Even you don’t speak Hungarian per say, I bet you can still name a few pastries you love from our country (like Dobos, kürtős kalács, somlói etc.) 🙂
But luckily, new cakes are created year around, especially in August. Each year, a few weeks prior to our big national holiday, August 20th or Saint Stephen Day, a competition is held to find the best traditional and best sugar-free cake in Hungary. Now that gets the cooks and bakes going big times! Some bake several different cakes to enter the contest.
In 2018, the “Komáromi kisleány” (meaning the little girl from the city of Komárom and referencing to a well-known folk song by the same title) won, which is flavoured with pears, vanilla, and ginger.
This cake was created by Ádám Sztaracsek, a confectioner at the Jánoska Confectionery, in Komárom. He described his creation as ‘the flavour is built around the pear, there is a layer of dark chocolate cream in it, a vanilla mascarpone mousse, a gingery pear compote layer, and two batters: one with walnuts and another one with walnuts and honey’.
Walnuts and honey are big staples of many Hungarian pastries and cakes. I love that the pear made its way into this cake. A beautiful, flavourful fruit native to Hungary that often gets overlooked when baking.
Here is one more thing I LOVE about this competition: they also choose a Sugar-Free Cake!
The winner this year was the Három kívánság cake (meaning Three wishes and referencing a folk tale by the same title) created by the Nándori Cukrászda from Budapest. Its three main components are an almond sponge-cake with chia seeds and walnuts, sour cherries and cottage cheese with sweet mousse on top.
While the sour cherry-cottage cheese combo is very much a Hungarian thing, I was pleasantly surprised to find chia seeds as well in this lovely cake. This ingredient is far from being a traditional staple of the Hungarian cuisine, of course, but that what makes is beautiful. It is also a replacement for white flour, since this cake is not just sugar-free but also flour-free.
In case you started to wonder about its effect on your waistline, one slice of the Three wishes cake, according its creators, contains 12.9 grams of carbohydrates and 242 calories. And no sugar, naturally 🙂
What do you think about these cakes? What are your favorite Hungarian cakes anyways?