Cubed angel food cake

Hungarian Égő Puding

In honor of my dad’s birthday (Happy birthday, Dad! / Boldog születésnapot!), I’m making his favorite birthday “cake,” a Hungarian trifle called somlói galuska, but I’ve always known it as égő puding (“burning pudding”).  It is traditionally made with three different types of sponge cake, pastry cream or custard, raisins, walnuts, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream, but my family has always used cherries instead of raisins.  Since my dad has to be on a special diet, I’m using angel food cake instead of the sponge cakes.  I am also omitting the walnuts because I am allergic to tree nuts.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Slice the top of the angel food cake horizontally, to create a flat, even top.  Slice the rest of the cake in half, horizontally.  Set aside.

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Make the rum simple syrup:  Add the sugar and water (if using dark rum instead of rum extract, add to the sugar and water) to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, while stirring almost continuously.  Reduce heat and cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the rum and vanilla extracts.  Cool.

Use a pastry brush to apply or pour the rum syrup over each half of the cake.  I apply it with a pastry brush and do 2 thin coats instead of a single coat, but feel free to use whatever method you’re most comfortable with.

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Cut the cake into long rectangular slices, then cut each slice into small cubes (approximately 0.5 in3 or 1.25 cm3).

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Remove the pits from the cherries and slice into quarters, if you haven’t done so already.

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Assemble the “cake”:  Place a layer of the rum syrup-soaked angel food cake cubes on the bottom of the trifle (or regular) bowl.  (I used mini trifle bowls.)

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Place a layer of cherries over the cake.

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Pour some of the vanilla bean custard over the cake and cherries.  Repeat 1-4 times, depending on the size of your bowl.  (I was able to fit 2 full layers in my mini trifle bowls.2016-05-29 05.51.522016-05-29 05.53.492016-05-29 05.56.50

Place a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the bowls, pressed right up against the surface of the top layer.  Place in fridge for up to 24-48 hours.

 

Somlói Galuska

  • Servings: 16-20
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Hungarian trifle (somlói galuska), made with angel food cake, cherries, and vanilla bean custard.

Ingredients

  • 1 angel food cake (recipe), cooled
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract or 1/4 cup (60ml) dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 3-4 cups vanilla bean custard, thoroughly chilled

Directions

  1. Slice the top of the angel food cake horizontally, to create a flat, even top.  Slice the rest of the cake in half, horizontally.  Set aside.
  2. Make the rum simple syrup:  Add the sugar and water (if using dark rum instead of rum extract, add to the sugar and water) to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, while stirring almost continuously.  Reduce heat and cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the rum and vanilla extracts.  Cool.
  3. Use a pastry brush to apply or pour the rum syrup over each half of the cake.  I apply it with a pastry brush and do 2 thin coats instead of a single coat, but feel free to use whatever method you’re most comfortable with.
  4. Cut the cake into long rectangular slices, then cut each slice into small cubes (approximately 0.5 in3 or 1.25 cm3).
  5. Remove the pits from the cherries and slice into quarters, if you haven’t done so already.
  6. Assemble the “cake”:  Place a layer of the rum syrup-soaked angel food cake cubes on the bottom of the trifle (or regular) bowl.  (I used mini trifle bowls.)
  7. Place a layer of cherries over the cake.
  8. Pour some of the vanilla bean custard over the cake and cherries.  Repeat 1-4 times, depending on the size of your bowl.  (I was able to fit 2 full layers in my mini trifle bowls.
  9. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the bowls, pressed right up against the surface of the top layer.  Place in fridge for up to 24-48 hours.

Additional Notes:

  • The reason it’s called “burning pudding” is because it’s served flambéed with rum (yes, “flambéed” is an actual word).
    • Also, égő isn’t pronounced like the English word “ego” (that would be too easy).  The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) for égő is ˈeːɡøː, which translates to something like AY-gœ or AY-gir (with the “ir” of “gir” sounding like the “ir” in “bird”), for those of us who don’t know IPA.
  • This dish is also known as somlói galuska (shom-loh-ee GAH-loosh-kaw) and is “Hungary’s favorite cake.” “Somlói galuska” translates to something along the lines of “Somló sponge” or “Somló dumplings” (Somló is a region in Hungary). The reason for the “dumplings” part of the name is because it is traditionally served scooped into balls and topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
  • Hungary is home to two main types of cherries – sour and sweet cherries.  Hungarians usually use sour cherries in their baking (the most common type is újfehértói fürtös).  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any sour cherries in the U.S. (yet), so I had to use American sweet cherries instead.
    • It looks like you can get Hungarian sour cherries in the U.S., though they seem to only be grown in Michigan.  Because Hungarian can be difficult for native English speakers to learn and properly pronounce, they are known as Balaton or Lake Balaton cherries over here.  They were named after one of the easiest names on a map of Hungary that a native English speaker could pronounce (in all fairness, my Dad’s family immigrated from Hungary and I stumble over quite a few words).  If you’re in the Michigan area and get a chance to taste Balaton cherries for yourself, please let me know what you think of them!  I’m really curious.
  • To make your own cake flour for the angel food cake, measure 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, remove 3 1/2 tablespoons of the flour, add 3 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and sift 2-3 times.  Set aside until needed.
  • You can use milk instead of heavy cream for the custard, but I recommend using heavy cream.

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