On March 9, Orthodox Christians in Romania cook a special dessert for a major holiday.
On March 9th, Orthodox Christians observe a major holiday, the feast of the 40 martyrs of Sebasta, an ancient Armenian city. On the same day, Roman Catholics observe the feast of the 40 martyr soldiers of Cappadocia.
In Romania, this day is traditionally celebrated with a special dessert, which is specifically meant to physically symbolize the martyrs. However, there are regional differences in terms of which form this dessert takes in various parts of Romania.
In Moldavia, the eastern province in Romania, the locals make forty figure eights from dough baked in the oven, doused in honey and minced walnut, while in the southern province of Wallachia they are tiny figure eights made from raw pasta dough and boiled in sugar water.
Today’s recipe is for the baked variety. Here is how you make them: take one kilo of flour, 200 grams of sugar, a cup of milk, 100 grams of butter, 6 eggs, yeast, some rum essence if you want, some grated lemon rind, as well as walnuts and honey for the coating.
Mix the yeast in the warm milk, then pour it over the flour in a large kneading vessel. Add in the separated egg yolks which you previously mixed with melted butter. Knead the mixture for about 20 minutes, then leave in a warm place to rise. Tear off pieces of the dough, and roll them into thumb thick strands, which you then twist in the shape of an eight. Lay them on an oiled tray, then put into the preheated oven.
When they are golden brown, take them out and right away smear them with honey and sprinkle minced walnut on top. Enjoy!