Since we moved to the UK 5 years ago, every Christmas I am longing for our favourite must eat festive treat: Kürtőskalács. Usually you eat them warm in a cold, dark windy, maybe snowy December day... made at the spot of the Christmas market. Traditionally it is made above open fire....but I don't have such an opportunity.
Traditionally it is made above open fire....but I don't have such an opportunity. Therefore my dear husband created this "mechanism", which enables me to turn the chimney cake continuously below my grill. All you need is an unused baking tray, a thick rolling pin and some metal parts with screws...pretty basic but it works.
"Kürtőskalács or kürtős kalács is a Hungarian pastry also known as chimney cake or stove cake. It is baked on a tapered cylindrical spit over an open fire. In the past decades, it became popular to bake it in special gas- and electric ovens. The Kürtőskalács originated from Transylvania, a historical region in present-day Romania with a sizable Hungarian population. The name derives from the Hungarian words kürtő that refers to chimney or 'wide pipe length', and kalács meaning "cake". It is famous as Hungary's oldest pastry. Kürtőskalács is sold in bakeries and pastry shops, and even street vendors are selling them on street corners, carnivals, and fairs.
Kürtőskalács consists of a thin yeast pastry ribbon wound around a wooden cylinder, heavily sprinkled with sugar, thus becoming a helix-shaped pastry which may taper very slightly towards the end. The pastry is baked on a hand-turned, tapered, wooden spit, rolled slowly on the wooden cylinder above an open fire. The dough is yeast-raised, flavored with sweet spices, the most common being cinnamon, topped with walnuts or almonds, and sugar. The sugar is caramelized on the kürtőskalács surface, creating a sweet, crispy exterior, and a soft, smooth interior." from Wikipedia
Ingredients for 3 big chimney cake
2 tbsp sugar
15g fresh yeast
40ml vegetable oil or melted butter
extra oil for greasing the rolling pin
*optional: cinnamon, dessicated coconut, any spice you like
Put the fresh yeast into the lukewarm milk and leave it to rest about 10 minutes, until the yeast rises. Mix the rest of the ingredients and add the yeast-milk mixture. Form a dough and knead it for 5 minutes. When you have a really soft nice dough put it a bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it to prove for at least 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in size in a warm but not hot place.
You don't have to be shy with the sugar, actually the more sugar stick on it is the better, as the sugar will caramelise under the grill and turn the pastry slightly crunchy and golden brown. Place the "mechanism" with the pasty under the grill and turn it every now and then.
If you leave it too long in one position at the beginning , one part will be brown and hard and as the pastry still expands on the rolling pin, the opposite end could burst and tear up. So keep your eye on it and turn it every minute, and after about 10 minutes when it is more than half done, every 20 seconds.
When it is nice golden brown, remove from the grill and coat again with sugar.
At this point you can be creative and add nuts, spices or dessicated coconut to the final coating. As my rolling pin isn't tapered I experienced a little difficulty when it came to remove the ready chimney cake. I used a long metal cake tester to insert it between the pastry and the rolling pin to help release the dough from the wood. In the end the finished product wasn't perfect (in appearance) but it was definitely proper Hungarian Kürtőskalács.