Guest chef

Symmetry Breakfast

Started in 2013, the breakfasts prepared by Michael Zee for him and his boyfriend have taken the internet by storm. Using inspiration from around the world, he posts creative new breakfasts. Symmetry Breakfast: Cook-Love-Share (Bantam Press, £14.99) is out 11th August. 

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Syrniki

  • Serves 2-4
  • Makes 12 pancakes
  • Total time 30 mins
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Syrniki
Syrniki

step by step

  • 1Put the quark in a bowl and break it up with a spoon. Add the eggs one at a time and combine well. Add 100g flour, ½ teaspoon salt, the sugar and raisins, and stir. You should have a fairly wet batter. In a small cup, quickly stir together the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, then add it to the batter.
  • 2Heat a frying pan over a medium heat with about a quarter of the butter and oil.
  • I've had a lifelong relationship with quark, the fat–free soft cheese. When I was young, I'd go along with my mum to Slimming World and watch as people got weighed and everyone clapped them for how well they had done. Quark, then and now, is well known among dieters. These delicious pancakes from Eastern Europe and Russia are most certainly not for those on a diet. Creamy quark cheese, raisins, sour cream and jam... All that's missing is Kate Bush singing Babooshka in the background.
  • 3Spread a dusting of flour on a smallish plate or bowl. Dollop a dessertspoon of the batter into the flour. Sprinkle flour on top and, with some flour on your fingers, pick it up and shape it into a rough, flattened pancake.
  • 4Gently place the pancake in the pan and repeat with the next. I cook no more than 4 at a time, but do so moving clockwise around the pan, adding, flipping and removing the cooked pancakes once they are ready. Lower the heat if necessary and cook them for 3-4 minutes on each side. Keep warm while you cook the rest of the pancakes in batches, adding more butter and oil for each batch.
  • Dust the pancakes with icing sugar and serve with berries or jam, soured cream and mint sprigs, and a cup of black tea for the full Russian experience.
  • Recipe and photograph adapted from SymmetryBreakfast: Cook-Love-Share by Michael Zee (Bantam Press, £14.99)

You will need

  • 250g quark
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g flour, plus 70g for dusting
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 150g raisins
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 50g butter

  • 50ml sunflower oil

+ Nutritional Information

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