If you’re looking for a dessert that will make your guests sit up and take note, this is it. A smooth kefir and vanilla pannacotta is drizzled in a warm chocolate caramel sauce. For extra texture, serve with buttery shortbread biscuits too.
This recipe is by Terry Blake and Yohini Nandakumar, owners of Sparrow restaurant.
42.1g (26.2g saturated)
17.3g (17.2g sugars)
Nutrition: per serving
- Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. In a pan, warm 400ml of the cream, the caster sugar, zest and vanilla seeds over a medium heat until steaming hot. Take off the heat, squeeze excess water from the gelatine and stir into the cream mixture until dissolved. Cool.
- Strain the cream mix through a sieve into a bowl, then stir in the kefir. In another mixing bowl, whip the remaining 200ml double cream to soft peaks, then fold into the kefir/cream mixture. Pour into the moulds, cover with cling film and chill for 6-8 hours (overnight if possible) until set – see Make Ahead.
- For the sauce, put the sugar in a deep non-stick frying pan set over a low heat. Shake the pan occasionally so the sugar melts evenly. Once the sugar has melted, keep heating and stir every now and then until it turns a deep red brick caramel colour.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the 190ml cream (it might spit), then stir in the chocolate to form a thick sauce. Add a pinch of salt and 2 tbsp water to thin it, then keep warm until ready to serve (see Make Ahead).
- Dip the bases of the dariole moulds in a bowl of hot water for 10 seconds to loosen (see picture, top left), then turn out onto serving plates. Serve drizzled with the warm sauce.
Adapted from Odette Williams – the queen of cakes. Her base cakes are my gold standard and I return to them time and time again. This recipe is inspired from her Milk and Honey Cake. This healthy-ish cake is wonderful for spring. It’s made with wholesome spelt flour and probiotic rich kefir, layered with a honey cream and topped with fresh berries. I like to experiment with different honeys in this cake. I am loving Runamok’s line of raw and infused honeys. Using a light floral honey will provide a gentle mellow flavor. Whereas a rich dark honey will be more assertive.
- 2 1/4 cups (290g) spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup kefir
- 3/4 cup (255g) Runamok honey (any raw varietal or floral infused)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 tablespoons butter (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temp
- 3/4 cup (150 g) cane sugar
- Honey Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy cream, chilled2 tablespoons kefir2-3 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 2 tablespoons kefir
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grese two 8 inch round pans with avocado spray or butter, line the bottom nd sides with parchment.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together aand set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk the kefir, honey and vanilla. Set aside.
- With the mixer still on medium speed add the eggs a little at a time. If the batter curdles add a tablespoon of flour to help bind it back together.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry and wet ingredients alternating between the two. Mix until just combined- do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top. On the same rack bake for 35-38 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the cakes to relate and peel off the parchment paper. Cool completely on a wire wrack.
Honey Kefir Whipped Cream
In the bowl of the stand mixer add the cream, kefir and honey. Mix on medium high speed for 1-2 minute until light and fluffy.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer add the cream, kefir and honey. Mix on medium high speed for 1-2 minute until light and fluffy.
Lemon Lavender Cookies
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I am a flatbread fan. Almost as much as a bread fan. Specially in the summer when I don’t want to crank up the oven in this small apartment, flatbread come to rescue. It is and has been our favorite quick mid-week dinner as well. I would call them flatbread and not Naan because it may or may not be similar to the authentic version that we all love around the world!
I myself have developed quite a few different versions of this. The sourdough flatbread is my favorite but it takes a lot of time as it is leavened using natural yeast. They turn out soft, utterly delicious and worth the wait. I also make these with commercial yeast. It is faster than the sourdough version yet equally delicious. Then comes the instant types that I make often. You can use baking powder and your flatbread will be ready in no time. Also backing soda can be used along with an acidic liquid and this is by far my go-to instant version.
lifewaykefir cultured milk
Not only that, I am taking these flatbread to another level by stuffing them with masala spiced potatoes.
These are so good, you don’t really need any curries, just some butter or a dip would be more than enough. So let’s get started!
You only need these three key simple ingredients to make the dough.
All purpose flourKefirghee or clarified butter
Kefir has enough acidity to react with baking soda, but you can replace that with baking powder too.
Bi carbonate soda will help negate some of the acidity of the kefir which is a good thing.
Mix all the above ingredients to form a dough. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be super smooth. The less you kneed the softer your flatbread will be. So only mix/knead just until everything is mixed and not more.
Cover and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. You can leave this for longer up to a day. This can be refrigerated to be used on another day too but the bread will be slightly acidic.
You need two medium potatoes and some spices (of your choice)
These are the spices I used and recommend;chili powdercurry powdergaram masalacumincoriandersalt
optionally, you can use garlic/onion powder or seasoning mixes too.
Boil or microwave( 3-4 minutes) until soft. Break into tiny chunks and mix with the spices and set aside.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and let these rest again for about 30 minutes or until you are ready to cook the flatbread.
Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough balls on a lightly floured surface. Do not go too thin. The size of a disk should be about the size of your palm.
Spread some of the potato mixture and cover with another disk. Press so that they stick.
Then, rollout until the dough sticks together and seal completely and the potato bits are laminated. Check the next picture
Once completely rolled out, the potato bits are almost incorporated to the dough. Now this is ready to be cooked.
Use a medium hot cast iron pan or a griddle to cook these.
Cook one side for at least 2 minutes flipping over constantly. No need to oil the pan. Make sure it is not too hot. You can brush the cooked flatbread with melted butter to keep it soft. Use garlic butter to add garlic flavor.
repeat the process with the rest of the dough
Once cooked, serve warm with your favorite dip.
I prefer to cut these into quarters when serving. These are bigger and chunkier than plain flatbread. By cutting them into wedges, you can control portion size if you are serving them as a side specially. Also, this reveals the stuffing and I think that looks extra good/tempting on a plate!
potato stuffed flatbread wedges
These are best enjoyed warm straight out of the pan. If you must, they can be stored at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Keep them wrapped in a tea towel to stop them from drying out too much. Reheat slightly before serving.You can refrigerate the leftovers in an air-tight container. Always reheat before serving.
I would not recommend freezing these even though technically they can be frozen. Plain flatbread can be frozen but when they have a filling like this, it is best when made fresh.
These can be made without the filling too.
Try my kefir pancakes if you are looking for a different recipe to up your breakfast game! Kefir makes them plump, fluffy and ridiculously delicious!
If you can’t source kefir, check our Classic Pancake Recipe for fluffy and buttery pancakes served with maple syrup.
Russia is famous for her blini, which are thin and lacy crepes served with caviar or fruit preserves. But fat and pillowy soft pancakes are little known outside of the country’s borders.
It’s a shame though because once you try my kefir pancakes aka ‘oladi‘, you will find it hard to go back to your regular recipe. It’s a promise!
What are oladi?
If I had to describe oladi, I would say they are somewhat of a cross between a pancake and a fritter. They are fried in a bit more oil than your standard pancakes, which puffs them up to almost a doughnut-like height!
The magic ingredient of course is the kefir, a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. It has gained much popularity in recent years in the West but has been a staple in Eastern Europe for ages.
Along with plenty of nutritional benefits, kefir is a great way to add puffiness to baking like these pancakes. It also adds moisture and richness to the recipe, which is one of the secrets behind the amazing taste!
Why you’ll love them
Oladi are traditionally made with an addition of yeast, which makes them “grow’ right in front of your eyes as soon as the batter comes in contact with hot oil.
They are incredibly delicious but more time consuming, as yeasted dough takes time to prove. Not something you’d want to wait for in the morning!
So to cut corners one clever soul thought of using kefir and baking soda as raising agents instead. The rest is history.
Kefir pancakes are more common in Russia nowadays than the traditional yeasted ones. A modern woman waits for nothing, not even delicious yeasted dough!
When fried in oil, the dough puffs up a remarkable amount. They are full of flavour, soft and incredibly moist.
I hope you give these delicious kefir pancakes a go. They might look very similar to your regular pancakes but I assure you they have quite a unique taste!
How to serve
These pancakes are often served with smetana. This is a type soured cream although calling it that doesn’t do it justice.
Smetana is a sweet tasting, silky smooth sauce that does belong on desserts while sour cream is a bit too tart and thick for delicate sweet creations! I did a side by side taste comparison when I made these oladi and was astounded by the difference.
If you have an Eastern European shop nearby, I would recommend getting real smetana and seeing it for yourself!
But they are also delicious with any other pancake toppings such as syrup or jams.
Recipe tips and tricks
- If you can’t find kefir, buttermilk will work well as a substitute. You can use it in the same proportions as you would kefir.
- Let the batter stand for 15 minutes after mixing it together. This gives the baking soda time to activate, so be careful not to rush this step.
- The oil in the pan is essential to cooking these right, and results in a crispy outer crust. Keep adding oil throughout the cooking process as it will run low.
- These are best when not made too big. They will puff up quite a bit as well. A spoonful is perfect as they will almost double in size. If too big, they will burn on the outside but be uncooked on the inside.
- Oladi taste the best when eaten immediately after cooking, especially as this is when they have the best texture.
Pancake recipe made with kefir for a fluffy texture.
- /2 cups kefir
- /2 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
- In a large bowl mix kefir, an egg, sugar and salt with a whisk.
- In a separate bowl mix flour and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir to combine. The batter will be thick! Let it sit for 15 minutes without stirring.
- Heat a non-stick pan with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan up to 1 cm/1/3 inch deep. Drop kefir pancakes with a large spoon or a small ice-cream scoop into hot oil and fry on one side until golden and the batter is cooked halfway through, then flip carefully taking care not to splash hot oil. Use two spatulas if necessary. The pancakes will puff up as soon as you flip them over. Maintain medium heat to ensure each pancake is cooked all the way through as they are going to be tall. (Add oil throughout the frying process as needed.)
- Serve dusted with powdered sugar, whipped cream or smetana/creme fraiche and fresh fruit.
Let us know how it was!
About Julia Frey (Vikalinka)
Spice up your culinary repertoire with these delicious kefir recipes!
Kefir is a fermented dairy drink brimming with gut-friendly probiotic cultures.
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Kefir has been shown to aid in digestion and reduce inflammation. It’s also full of calcium and vitamin K.
Like a good Greek yogurt, kefir is a little sour and very tangy.
However, the consistency is much milkier. It also has a lovely fizz, thanks to carbon dioxide.
If you’re looking for innovative uses for this highly cultured beverage, you’re in luck!
These 10 amazing kefir recipes will spark culinary creativity and tickle your tastebuds.
10 Surprising Ways to Use Kefir
This easy, one-bowl chocolate cake will become your go-to dessert. It’s chocolatey, light, moist, and not cloyingly sweet.
Honestly, it’s luxurious, despite its simplicity.
The kefir does several things in the cake. It works as a leavening agent, adds richness to the flavor, and keeps the cake moist.
This cake is eggless, which isn’t very common in the cake world. So, it’s great for those with egg allergies.
Don’t worry, the texture is still phenomenal, thanks to the kefir!
Sadly, the probiotics in kefir do die off due to the heat of baking. But what can I say? It’s cake, so it’s not the healthiest option.
But it is good for your soul, waistline-be-darned.
Strawberry Kefir Smoothie
Getting your probiotics has never been easier or more delicious. If you want a healthy breakfast, lunch, or snack smoothies are the way to go.
This kefir smoothie is so easy to make and uses only four ingredients.
Simply add plain kefir, frozen strawberries, lemon juice, and honey to a blender. Then, blend and serve!
You get a dose of probiotics, calcium, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins with every sip. Feel free to add more fruits and veggies!
Kefir Pancakes ‘Oladi’
One thing I love about pancakes is how every culture seems to have its own version.
These Russian oladi might be my new favorite. These little pancakes are just so fluffy.
This is due to a few things, including the way they’re fried. But the most important element for fluffy pancakes is due to science!
Specifically, a school science fair volcano-like reaction between the kefir and baking soda.
It’s not quite so explosive, but the principle is the same. And that means super fluffy pancakes.
Kefir Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
This vivid dressing is as good for you as it is green. It’s packed with superfoods and is compliant with several diets. You really can’t go wrong here!
It’s creamy, bright, herbaceous, and utterly delicious. It’s rich in probiotics, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Slather it on salad, chicken, or bread.
Blueberry Muffins with Kefir
In just 30 minutes, you can have fresh, warm, and delicious blueberry muffins. There’s not much better than that!
Like with the chocolate cake on this list, the kefir does three things. It adds flavor, moisture, and is responsible for the leavening.
These muffins are soft and moist and bursting with bright blueberries. They’re slightly tangy, buttery, and sweet.
They’re topped with a brown sugar streusel, which is utterly fantastic!
Cold Summer Soup “Okroshka”
Cold, fizzy, and soup are three words you normally wouldn’t see describing the same dish. I’ll give you cold and soup if you’re a fan of gazpacho, but fizzy?
Okroshka is a delicious soup that defies all expectations unless you’re from Eastern Europe.
It’s fresh, tangy, and just a little fizzy (at least on the first day). It also has great textures.
Okroshka is quite healthy! It’s loaded with protein from eggs, kefir, and smoked turkey. This soup is rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
This soup may sound unusual, but I promise it’s so flavorful. You’ll love it!
Easy Probiotic Kefir Cultured Ghee
Ghee is a fabulous butter substitute, made from clarified butter.
That means its water and milk solids have been removed. It’s great for those with lactose intolerance.
Plus, It’s absolutely chock-full of healthy fats. It’s also been shown to reduce gut inflammation and support a healthy heart.
This ghee recipe is also high in probiotics.
This recipe is really cool because you get three cultured dairy products in one process. You get to make your own probiotic butter, buttermilk, and ghee.
Now, this process is time-consuming. It takes approximately 48 hours for the kefir, cream, and yogurt base to ferment.
Then, you have to make the butter and clarify it.
This ghee is worth the work! It’s nutty, creamy, and divine.
Coriander Chicken Kebabs with Cilantro Kefir Sauce
Give a nod to Mediterranean flavor with these superb kebabs.
The chicken is succulent, citrusy, and perfectly seasoned. The cilantro kefir sauce is tangy, fresh, and garlicky.
Plus, you get a double dose of kefir in this dish.
The first dose comes from the chicken marinade. The acid in the kefir breaks down the meat, so it’s mouthwatering and tender.
The second dose obviously comes from the sauce. Not only is it delicious, but you get all of the benefits of raw kefir.
I personally would add more veggies to the kebabs, like red peppers and zucchini. That way, there’s both a nutrient and a flavor boost!
Kefir Ice Cream
If any ice cream could be considered good for you, it’s this one.
Probiotics? Check. Protein? Check. No refined sugar? Check.
This recipe uses a custard base made with kefir. The kefir is added after the cream and egg custard has cooked.
So, you still keep all those good gut bacteria.
Then it’s scented with vanilla and sweetened with honey. The result is creamy, floral, tangy, and lightly vanilla-flavored ice cream.
This recipe uses an ice cream maker. However, you can easily make custard-based ice cream without one.
It’s just a bit more time-consuming.
Say cheers to summer with these fruity probiotic popsicles!
They’re fresh, sweet, tangy, and totally customizable. All you need is kefir, a fruit of your choice, and honey to taste. You could even sneak in some veggies.
These fruit pops are healthy, but that doesn’t mean they’re bland. Kids and adults alike will love them.
I’ve listed some fruit combos below to inspire you.
- Pineapple and passion fruit
- Mango and strawberry
- Super Berry! (Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries)
- Peach and cherry
10 Best Ways to Use Kefir
Try these kefir recipes for a good dose of nutrition! From cake to smoothies to muffins, kefir milk makes many delicious dishes.
- Chocolate Kefir Cake
- Strawberry Kefir Smoothie
- Kefir Pancakes ‘Oladi’
- Kefir Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
- Blueberry Muffins with Kefir
- Cold Summer Soup “Okroshka”
- Easy Probiotic Kefir Cultured Ghee
- Coriander Chicken Kebabs with Cilantro Kefir Sauce
- Kefir Ice Cream
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a kefir recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Or, how about
- 350 g all purpose flour + extra
- 1 tbsp. ghee
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
For the potato filling
- 2 medium potatoes
- spices (chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, coriander, cumin)
- a pinch of salt
Takes home baking to a whole new level
More food for thought.
- 4 gelatine leaves (we used Costa)
- 600ml double cream
- 110g caster sugar
- Grated zest 1½ lemons
- Seeds scraped from ½ vanilla pod
- 500ml kefir (see Know-how
For the chocolate caramel sauce
- 155g caster sugar
- 190ml double cream
- 150g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
- Basswood Blossom Raw Honey
- Florida Orange Blossom Raw Honey
– subscription plans every 2 weeks
- Lemon Verbena Infused Honey
– subscription plans every 2 weeks
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- Make the pannacottas up to 48 hours ahead and chill in their moulds, covered. Make the sauce up to 1 week ahead, then cover and chill. Warm to serve. If it’s too thick add 2-3 tbsp water and warm, stirring, until it’s pourable.
- Kefir is a fermented milk drink full of gut-friendly bacteria. It’s used in recipes for its tangy flavour. Find it in supermarkets and health food shops.