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 :)

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