Cotton candy at carnivals. Hot dogs at a ball game. Popcorn at the movies. Some things are just traditional and because you love them so much you don’t mind paying a bit more than seems logical. Kürtőskalács at Hungarian festivals fall into that category. Fortunately for us, there are a few spots here in the city that sell them at a less-inflated, more everyday price. If you’ve ever had one of these slow-roasted pastries you know exactly why it’s a temptation to indulge a little too often. And if you’re one of the unfortunate ones, let us tell you what you’re missing.
So imagine if you can a long strip of a light yeast dough wrapped around a wooden tapered roll, brushed with butter and sugar, placed over heated coals, and then toasted until the sugar is carmelized. Perfection! But it gets better. While still warm, you can have additional toppings added … like coca, cinnamon, pecans, coconut, or vanilla. Oh sooo good.
Originally from Transylvania, Kürtőskalács (chimney cake) is famous as Hungary’s oldest pastry. It is such a delicious treat that it was used for special occasions like weddings and christenings. The size and shape of these cakes connect them to the legend that they were actually baked around the chimney pipe. Thankfully we don’t need a special occasion or even need to wait for a festival. We can simply hop off a tram at Petöfi Hid and pick up a morning treat at the Kürtőskalács stand there to go with our coffees.
Here’s a link to a recipe if you want to try it yourself, as for us we’re leaving it to the professionals. Kürtőskalács Recipe