Churchkhela Recipe (Georgian National Dessert)
Last time I shared a recipe of a famous Georgian satsebeli sauce. Now it's time for the dessert. I've already shared Baklava recipe, a dessert popular in the countries of Central and Southwest Asia, and Mediterranean. Today I will share a recipe for an authentic Georgian dessert, churchkhela. Though it is rather quick to prepare, it will take several days (or even weeks) to actually "get ready", because it has to dry properly. But once you try churchkhela, I'm sure you'll be making it again and again. Basically it's like a Snickers bar, but much tastier and healthier. Best thing for kids, for sure!
- 2 liters (0.5 gallons) of grape juice, freshly-squeezed is better, but packaged juice from a supermarket can also work
- 10.5 oz (300g) of walnuts
- 2 oz (50g) of hazelnuts
- 7 oz (200g) of flour
How To Make Churchkhela
- To get the juice, I use Isabella grape. Add 6.6 lbs of grape to the juicer, and you will get approximately 2 liters of grape juice. As I said before, you can buy packaged juice, but taste will be different.
- Break walnuts on halves or quarters, leave hazelnuts as they are, and strung them on a thread. To do this, use strong thread and needle. You'll get a "nut necklace" as a result.
- Keep approximately one glass of grape juice, all the rest pour into a pan and heat until it boils. Boil juice for 5 minutes, then add flour to the glass with fresh juice, and add it to the pan with boiling juice stirring everything quickly. Usually I don't add sugar, as juice is sweet by itself, but try it, may be you'll have to add some.
- The mix should be rather thick. If it's not, add some more flour. Cook this thick and flavorous syrup for 5 more minutes.
- Now, the most interesting part - insert your "nut necklaces" into the syrup, keep them there for some time, hold each of them above the pan, wait until all excess syrup stops dripping and hang each of them somewhere to dry. You can use cabinet doors and hangers for this - be creative :) But put a baking sheet or oven-tray under churchkhela, because it will still be dripping.
- Once churchkhela dries a little bit, repeat pouring once again. Usually I do it three times for each "necklace"
- That's it! Wait until churchkhela stops dripping and hang it somewhere to dry.
- It will be ready in 5 days. Ideally, in 5 days, you should wrap it in a towel and wait for 2-3 months until sugar appears on churchkhela - this would mean that it's completely ready, but if you can't wait (like me :) ), you can eat it once it's completely dry. Anyway, it's very tasty!
If grape syrup is left once you used all the "necklaces", you can add some nuts to it and pour it into the candy forms - you'll get tasty candies as an addition to your churchkhela.