Friday, February 22, 2008

Cocoa snail


Yesterday was 24th of February, the last day of the Carnival time in Hungary and the day of “jégtörő Mátyás". (Jégtörő Mátyás means icebreaker Mathias). (Anyway King Mátyás Corvinus was crowned in 1458, exactly 550 years before on the ice of River Danube).
According to the Hungarian folklore's suspicion in case Jégtörő Mátyás doesn't find any ice, he makes it. It means if the weather is not cold: winter will go on. In case he finds ice, he breaks it. If it's freezing: winter will be over soon. Yesterday we had sunny weather +18 Celsius degree. I really enjoyed this early spring, but I’m afraid the winter will came back and still go on for some time. Although, we have another tradition and folklore figure on this day. Her (or his?) name is "Kiszebaba". People dress up a straw doll in wedding cloths (called Kiszebaba) and it is burnt or thrown into the water. It symbolizes the will to keep death, sickness and winter property at a comfortable distance. Yesterday I was folk dance house, there I also made Kiszebaba, hence I dare to hope that spring is really coming soon :)
So the carnival time is over and the period of fasting is coming. I’m half Jewish and half protestant, but I’m not religious, hence I don’t keep the religious traditions and I don’t fast. So maybe on next few weeks, I will share with you those foods, which are forbidden during the Fast if you are religious, so excuse me in advance for it.

Actually the snail is my "Today's recommendation", it called “csiga” in Hungarian, (pronounced as ‘chi-ga’) and I hope it isn't forbidden to eat during the Fast time :)


I’m sure that if you hear the word SNAIL in the name of a food, you associate with it a French food. Well, we also have a traditional snail, but the Hungarian snail is a pastry stuffed with different flavors. You can find it in any of the Hungarian bakery shops. I prefer it filled with cocoa. It called "Kakaós csiga", which always reminds me my childhood, we usually have “kakaós csiga” with “school milk” for breakfast in the school once a week :))))

Honestly I don't used to like preparing dough with yeast by myself, but since I've got a bread baker I fallen in love with yeast cake recipes and I start knead everything in the bread baker machine.
Let's take a look the recipe of the home made kakaós csiga ! :)


for the dough:
50 dkg flour, 7 dkg soft butter, 1-1,5 dkg fresh cake yeast, 3 dl milk, 1 egg yolk, 4 tbs sugar, 1 café spoon salt

for the filling:
circa 1 or 2 tbs butter and cocoa powder mixed with icing sugar (to taste)


1. Mix and knead the ingredients in the bread baker, or if you haven't got bread baker, than mix yeast and 1 tbs sugar in lukewarm milk. Let stand until other ingredients are mixed. Mix yolks with butter and yeast mixture. Add flour and knead well and let rise for an hour in warm place.

2. Flour the board and roll out thin the dough. Smear the dough with butter and stuff with cocoa and icing sugar mixture and roll up like a sheet of paper. Cut up about 2 centimeter thick pieces. Place into the tin. (Use greaseproof paper, like me).

snails (before baking)

3. Bake in preheated oven about at 175 Celsius for 25-30 minutes. When the snails are half-baked, then sprinkle them with some milk mixture with butter, and then return it to the oven and continue the baking.

csiga, home made snails with cocoa

4. The snails are ready. Serve and enjoy!


Bon Apetit

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mangalica Festival

Couple of weeks ago was the first Mangalica Festival in Budapest, as I'd written about it before.

Mangalica Festival

Honestly I wanted to present my own photo report about the event, but unfortunately the festival was chaotic with terrible crowd. The organizers of the event didn't think for the children, hence we left the place quite early and I took these photos only.

Mangalica Festival

Mangalica Festival

You can read another opinion about the event here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My new toy and the "potato bread"

my new toy

This bread baker is fabulous! This is my new toy :) I got from my parents for my birthday. Thank you, again!

result of my first "bread attempt"

This white bread was the result of my first "bread attempt". I can say that my first attempt already was successful, because we ate all of the bread :) But I guess my potato bread (its called it in Hungarian "krumplis" or "burgonyás kenyér") was the most delicious among my attempts.
Let's take a look the ingredients!

2 piece little peeled, cooked and smashed potatoes
1,5 dl milk
1 dl water
450 gram flour
1 tbs sugar
1 ts salt
20 gram margarine
10 gram yeast

Let's bake on basic program with medium crust color!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Carnival Donut

My this week's post on the Hungary starts here blog:
The carnival donut is my "Today's recommendation" and its called it in Hungarian "fánk" or "farsangi fánk". Farsang means "carnival". Fánk is a typical carnival food in Hungary, but we like to eat donut after our several substantial soups for example goulash, palóc soup and bean soup.

Honestly I'm not a big fan of carnival. However last year I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few days in Italy during the Venice Carnival. At which I could admire the wonderful Venice carnival masks and costumes in very close proximity.

Carnival in Venice

In the mid of February, the Carnival season is here again. We are getting ready to bury the winter and welcome the Spring. My children are already looking forward to wear their fancy-dresses during the Carnival in the Kindergarten :)

Carnival season is here :)

The kindergarten's Carnival will be on next Friday. Has anybody seen carnival without carnival donut? I don't think so. It isn't a carnival without carnival donut :)

Hungarian donut

To be honest these donuts were baked by my mother-in-law, but I know her recipe and I'll be trying it out for the Kindergarten Carnival :) I know this is not the most healthy food, but we have carnival just once a year :) don't we? Hence the opportunity is here! Let's take a look the simple ingredients to bake a some carnival donuts! :))))

2 egg yolks, 3 dkg cake yeast, 3 dl milk, 2 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 50 dkg flour, fat or oil for frying

Mix yeast and sugar in lukewarm milk. Let stand until other ingredients are mixed. Mix yolks with butter and yeast mixture. Add flour to make a soft dough. Mix well with wooden spoon. Let rise for an hour. Flour the board and roll dough about an inch thick. Cut out on floured board, cover and let stand for another hour. Fry in deep fat (or oil) until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or serve with apricot/peach jam.

The donut is well known dessert all over the world. There are several legends around the different types of donuts.

One possible origin has the dessert's invention as part of the story of Hanukkah. Jelly doughnuts, known as sufganiyah (סופגניה, pl. Sufganyot סופגניות) in Israel. Jews make these pastries (and other oily foods) to remind them of the sacramental miracel oil that was used to light the eight-branched Menorah in the Temple. Traditional sufganiyah are filled with red jelly and topped with icing sugar.

According to the French legend one adventurous carnival night Maria Antoinette (wife of XVI. Louis of France) met with "bignets" (French donut) at first. That night Maria Antoinette escaped from the Tuilerie Palace's Carnival, she blended herself into the the crowd in guise. When she become hungry, she bought a bignets from a street gingerbread vendor. She found the bignets absolutely delicious, hence she bought the whole basket bignets. And after the carnival season she'd the bignets baker invited into the palace. There, he told the secret of his bignets recipe to the queen's confectioner. The confectioner refined the recipe and the beignets became the most popular dish of the Carnivals.

Another legend says that the European donut originates from Vienna. A baker (whose name was Krapfen) died, and his widow wife took over the Baker. Her bread was very famous and delicious. But one day she didn't get ready in time, hence her costumers was very angry and said ugly words toward Mrs Karpfen. She become also very angry and she wanted to throw a piece of bread dough at the costumers. But fortunately Mrs Karpfen aimed badly and that piece of bread fell into the heat oil. It was fried and became delicious.
(Source: Halász Zoltán: Mesélő szakácskönyv)

I personally like these interesting gastronomic stories very much, so I share them in hope that you will also enjoy them :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Gyulai" dry Sausage

Gyulai sausage

Couple of months ago I've shared with you the Hungarian csabai sausage. Now I recomend you the Hungarian gyulai dry sausage. To be honest I love both of them.
The gyulai sausage means not only a product from the Meat Combine of Gyula, but it means a traditional sausage recipe too.

The MEAT COMBINE OF GYULA Plc is one of the oldest Hungarian meat industrial companies with long-standing quality and traditions.

Livestock farming and trade has a history of more than two centuries in Békés County. From the Middle Ages Gyula had become an important commercial center. Periodically, great animal fairs were held here, which attracted both merchants from Hungary and the neighboring countries and traders from Nuremberg, Munich, Dresden and Vienna.

The traditional animal husbandry furnished a firm basis for the foundation and development of butchers' dynasties. In 1868, the town had a slaughterhouse built (today it is an Industrial Historical Museum of Meat Industry, an Apprentice Workshop) thus started the history of the Meat Combine of Gyula Plc.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fruit Cake

My this week's post on the Hungary starts here blog:
I have a mission to share with you the gems and secrets of the Hungarian Culinary. However today I would like to make an exception. Let me break the rule as to share with you the recipe of my husband favorite Nóra's fruit cake. The fruit cake isn't a typical Hungarian food, although you can find a wide choice of it in most of the Hungarian confectioners' menus.

Actually my husband, Vitya celebrated his 33th birthday last week. Oh my God! He reached the age of Jesus Christos's death :) I hope he will be wiser, yet remain young- and good-looking man forever. He loves to play with our children, like in this picture :)

Hence for his birthday among others I've surprised him with his favorite cake :)

4 egg
20 dkg flour
25 dkg sugar
4 tbs hot water
1/2 lemon
1 tsp baking powder
vanilla pudding, fruits and gelatin for decorating

1. Mix yolks with sugar, add the 4 tbs water and mix.
2. Add the lemon juice, the flour and the baking powder and mix well.
3. Add the whipped white of eggs. Then put the whole mass into the fruit cake form.
4. Bake at 180 Celsius, for 25-30 minutes.
5. If the cake sheet is lukewarm smear with vanilla cream (or vanilla pudding), decorate with fruits and carefully cover with the cooked gelatin.
6. Finally enjoy the result of your work with your family :)

Bon Apetit!

Monday, February 4, 2008

My birthday cake

my birthday cake

I'm 33 years old today. My mom baked for my birthday this wonderful muffin cake with cottage cheese and mandarin. Thank you mummy!

my birthday cake

Sorry, but it was a gift to me, hence I don't know the recipe :)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Jelly Festival in Miskolc

COMING EVENT ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jelly Festival - Winter in Miskolc

The saying: „He is trembling like the frog in the miskolc-jelly” and this story of the frog which got stucked in the jelly had given the idea to organize in every February, a winter festival in Miskolc where the main course is frog, and the jelly is in the center of the event.

(photo: Pászkán Zsolt)

The Jelly Festival in Miskolc, is a three-day long joyful event, recalling the atmosphere of the ancient famous markets in the town. Several entertaining programmes as well as the paradise of tasty jellies (usually they make more than 20,000 portions) and high quality cultural events awaits YOU.

(photo: Pászkán Zsolt)

During the Jelly Festival, on 22nd-23rd of February (Friday-Saturday), a non-stop dance festival will be held in the National Theater of Miskolc. Everyone can join without age-limit, simply with a registration. You can dance alone, with your partner, or in a group. To your own music or to the music provided by the theater. (Source: Hungary starts here)

(photo: Pászkán Zsolt)

Official site of the

You may read more information about Miskolc city and its surrounding here.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cold dish and sweet corn salad

We call it "hidegtál" in Hungarian, which means "cold plate". I created this plate for New Year's Eve, but somehow I forgot to post about it.


I prepared a cream from cheese, horse-radish and mayonnaise, and I stuffed the ham slices with the mixture, rolled up and placed them on the plate. Finally I decorated the plate with cooked egg slices, green peppers and red and black caviar and served with sweet corn salad.


My sweet corn salad recipe is also very easy. Mix some sour cream with some mayonnaise and add to the cooked sweet corn and add salt to taste, but I don't know ingredients' quantities, because my eyes to be the best measuring cup or scale, as you already know :)

Bon Apetit!