Summer is not just about beer and lemonade. Budapest’s bakeries and pâtisseries also serve light, irresistible cakes. We visited six to sample which particular temptations they had concocted this year.
CUKKER SÜTI – SEASONAL FRUIT PIE
Many hoped that Erika Leopold, the owner of the blog Égigérő paszuly (‘Heavenly Haricot’) would turn her hobby into a living. Because Erika is able to bake and cook in a solid, tradition-based and spirited way. Recently – thanks to her friend and fellow confectioner Eszter Jutasi – a shop was opened where home-made flavours dominate. Slightly away from the centre but easily reached on the 8E bus, it’s lined with simply delicious cakes and pastries, since May including fruit pies (650 HUF). And now, instead of rhubarb, cherry is the dominant filling.
If summer, why pie? Because it is a well-known, traditional complement to sour cream, redolent of home, and slightly sourer fruit can be used until the end of August. And there’s always something to choose from. Its filling is light, distinct from the almond flour, as if it were condensed. From the end of the summer, Erika’s team first prepare the pie dough from flour, butter and little sugar. They cool it, then preheat it. Meanwhile, in addition to the fruit, they mix the filling. They then fill the pre-baked pie, sprinkle it with fruit – and cook it.
District XI. Rétköz utca 47C
Open: Wed-Sun 11am-7pm
DESSZERTNEKED – FEMME FATALE
This cake shop on Paulay Ede utca is proud to serve a slightly more unusual range of flavours that doesn’t discourage the more conservative customer while attracting a more broad-minded clientele. Their Végzet Asszonya (‘Femme Fatale, 1,080 HUF) has been on offer since April, an element of the Spring-Summer Dessert Collection. It was created by Anett Béres of Borkonyha fame, Desszertneked keen on showcasing occasional examples by guest pastry chefs.
In the case of Femme Fatale, the main tastes are black sesame seeds, raspberry and vanilla, the former as the base and the latter giving the cake body. This is complemented by raspberry jam and cream, and all decorated with a chocolate coating, the white chocolate-liquorice namelaka providing a nice creaminess. Beetroot-raspberry jelly cubes and, of course, the stellar element of fresh raspberry dressing complete the picture.
District VI. Paulay Ede utca 17
Open: daily 9am-8pm
ÉDESSÉGLABOR – APEROL & POPPING CANDY
This creation (890 Ft) from the workshop on Hegedűs Gyula utca is like a grand summer tour, at least as far as the source of the raw materials is concerned. The Aperol comes from Italy, the oranges from South Africa and, from South-East Asia, the calamansi, a slightly tart fruit rich in vitamin C and consumed from its shell. The chocolate also comes from Italy, the popping candy from Spain. All go into this wonderful cake, available for the summer.
The concept stemmed from the fact that the girls at the ÉdességLabor have long been fond of cocktail-inspired desserts. With this Aperol-soaked sponge and glaze of Aperol and blood orange, their dreams have now become reality.
District XIII. Hegedűs Gyula utca 20
Open: Tue-Fri 1pm-7pm, Sat 11am-5pm
MÁLNA THE PASTRY SHOP – EGZOTIK
Zoltán Kolonics is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in Hungarian confectionery. Having worked at various hotels and then the legendary Gerbeaud, he opened this outlet on Dereglye utca with his partner, Ágnes Varga, filling a gap in the market over in Buda.
With Egzotik (1,050 HUF), they wanted to create a summer dessert that showcases South-American flavours by using fresh seasonal fruit available here – in this case, apricot. Imagine you were drinking a light cocktail on the beach and you’d be pretty close.
The Kolonics team first make the decorative items (maracuja marshmellow, cubes of maracuja-orange fruit bread and chocolate figurines), then use quick-freezing technology. In each case, they adapt the maracuja according to taste. For Egzotik, the apricot is boiled with 100% purée, sugar and pectin. The buttered sponge cake is baked with a grated organic lime crust, which will imbue the whole dessert with a pleasant extra tropical flavour. Another phase is the coconut sponge base and the mousse, loosened with 35 percent cream and heat-treated egg white.
District III. Bécsi út 57-61
Open: Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
NASPOLYA NASSOLDA – CHERRY CHEESECAKE
Soon to be its transformed into a variety of artisanal ice cream, the cheesecake (1,080 HUF/slice) at Naspolya has been on sale for a year now. Its main ingredient is fermented cashew nuts, prepared by the confectionery on-site using probiotics, complying with the basic requirements of raw vegan cuisine. Accordingly, they only work with plant-based ingredients and do not use temperatures above 42 degrees, thereby preserving the vitamin and mineral content of the fruit, oilseeds and, where required, vegetables and fresh spices.
Réka Bárányos has managed to produce a cream that can simultaneously conjure up a layer of mascarpone, which forms the basis of the cheesecake, and at the same time, a sweetness, something along the lines of the Too-Raw variety of Hungary’s iconic Túró Rudi bars, slightly different from the taste and texture of cottage cheese. Anyone who has experimented with raw vegan desserts knows this is a challenge. With this, they wanted to revive the original full fat and full flavour of the mascarpone or cottage cheese.
District VI. Káldy Gyula utca 7
Open: daily 9am-7pm
SÜTIZZ – J40
This summer, the J40 (810 HUF) at ice-cream focused Sütizz is a real classic, and one only available until August. József Juhos first made it for the 40th birthday of one of the owners and since then he has reproduced it tens of thousands of times, not only for the shop, but also for special events. It is so well shaped that each mini-bite and each sundae has its own special look and taste. First they make the top of the dessert. The passion-fruit purée is cooked with sugar, pectin and gelatin, and then poured into the moulds and put in the freezer. The mousse is created in traditional fashion. They cook the pieces of coconut in cream so that its taste is pleasantly becomes apparent, then the white chocolate and gelatin are brewed, blended and allowed to cool.
When the base is at room temperature, it is blended with the lightly foamed cream and the result is added to the previously frozen passion-fruit jellies. Finally, they are sealed in with sponge cake and the ready dessert is put into the freezer for 12 hours. This is necessary to integrate the gelatin into the cream and be present in the dessert after thawing.
District XI. Csárda utca 1
Open: Tue-Fri noon-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7pm