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Kürtőskalács a.k.a. Chimney Cake, a delicious Hungarian pastry
Did you know?
The Hungarian word Kürtő means stovepipe or as the name suggests, ‘chimney’.
Kürtőskalács or Chimney Cake is an incredible Hungarian pastry that is usually baked over open fire above smouldering charcoal and the pastry is rolled around a cylindrical wooden ‘skewer’. In these modern times as open fire is not that applicable in many cases there are special gas and electric ovens that enable us to cook this delicious sweet inside the house as well (as you will see on the videos later on).
The Chimney Cake was originally born is Transylvania (present day Romania), while the territory was still part of present day Hungary. There are many different beliefs about its exact origins; one of these says that Kürtőskalács was first made by a clever Szekler (Székely) woman who saved the locals from starving to death while the Mongols (Tatars) invaded Hungary in 1241-1242. According to another belief (that is most probably the real truth) this pastry is only a few hundred years old and was first made by some Szekler families who wanted to make another use of the smouldering charcoal in their house. They put the charcoal onto their stovepipes and started to bake the pastry above that. A bit later this pastry became a traditional sweet on weddings and some family events both in Transylvania and in whole Hungary.
The Cake itself is not that hard to make and is usually topped by different sweet spices like cinnamon, coconut-sprinkles or walnuts. Sugar is caramelised on the surface of the pastry and then it is rolled into one of the above mentioned toppings. This way the whole Chimney Cake has a sweet and crispy surface and a very soft, almost creamy interior.
This pastry is a national symbol of Hungary, though it was registered by the European Union as a Protected Geographical Indication/Speciality (PGI) of Slovakia under a different name (Trdelnik).
Kürtőskalács was very popular in Berlin as well when it was presented to the locals on the opening of Galeria Kaufhof.
- 750g flour
- 2 eggs
- 60g sugar
- 100g butter, melted
- 30g yeast
- 300ml milk, lukewarm
- some more melted butter and sugar, for the caramelised surface
Instructions on how to make Chimney Cake
- Sprinkle the flour into a bowl and make a small ‘pit’ into the middle of it by your hands. Put the yeast into this ‘pit’, pour the lukewarm milk onto it and mix it gently with the yeast until it dissolves in the milk. Cover up the bowl with a small piece of cloth for 10-15 mins until the yeast in the mix starts to ‘work’.
- Mix the butter, the sugar and the eggs together and pour this mix into the previous one. With your clean hands knead the ingredients together and then cover the pastry again and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place (near the radiator for best results).
- During this time, create your tools that you will use to bake the pastry. For best results, use the rolls of paper kitchen towels or empty beer cans after you totally wrapped them into kitchen foil.
- After the hour has passed on a clean and even surface make long strips from the dough. Wrap these strips around the special baking tools you made previously, but first, brush some butter on them to be able to easily get the baked pastry off of them later. Wrap the strips in a way that there will be no spaces between the strips.
- If you can, bake the rolls above smouldering charcoal. If you have to bake it ‘inside’, then grill them in your oven on 200 degrees for about 15-20 mins. Around the 10th min, brush them with melted butter and roll them in sugar or sugar mixed with cinnamon or any other sweets you desire. Bake them until the sugar is fully caramelised.
- When it is done, tap the cake on a hard surface so the pastry will simply slide off of your home-made tools.
Hotness-meter of Chimney Cake
|Calories from Fat||135|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 15 g||23%|
|Carbohydrates 80 g||27%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Did you ever taste Chimney Cake?
Ideal products for baking
Professional baking of Chimney Cake
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© Copyright 2012-2014, Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy (zsobig)
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