well. Carefully add whipped egg whites.

Preheat oven in 350F. Put dough into buttered and floured loaf pan (or use parchment paper) and bake sirnik about 45 minutes (top became golden). Let cool completely, turn upside down into plate. I used my half-pan and  sirnik is not too high, but still good.

For glaze – mix sugar, cocoa, butter and sour cream in a small saucepan and bring to boil (or use microwave – 1 minute on high). Pour glaze on top of sirnik, put in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut and serve.

1 serving is about 116 calories

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