Curd Cheese and Semolina Dumplings with Bilberry Jam

These Romanian soft cheese dumplings, coated in toasted breadcrumbs mixed with cinnamon, are best served with bilberry jam – but strawberry or blackcurrant work wonderfully, too.


30g unsalted butter
120g very fine dried breadcrumbs
50g caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

300g Romanian brânză de vaci or soft cheese
1 egg
100g fine semolina
30g plain flour

200g bilberry jam (or blackcurrant, blueberry or strawberry)


  1. To make the coating, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat until it smells slightly toasted. Stir in the breadcrumbs, turn the heat to low if the pan seems too hot, and keep stirring gently for 5-8 mins or until they turn a light golden colour. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the dumplings by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. The mixture should fall off the spoon and have the consistency of thick double cream.
  3. Bring a pan of water to the boil with a pinch of salt, then reduce the heat to medium. Working in small batches, use a teaspoon to put some of the dumpling mixture in the water. Simmer for 6-7 mins or until firm but still a little soft. Use a slotted spoon to transfer straight into the pan with the breadcrumbs, shaking the pan so the dumplings get a golden coating on all sides. Serve them warm or cold with jam.

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