Hungary is blessed with a wide array of desserts that mainly comprises pastries and cakes. They are indeed a sweet lover’s paradise with different textures and flavors ranging from smooth to flaky and cinnamony to nutty. A rich and smooth filling of túró cheese or fruit jams go in most of them, making them tastier. Much of the desserts like Rétes and Krémes are influenced by the Austrian cuisine of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Having a plate of these Hungarian desserts would be the best way to end your meal.
Meggyleves is a sweet and sour summer delicacy made mainly with fresh sour cherries, sour cream, and sugar. Sometimes, spices like cinnamon and cloves also go into it to make it aromatic. Besides enjoying it chilled as a dessert item, Hungarians usually serve it as an appetizer or soup before the main course. It has a light and creamy texture with a tart and slightly sweet taste bursting into the mouth with every bite.
The dessert’s name may translate into somló dumplings, but it is actually a trifle-like dessert. It comprises layers of a delicate sponge cake and custard cream, dotted with rum-soaked raisins and finally drizzled with whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top. The creamy and flavorful sweet treat was initially created at Budapest’s popular Gundel restaurant and has become widespread ever since.
Esterházy Torta is a popular mouthwatering dessert, named after Prince Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galántha who was a member of the well-known Esterházy dynasty. Budapest confectioners initially created it in the late 19th century and gained popularity instantly. The sweet delicacy typically comprises vanilla or cognac flavored buttercream spread between each of the four layers of almond meringue cake. A combination of fondant glaze and melted chocolate decorated in a characteristic striped pattern on top makes it more attractive. Many modern Hungarian versions replace the use of almonds with walnuts. The cake is enriched by sprinkles of ground walnuts and then refrigerated to serve chilled. Rich, creamy, and nutty, just a small slice is enough to satisfy your palette.
Kalács is a Hungarian sweet bread prepared from a dough made with flour, eggs, milk, butter, yeast, and sugar and sometimes spiced with cinnamon. It is braided and baked in a brick oven until it turns golden brown and puffy. It is a typical treat found in every Hungarian household, particularly during Easter. Not overly sweet, it has a buttery and slightly spicy taste.
Mákos Bejgli is a traditional poppy seed pastry roll often served during special occasions like Christmas and Easter. It is prepared from a yeast dough shaped into thin rectangular pieces, stuffed with a sweet poppy filling, and shaped into cylinder rolls. An egg yolk mixture is brushed over it before placing it into the oven. After baking and attaining a golden brown color, it is sliced and served at room temperature. In other Hungarian versions, the stuffing contains walnuts instead of poppy seeds. The sweet and nutty flavors of the filling contrast perfectly with the savory pastry roll.
Zserbó is a tempting layered cake with apricot jam and walnut filling, topped with a chocolate coating. Though it was traditionally enjoyed at Christmas or Easter time, its popularity has made it available all year long at Hungarian cafés and pastry shops. Other versions also exist alongside the original one, which contains different fillings like plum jams, ginger, walnuts, or honey. A soft and crunchy treat with chocolate delight makes it an instant favorite among anyone trying it for the first time.
Túró Rudi has been a well-known confectionery item since 1968, comprising of an outer chocolate coating and an inner filling of túró or curd cheese. Other flavored varieties are also available in shops and bakeries including, strawberry, raspberry, and apricot. One can also make a similar chocolate bar at home to enjoy whenever required and as much as you want.
Fánk is the Hungarian version of donut made with flour, butter, milk, egg yolk, and yeast. A bit of rum also goes into its preparation for that rich and flavorful effect. It attains a crispy, golden-brown exterior after deep-frying it while the interior remains soft and airy. It is not overly sweet, despite adding additional icing sugar on top before serving. A dollop of apricot jam would also complement it well.
Dobos Torte is one of the most delicious Hungarian confectionery items consisting of chocolate buttercream spread between each of the six or seven layers of sponge cake. While it has a caramel topping, the sides are covered with ground nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or chestnuts. It stands out from other desserts because of its unique presentation of slicing the caramel top separately with a special Dobos Torte knife. The hardened pieces are then decorated on the cake’s top, making it look tempting and also easier to cut the cake. The soft and creamy layers melting in the mouth with an occasional crunch of caramel and nuts are a heavenly combination. The cake, named after a Hungarian chef and its creator, József C. Dobos, was an attempt to make it last longer than other cakes and pastries during the 1800s.
Krémes is the Hungarian meaning of ‘creamy,’ an apt name for the dessert with a thick, creamy layer of vanilla pastry cream sandwiched between two layers of sugary puff pastry. The pastry cream has a light and fluffy texture of a combination of vanilla, egg yolk, sugar, milk, and flour. On the other hand, the two thin pastry sheets are baked till golden brown and flaky. They are usually served cold after cutting it into squares and dusting icing sugar on top. Rich and milky, Krémes are common in every Hungarian bakery shop. Though other modern variations have additional layers of chocolate glaze and a whipped cream layer, the classic one is the most preferred.
Palacsinta is the Hungarian version of thin crepes available in sweet and savory versions. Among the sweet variants, the Gundel placsinta is folded into a triangle and stuffed with a combination of rich fillings like ground walnuts, rum, raisins, whipped cream, and raisins and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Besides this, other fillings like fruit jams and sour cherry can also go as fillings. Unlike the traditional American pancake consumed during breakfast, palacsinta is mainly enjoyed as an appetizer or dessert. The savory ones having stuffings of ham, mushrooms, or cabbages are also eaten as a main dish.
Kürtőskalács are Hungarian pastry items also known as chimney cakes due to their cylindrical shapes. A sweet yeast dough is winded around the spit pin, brushed with melted butter, rolled in granulated sugar, and placed on hot charcoal. Once they are baked, and the sugar is caramelized, toppings of ground walnuts or almonds and cinnamon can be added to make them rich and flavorful. You can also use whipped cream as filling to give it a tasty, soft inside while the outer layer remains crunchy.
Túrógombóc is a fried round dumpling prepared with túró cheese, eggs, semolina, and sugar. Flavors like vanilla extract or lemon zest can are sometimes added to the mixture to enhance the taste. Before frying them, they are rolled over breadcrumbs to make them extra crispy. After dusting with powdered sugar, they are usually enjoyed with a dollop of sour cream and fresh fruits. Though categorized as a dessert, Túrógombóc can also be eaten as a main course since they are not overly sweet.
Rétes is a Hungarian version of strudel comprising a thin, flaky dough and a filling of apples, sour cherries, or cottage cherries and flavored with cinnamon and sugar. It has a crispy, golden-brown crust once it is baked. The layered pastry is served after dusting it with powdered sugar. Light and crispy on the exterior and juicy filling inside make it indeed a lip-smacking sweet item.
Kakaós csigas are Hungarian chocolate rolls and a delicious yet easily affordable breakfast item. It comprises a buttery, flaky dough made with flour, eggs, butter, milk, sugar, and yeast. It is rolled in spiral form, due to which it earns the name which means chocolate snails. While they have crisp edges, the center is soft and fluffy with a chocolaty spiral delight. Rich and buttery, Kakaós csigas are a best-selling pastry item in bakeries and pastry shops.
The name Túróstáska means a bag of túró cheese which refers to this croissant-like pastry having a filling of túró cheese sometimes enriched with raisins. While the outer layer is soft and flaky, the interior is smooth with the cheese filling. Neither the pastry nor the túró cheese is overly sweet, making it a much-loved dessert item even among those who are not sweet lovers.
These are some of the delectable desserts popular all over the country. While some are sugary, others are not too sweet, leaving a dessert option for even those who are not a big fan of sweets. Apart from these, other popular dessert items also exist that you can try. Some of them worth mentioning are Rákóczi túrós, Rigó Jancsi and Aranygaluska.
Best Hungarian Christmas Dessert: Mákos Bejgli, Zserbó,
Traditional Hungarian Dessert:
Format for each dessert – H2 dessert name
Opening may include a basic description of the dessert, what ingredients go into its preparation; history behind the particular dessert if any, if it is an authentic or typical or traditional or national dessert of Hungary, or eaten during a certain occasion. Also write about the overall taste of the dessert; even write about how you can eat it, like may be as an appetizer after a filling meal etc (you can write information in two paragraphs or even three if it is really long for a better readability)
Note: To know the taste of a particular dessert, you could type the name of the dessert and then write the word taste in google; for eg Retes taste, or Retes how does it taste; if you do not get any direct information then you could combine the taste of the ingredients it is made with and write, like if it has milk, rice, and vanilla as its preparation, then you can combine the taste of rice, and vanilla and then write about the taste.
Before you start the opening give the recipe link.
For eg if you are taking the recipe from this site:
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