Kerebiç is a cookie/dessert that is made in Mersin, Hatay and Gaziantep. It is shaped with molds in Gaziantep and served as cookies and without foam. In Mersin and Hatay, it is filled by hand like içli köfte (stuffed meatballs) and served with foam.
Kerebiç of Gaziantep is a bit like a walnut or pistachio version of the maamoul recipe. If I'm not mistaken, it is called “kömbe” in Hatay. Kerebiç of Mersin, on the other hand, is a dessert with a slightly softer consistency and the focus is more on foam than cookies. It is originally made with its own special semolina flour. I don't know if it can be found outside of Mersin. Maybe it's sold online. For those of us who do not live in Mersin but want to eat kerebiç, the best alternative is to use a mixture of semolina and flour.
The ingredients for the kerebiç cookies are quite simple. It consists of semolina, flour, butter, olive oil, very little sugar and baking powder. The shaping phase is just like the içli köfte. Sugar is added to the cookie only enough to break its blandness, and the cookies are eaten by dipping into the already very sweet foam. So they don't need to be very sweet, but you can increase the amount of sugar if you still think it will be better suits you. You can put pistachios or walnuts in the kerebiç cookies as a filling. When using walnuts, you can also add a little cinnamon and sugar.
What is Çöven Root, Where Is It Sold?
Çöven root (known as soapwort in English) is the root of celandine. You can find it in herbalists or online shops like Amazon. It is usually sold as a whole root in Turkey. Smaller piece that I got. If you have bought it as one big piece, using it by dividing into small pieces will allow the sap to pass into the water more while boiling.
By the way, you can also use soapwort root water for washing clothes. As the name suggests, it is an ingredient used as soap for people other than the Turkish people, who can turn everything into food. You can make an online research for instructions for use.
How to Make Soapwort Foam?
The most magical part of kerebic is its foam. The foam is obtained by mixing the water obtained by boiling the soapwort root with simple syrup and then whisking it. If you've looked at how it's done from written sources before, I'm sure you're intimidated. As a matter of fact, there is no difficulty as it is described. The main problem is that there is no reliable and understandable description in written sources. In each source, contradictory or very deterrent information is given. This causes distrust in the person who will try the recipe. Some sources say, for example, that the foam must be whipped for four hours and no one says that it's impossible. It is written in several places that the syrup should be whipped while it is hot. Look, that's right. If you whisk the syrup while it is hot, it may take up to four hours for it to become foamy. Because when it is whipped while hot, a smooth foam does not come out, and the foam that comes out fades as it waits. That's why I think that this recipe will fill an important gap in this respect, even though very few people will use it, and I am happy in advance. I hope Google will also support and contribute people's reaching correct information by showing it at the top of the searches.
It is necessary to start the work two days in advance to make the kerebiç foam. But the things you need to do are so simple that you have to put in a maximum of five minutes of effort in two days. First of all, the soapwort root is soaked overnight. The next morning, it is taken in a sauce pan and simmered for two hours. It is drained very well after cooling. With this process, approximately 600 ml of soapwort root juice is obtained. For this recipe, half a cup, 100 ml, of soapwort root juice, is used. So with this 600 ml of water you get, you can get 6 times a large bowl of soapwort foam. You can store soapwort root juice in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator for months, or freeze it for a year.
A simple syrup is made with soapwort root juice, and after it is left to rest overnight, it is whipped. Syrup are usually made by using a little more water than sugar and boiling for a long time. This long cooking process of caramelizing sugar is important for syrup desserts, but it is not necessary in this recipe. So, to save some time, I adjusted the sugar-water ratio according to the consistency that will be obtained after the syrup is boiled for a long time. I wrote citric acid for syrup because there was no lemon juice at home on the day of the video shoot, I had to use citric acid. Even when there are such insignificant differences between the written recipe and the video recipe, there are people who can panic, so I wrote the written recipe as you see on the video. But instead of citric acid, you can use a teaspoon of lemon juice.
After the syrup is prepared and kept in the refrigerator for one night, it is time for the whisking process, which can be frightening. This is a process that is no different from whipping egg whites or heavy cream. It just takes a little longer. Just like you do with everything you whip, you just put it in a suitable bowl and whisk. Since a liquid mixture solidifies, it may be resembled to aquafaba. It starts foaming as soon as the whipping starts. First it turns into a white liquid, then it thickens. Even though it can stay stable it still has a soft consistency when first whisked. It will solidify a little after it is kept in the fridge. However, it is not as solid as store bought foams. Because I determine the amount of sugar with the logic that people will eat this. By increasing the amount of sugar, a more solid foam can be obtained. But I don't think it's necessary. A foam with an acceptable consistency but not too much sugar is more ideal for me.
How Does the Soapwort Foam Taste?
When you first take the soapwort foam in your mouth, you only get a sugary foam taste. After a while, the slightly bitter/astringent taste of the soapwort root is felt. It creates a feeling like a bit of cinnamon bitterness, a bit of mint candy freshness. Soapwort root is already used as an alternative medicine as an expectorant and cough suppressant. You can understand from the feeling it creates while eating that it will work in this regard.
Enjoy the recipe...
For the cookie;
- 2 cups of semolina,
- 1 cup of flour,
- 50 g butter,
- 1/2 cup of olive oil,
- 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar,
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder,
- 2 cups finely ground pistachios or walnuts,
- Cinnamon powder to use while serving.
For the soapwort foam;
- 2 tablespoons of soapwort root,
- 1 liter of water to boil,
- 1 cıp of sugar,
- 1/2 cup of water,
- Citric acid with the tip of the teaspoon.
- For the soapwort foam, take the soapwort root in a deep bowl, add a liter of water to it, cover it and leave it overnight,
- The next morning, take the gypsum root with its water in a saucepan and boil it for two hours with the lid closed,
- Remove from heat and let it rest until it cools down and the soapwort root sinks to the bottom, then strain it with a cheesecloth folded four times so that there are no residues (you can put this water in a jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator for months and use it whenever you want),
- For syrup, take sugar, water, citric acid and half a cup of soapwort water in a saucepan and boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves,
- Lower the heat and boil for two more minutes and remove from the heat,
- Wait for it to come to room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator and let it rest overnight,
- Melt the butter,
- Add olive oil, powdered sugar, baking powder and semolina and let it rest for ten minutes,
- Add the flour little by little and knead,
- Take a tangerine-sized piece from the mixture, hollow it out like a stuffed meatball, and put pistachios inside,
- Close the tip and form an oval shape and arrange them on a baking tray lined with wax paper,
- Put them in a preheated oven at 250 degrees and bake them until golden brown (they will bake in a short time because they are cooked at high temperature, do not take your eyes off them),
- While the cookies are baking, take the syrup into a bowl and mix it with the hand mixer for 20-25 minutes until it reaches the consistency of shaving foam,
- Distribute the foam on the serving plates and sprinkle cinnamon on top,
- Place warm or cold kerebiç cookies on the foam.