A Hungarian delicacy
Sekler or Chimney cake – both name is correct – is a popular Hungarian delicacy that you will find in each festival or fair or just simply in the streets of bigger cities. It is always baked fresh on fire, and flavoured mostly with cinnamon, walnut, cocoa, coconut or just eaten simply with sugar. The cake is simple, but delicious, and it belongs to the image of a traditional marketplace so much, that from time to time there are initiatives to make it a „protected Hungarian product” by the European Union. It has not been announced yet, but the cake is a so called „Hungaricum”, which means that we call it a traditional Hungarian cake. The recipe is originally from Székely region, now Transylvania (Romania), a region where even now, in spite of the significant distance from the Hungarian border, the majority of the inhabitants are Hungarian people keeping their ancient customs and traditions.
Hungary is often cited as the “country of festivals”, which we should admit. Yes, there is a festival of strawberries, geese, paste, fish soup and many other incredible ingredients. As Best Of Budapest reports, this year is the fifth year of popular gastronomic festival Sekler (or Chimney) Cake festival, and in deference to this, they will be offering many new program elements for enthusiastic visitors, the most striking being a new venue for the festival- the lush, wooded Chestnut (Gesztenyés) Garden in Buda. There will be nearly 25 booths preparing the Hungarian delicacy, including the traditional version, gluten-lactose-free and other healthy versions, desserts made from Sekler cakes, mini and giant biscuit variations and more. The Festival runs from October 13–15.
There is no festival without wine: there witll be a few wineries to exhibit as well, among them we will find Laposa Wine Estate from Badacsony region – we suggest to start the event with a fresh BalatonBor before indulging yourself in the sweet pleasures.
The festival is free of admission.
It is possible to make it at home, and the oven, and we have found a quite well depicted recipe. You will need
– 500 gramm plain flour
– 200 ml full fat milk
– 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, we used sunflower oil
– 3 tablespoons regular sugar
– 2 tablespoons yeast (14 gramms)
– 2 eggs
– Cinnamon powder
– Pinch of salt
And here is the procedure with mouth watering photos
What to drink with?
– As chimney cake is quite sweet, with caramellized sugar coat, the best is to choose a sweet wine. If you don’t like sweet wines at all, and your chimney cake is not to much sweetened, start with an aromatic white wine. Babarczi Irsai Olivér is a great, rich, full flavoured, mouth watering wine. „Pale golden in colour with a floral bouquet of elderberry with hints of the white flowers as well as citrus notes. Gentle acidity gives definition and refreshment, combining a light body with a balanced palate of spices and citrus aromas. It is a characteristically crisp elegant light wine.” And only 4–euros!
If you are not afraid of a little bit of sugar, then try a late harvest wine, for example a Pajzos Tokaji Late Harvest Hárslevelű: “A charming wine with tropical and floral fragrance and with the fine spiciness of the acacia. On the palate the honey notes are followed by a silky marzipan flavour.” The cake and the wine together will surely stop time for you and make the moment special!
According to some recipes of chimney cake grated lemon peel is also used in the dough of the cake. If you make your cake with lemon peel, and if you create a more complete dessert out of chimney cake, try a botrytised, amazing Chateau Dereszla Tokaji Aszú. “Golden colour. Surprisingly smooth, velvety. Peach and orange on the palate. Refined acidity structure and perfect balance.”
Make the cake together
Watch this short video and you will feel like making a chimney cake immediately! And if you happen to come to Hungary on 13–15 October, you can be part of this year community baking!