Tag Archives: red currant

Kisel – Russian sweet drink

 Kisel – is a well-known and popular sweet drink in Russia. This healthy drink contains berries or fruits, also sugar and water, and thickened with a potato starch. Kisel can be served cold or hot, sometimes it’s poured over ‘cottage cheese bake’ or ‘syrniki’. The kisel thickness can vary depending on how much potato starch is used; the thickest version does look like a mousse or jelly and can be eaten with a spoon, however the thin kisel is the most common version in Russia and usually consumed as a drink.Kisel-Russian sweet drink

  Kisel is generally made with fresh berries or fruits (red currants, cherries, cranberries, apples – are most common flavors which are widely available in Russia), but during the winter sweet jams or frozen berries are used to make it. The very first Russian kisels were thick and made with oat, wheat, rye or pea flours, and it dates back over one thousand years.
 Nowadays there are lots of instant kisel mixes, which you can find at Russian stores, but I do assure you that to make you own kisel is very easy and definitely better and tastier. I made mine with fresh red currants; you can use any fresh or frozen berries. Enjoy!Russian red currant kisel (drink)

Kisel - Russian sweet drink

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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To make thick kisel add more starch.
Ingredients
200-300g fresh red currants, rinsed
5-7 tbsp sugar (or more, depends on your taste)
2l water
3 tbsp potato starch (or cornstarch)
Method
  • Keep aside some red currats. Strain the rest through a sieve into a saucepan. Add water, sugar and bring to boil. Reduce the heat, taste and adjust the sweetness.
  • In a small cup, mix starch with few tablespoons of cold water. Add it to the saucepan along with red currants that you’ve kept. Give it a good stir and turn off the heat.
  • Pour in a glasses or cups. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

Red currants ‘n’ cardamom Muffins

 Some time ago in Russia, small cakes-muffins-were called keksi, but since muffins’ popularization many people call them muffins! I think, almost all people like muffins, and may be some of you have a special recipe or ingredient. I do like experiment with flours and spices; I’ve bought soy flour recently and trying to use, I don’t see much difference with it so far.. If you know any good ways or recipes to use it, I would appreciate if you share it with me. 
Muffins
 So, about other additions to muffins batter, berries are one of my favorite. Raspberry is best-loved, but what about currants? I’ve seen in a blogosphere couple posts with it, and surprised, that it is not widely-grown and not quite  popular. Poor berries, if only they knew how underrated they are. When I lived in Russia, I ate lots of black, red and white currants. There were too many of blackcurrant bushes in parents garden, so I even dislike to pick them up.. Twigs of sour and bright redcurrants were easier to pick – straight away to my mouth! 😀 Blackcurrant in Russia is like blueberry in USA, has similar shape and taste, interchangeable berries.
 
 Today recipe combines Russian and Eastern flavours – red currants and cardamom. Enjoy!
Red currant

Red currants ‘n’ cardamom Muffins

  • Servings: 6-7 medium muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

70g plain flour/all-purpose
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cardamom, finely crushed seeds
30g soy flour
25g wholemeal flour
30g ground flaxseed
1 egg
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
70g kefir (or sub with yogurt)
80-90g liquid honey (I used dark one)
120-140g red currants, or mix of red and black (or sub with blueberries)
 
Method
  • In a large bowl, beat egg and honey, add kefir, oil, and stir. Sift the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, add flaxseed and cardamom into egg mixture. Combine.
  • Lightly cover berries in a flour, then carefully fold them into the batter. If using frozen currants, don’t defreeze them, add to the batter straight from the freezer.
  • Fill muffin tins or one cake tin and bake in preheated 180C/350F oven for 20-25 minutes.
Red currant & cardamom Muffins