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Home : Georgian Cuisine : Sweets : Churchkhela (Walnut Roll)Printer friendly version E-mail this page to a friend
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Churchkhela

(Walnut Roll)

This is a dish that is a long string of nuts that have been dipped repeatedly in a concentrated fresh grape juice to form a confection.

Makes 2 strands

40 walnuts halves or whole hazelnuts
1 1/2 quarts of white grape juice
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of flour
Confectioners' sugar

Thread a needle with a 30-inch length of heavy-duty thread. Knot the ends together. With the flat side of the nuts facing up, thread 20 walnut halves onto the thread, then thread the remaining walnut halves flat side down.

Cut the thread from the needle and knot the ends. Then push half of the walnuts to that end of the thread, leaving about 6 inches of thread in between the 2 portions of nuts. Pick up the thread from the top. You will have 2 separate strands of walnut halves hanging flat side up.

In a large skillet combine the grape juice and sugar. Heat to just below the boiling point. Place four in a bowl and very gradually stir in the heated juice, whisking constantly so that no lumps form. When about half of the juice has been added to the flour, pour the remaining flour mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly.

Meanwhile, find a board about 4 inches wide and suspend it between two chairs. Place newspaper on the floor underneath to catch the drips.

Pick up the walnuts by the middle of the thread and slowly dip them into the juice mixture, using a spoon to coat the topsides, if necessary. Slowly pull them up from the juice and carefully drape the thread over the prepared board so that the walnut strands hang down over the newspaper.

Allow the nuts to dry for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the coating is slightly tacky. Then return the nuts to the juice, which has been kept warm, and repeat the dipping process. Allow to dry again for 20 minutes or so. The drier the coating, the better the next layer will adhere.

Repeat the dipping process, 8 to 10 times, or until the nuts are completely coated. Leave to dry for 3 to 4 days, until the strands are no longer sticky to the touch. When dry, pull out the strings and dust it with confectioner's sugar.

To serve, cut the delicacy into rounds.

 

Recipe from Darra Goldstein

 


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