Hungarian cuisine has a lot to offer, including a wide range of desserts and sweet treats. Our Dobos cake is known and loved abroad as well, for example, famous for its many layers and delicious chocolate filling. This week’s recipe also involves a wonderful chocolatey layer, together with sour cherries, resulting in the perfect combination.
Lúdláb cake is known and loved by most Hungarians; however, its origins are somewhat shrouded in mystery. First of all, the name literally means ‘goosefoot’. Some people say this is because of its signature shape; the cake is cut into wide triangles. Others say it is a typical dessert at Saint Martin’s Day celebrations, where many meals are centred around geese. This would certainly explain the unusual name of this dessert.
There are some fascinating anecdotes connected to the lúdláb cake as well. Around the ’80s, people believed that ordering certain food and drink combinations at the famous Gerbaud Café in Budapest had hidden meanings. According to Origo, ordering sparkling water and a slice of lúdláb apparently meant that the young man was available for the older, wealthy ladies who spent their day in the café chatting and exchanging secrets to approach and, in exchange of some money, employ his services for the afternoon or a few hours.
Over the years, many versions appeared, of course. Some say the number of sugar cubes you put in your coffee was the real signal while others associate it to punch cakes and placing the fork on your plate in a specific direction. Either way, today, you probably do not have to worry about someone misinterpreting your order at a café, but it is an entertaining story.
For the pastry
5 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. pastry flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking powder
For the cream
150 g butter
100 g icing sugar
30 g cocoa powder (unsweetened)
250 ml milk
3 tbsp. pastry flour
150 g sour cherry preserve (could be frozen, too)
50 ml sour cherry juice
150 ml rum
1 packet of vanilla sugar
For the glaze
100 g dark chocolate (over 60% would be best)
100 g butter
Start with the pastry. Mix the egg yolks and the sugar, then add the flour, cocoa powder and the baking powder. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold it carefully into the mixture of the other ingredients. Pour the mixture into a baking pan and bake it for 10-15 minutes at 175 degrees. Make sure it is completely baked through, then let it cool.
Next, start on the cream. Soak the sour cherries in the room, then set aside for a while. Mix the milk and the flour together until smooth. Cook it on the stove until it forms a thick mass, then let it cool. Mix together the (room-temperature) butter, the icing sugar and the cocoa powder, then add the thick milky mixture. Now, get the rum-soaked cherries and add them, too, along with the sour cherry juice and the vanilla sugar. Spread the cream on top of the pastry, then cool it in the fridge for a few hours, until the cream sets.
For the glaze, melt the chocolate on the stove (above water), then add the butter. Let it cool down a bit, then spread the warmish chocolate glaze on top of the cream. Put it back in the fridge. It is best to let it sit overnight.
Use a knife dipped into hot water to help cut the chocolate glaze. Cut even rectangles, then half them to get the signature triangle shape.
For the recipe of the cream cake (krémes), click here.
Featured image: facebook.com/szalkifogado.hu