Papanasi (Romanian cheese doughnuts)

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Papanasi (Romanian cheese doughnuts)

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1 kg well-squeezed sweet cottage cheese (the cheese must be lumpy and not creamy)
400 g White flour
20 g vanilla sugar
3-4 Eggs (3 large or 4 smaller)
1 peel of lemon Grated
A pinch Salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Lemon Juice
cooking oil
600 g cream with 25% fat
150-200 g vanilla flavored powdered sugar
400 g jam
  • Medium


  • Dough

  • Serving



When it comes to papanasi (Romanian cheese doughnuts) with cheese, cream sauce and jam, whether they are fried or boiled, I just can’t resist. I love this dessert with jam, vanilla sauce, chocolate, it doesn’t matter if it’s papanasi!

I clearly remember the first time I ate them. I was in my first year of practice in the kitchen of a restaurant that had at least 2 events a day and at least one had fried and boiled papanasi on the menu. It was the most fashionable dessert at the time, with a lot of cream and sweetness to it. I fell in love with them, too. Since then I can say that more than 25 years have passed in which I have made thousands of portions, today I simply make them by heart, whether fried or boiled, with cheese, cream and jam or chocolate and vanilla sauce.

Recipe provided by Chef Nicolaie Tomescu

How to Make it:

  1. Put the flour, cheese, vanilla sugar, salt and lemon peel in a large bowl, add in the baking soda mixed with lemon juice and “knead” with your fingers so that the mixture comes together, avoiding cheese lumps.
  2. On a work surface sprinkled with flour, form a thick roll to a diameter of about 6 cm, and cut it into 1.2-1.5 cm thick slices.
  3. Roll the slices into round balls, and use a finger to make the classic doughnut hole. Then leave everything on the work surface until the oil heats up.
  4. In a deep pan, heat enough oil so that it covers the papanaşi slices. Fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning constantly and checking they do not burn.
  5. Mix the vanilla flavored powdered sugar with the cream.
  6. Serve hot with cream sauce and your favorite jam. A simple, tasty and easy to make dessert. Good work and good appetite!


Photo Credit: Nitu Iulian

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