While August is allegedly a quiet month in Budapest and Hungary, in reality there is a lot going on. August, for starters, is the month that Hungary’s birthday falls on, when celebratory fireworks light up the Danube on the 20th. Elsewhere, the Hungaroring, Hungary’s Formula 1 race, takes place in early August. The Sziget Festival, consistently one of Europe’s largest music festivals, is in August. But the month is also a time food mavens look forward to, because August is when Hungary crowns its annual National Cake.
This year, the judges of the cake contest were in a whimsical mood, as the fruit-filled cake ‘Boldogasszony csipkéje’, or Happy Gal’s Lace (let’s say) took first prize from the entrants submitted by pastry shops and confectioneries across Hungary. The winning pastry chef was revealed as Norbert Tóth from Dunaföldvár’s Tóth Cukrászda (pastry shop or confectioners). Tóth was a finalist in multiple past competitions, coming in third place last year, but this was his year with his pink creation.
‘Boldogasszony csipkéje’, is a country term for ‘raspberry’ as well as meaning lace, so Toth’s word play also tasted fine in the judges’ mouths. Daily News Hungary broke down the components of the winning cake as such: “Crunchy layer, sponge cake soaked in raspberry juice, raspberry-white chocolate cream, lemon-basil ganache, raspberry marmalade and raspberry meringue form the cake. The lace is recreated by ganache and raspberry marmalade. The cake is decorated with meringue sprinkled with lyophilised raspberries and white chocolate bits which were painted green.”
This year’s competition was more stressful for the contestants, as they were required to prepare their cakes in front of the judging team. Alongside the traditional cake competition, a prize was awarded for a sugarless cake as well. This year László Gyuris from Szeged, won, with his Kicsi Gesztenye -- or, ‘Little Hazelnut’ cake.
The Hungarian Confectioner Craftsmen Corporation sponsors the annual competition, in its 13th year, and as usual, the results were presented at Parliament. You can find this year’s winning entry at participating pastry shops around Hungary. Congratulations to the winning cakes, to Hungary in its birthday, and to everybody else making the most of this August.
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