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Mmmmmmm!!! This will surely be your first thought after tasting the chimney cake, or kurtos kalacs, how the locals call it. This is a goodie you simply don’t want to miss. If you went to Transylvania and didn’t try it, well…your loss...(you can go back anytime and try some!).
Kurtos kalacs was first made in Covasna County - Transylvania Region, by Hungarian settlers, therefore its Hungarian name. Its name is related to its shape and it originated from the Hungarian “kurto” which means chimney. “Kalacs” simply means cake in Hungarian.
The recipe is one of the best kept secrets of these parts of Europe. The ingredients are prepared early in the morning by the skillful kurtos makers, this process taking a long time. However, the actual cooking takes only a few minutes. They are flavored with nuts, cinnamon, almonds, coconut, hazelnuts or walnuts and sugar, and cooked over open fire or grill.
Where to find these delicious treats?
Kurtos kalacs is a Transylvanian traditional tubular yeast raised pastry usually sold on the street corners of Transylvanian cities. In summer time, many producers from Covasna County move their business on the seaside. You can also find them at almost every major event in every big city of Romania. Their smell is irresistible and it will attract you like a magnet so you don’t need to worry about not finding them. If they’re there you’ll know!
How to make them?
Here you have the "official" recipe but as we said, the real thing is one of the best kept secrets of these lands so don’t expect it to taste the same. Anyway, you can make a pretty delicious kurtos by yourself based on a few “try and error” steps, so here’s the deal: You need: milk, yeast, sugar, flour, eggs, salt, butter, and something for the flavor such as cinnamon, walnuts or whatever you like.
The process goes like this: You heat 100 ml of milk (not too much) and pour it over the yeast mixed with 1 spoon of sugar. After the yeast starts swimming on the top add flour, sugar, salt and knead dough by pouring warm milk. Then add the melted butter. Then leave it to rest until the whole thing stops growing. Then prepare the rolls and do the same thing this guy is doing in the film we prepared for you (just click the play button). Good luck and bon appetite!
PS: yes, sorry for not telling you the exact amount of all ingredients. This is all the information we could squeeze from the locals …
Had kurtos calacs? Then try some wine! Here you have some info on what is really worth buying from Romania.
The first on the list would be the Romanian wine, one of the undiscovered treasures of Eastern Europe...