Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Estonian Recipes: kamakäkid or kama and mascarpone truffles

Photo updated in June 2009.

Here's a recipe for sweet tidbits made with mascarpone and the ubiquous Estonian ingredient kama. (I've written extensively about kama earlier here). Last night I made kamakäkid - a term that's not easy to translate, so I call them kama mascarpone balls.

Every country probably hopes that visitors will try some of their local traditional foods and fall in love with the cuisine. So lots of Estonian ethnic eateries would have a roasted and ground rye-barley-pea-oat mixture (alias kama) mixed with curdled milk on the menu. Alongside thick fried blood pudding slices, hearty sauerkraut stews and pickled cucumbers. Whereas this all sounds rather divine to me, to slightly more refined taste buds all that rusticism may seem a bit too much. They'd probably finish their dish, but would order something 'safer' and lighter next time.

Hence the attempt to lighten up and 'Westernise' the local food, sometimes quite successfully. In stead of fried black pudding slices you get dainty blood pudding chips, for example. Here is one such attempt to adjust a very traditional ingredient for Western - or even modern Estonian - palates. Instead of eating kama with fermented milk, it's mixed with mascarpone cheese, rolled into small balls and eaten with coffee.

For those of you who can't get hold of kama (eeh - that's all of you then:), try using oatmeal instead, as texture & flavour wise this is rather similar. If you do so, you may want to replace the cream liqueur with whiskey/whiskey liqueur (Drambuie). In which case you'd probably call them Cranachan mascarpone balls:)

Kama & mascarpone truffles
(Mascarpone-kamatrühvlid ehk peenemat sorti kamakäkid)

250 grams of mascarpone
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp chopped nuts (I used walnuts, though hazelnuts would have been more 'authentic', as these are the only nuts that are native to Estonia)
3 heaped Tbsp kama flour
a generous dash of cream liqueur (I used Vana Tallinn cream liqueur, but Bailey's would do)

Mix everything together, put into the fridge for a while. Form into small balls, roll in kama or cocoa powder and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

UPDATE 16.1.2006: Anne of Anne's Food successfully tried my recipe for kama truffles:)


eat stuff said...

They are very cute Pille :)
Kind of like what we would call a "Rum Truffle" here :) they are normally rolled in coconut.

Your Cream liqeur sounds interesting is it Estonian?

Pille said...

Clare - I've added a link to Vana Tallinn cream liqueur. Yes, it is Estonian, and I much prefer it to Bailey's - I find it less sweet and more interestingly flavoursome than Bailey's..

Anonymous said...

You're a treasure trove of interesting dishes! I absolutely can't imagine what oatmeal, Drambuie and mascarpone cheese taste like together, but I'm more than willing to find out! :)

Pille said...

Melissa - thanks:) Believe it or not, but I've just bought "Scots Cooking: The best traditional and contemporary Scottish recipes" by Sue Lawrence as a present for someone in M., and am currently flipping through the pages. On p 130 she says that her version of Cranachan "includes Mascarpone cheese, to give a richer texture"!!! So here you go. It can be done. There is only one way to find out how this combination tastes like, and I'm glad to hear that you are willing to find out:)

Stephanie said...

Pille, this is so timely!

Matt and I are beginning something we're calling 'Around the World in 80 Meals', and one of the places we picked was Estonia!

Anonymous said...

Pille, the sweet "truffles" as well as the tuna recipe sound great - simple and delicious. I like your cooking style and I am going to put some of your recipes on my to-do list !
Kind regards, angelika

chili&vanilia said...

Hi Pille,
these sound really yummy, I would love to try it! I have also read your extensive previous post about kama, very interesting!

And I see, you have your recipes also in Estonian! Lucky them!

Joycelyn said...

hi pille, deliciously fascinating read, as always...the vana tallinn cream, in particular, is very intrigueing...thanks so much for the link!

Pille said...

Paz - I think so too! I'm still surprised how you can present something as humble as kamakäkk as something fancy just by placing them in tiny paper cups! Sometimes presentation is everything..

Stephanie - so interesting!!! I'm looking forward to hearing/reading more about "Around the World in 80 Meals"!

Angelika - I'm flattered you like my simple style of cooking. I'm forever amazed about the equisite and elaborate dishes many foodbloggers create and feel like a total beginner compared to them. But I guess there is room for all of us:)

Zsofi - thanks for visiting and reading about kama! Do you have something kama-like in Hungarian kitchen? And yes, I do include links to my Estonian site (see my post "A simple cheesy tart" from September 8 - I "justify" Estonian links there).

J - thanks for your kind words again. Should I ever be partnered up with you at the Blogging By Mail event, I know what to include in the parcel then:)

No Onion Please said...

I have substituted raisins with dried cranberries, as I’m much more keen on those. Thank you Pille for the recipe, we have enjoyed it together with our friends a lot!