Sweet Hrudka

Ingredients: 1 liter milk, 10 eggs, a few pinches of salt, a cup of sugar.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes of cooking, 3 to 4 hours setting time.

The basic recipe is the same as the savory version. Pour one liter of milk into a pot. Turn on low heat. Add 10 eggs to the milk. Add salt and sugar. Mix the mixture well with an egg beater, but do not beat vigorously. A double boiler is not needed for this process, but again be sure not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom, though honestly a little scorching will not harm anything. The sugar in the sweet hrudka, for some reason, seems to make it easier to avoid scorching than when cooking savory hrudka. Stir the mixture constantly (about 20-30 minutes) until the mixture separates into curd-like pieces and whey-like “white water.” Cook the mixture for a few minutes after the white water appears.

Pour the mixture into a strainer lined with a cheesecloth or a porous kitchen towel. Pour off the water, collect the solids. Squeeze out the liquid, being careful not to burn yourself. Tie the cloth tight and hang it in a place where it can drip dry. Some use a kitchen faucet for this purpose, others use a wooden spoon place across the top of a pot. Tie the top of the towel with a string to help create a more ball-like shape. Allow the hrudka to cool. Squeeze it a few more times before the process is complete, taking effort to really squeeze the water out of it. Place it in the refrigerator to protect from spoiling. Allow it to set for 3 or 4 hours and unwrap it. It can be stored for 2 or 3 days in aluminum foil and sometimes longer. When the hrudka has gone bad, it will be apparent that it is bad, because of the noticeable smell of rotten eggs. Until that point it is okay to eat.

The recipe is commonly made with 5 eggs, 10 eggs, and 15 eggs, and 0.5, 1, 1.5 liters of milk respectively.

As is the case with savory hrudka, the variations are unlimited with sweet hrudka as well. Freshly grated cinnamon, cardamom, a little ginger, a little ground clove, and a lot of freshly ground nutmeg and vanilla extract make a delicious sweet hrudka.

Sweet hrudka can also be sliced thick like a piece of cheese and enjoyed alongside other desserts at the end of a meal.

While delicious, it does not seem common in Slovakia to over-season hrudka. It seems that hrudka is generally known for its bland taste, which isn’t bad at all. The simple ingredients, when of good quality, have a pleasant taste on their own.