Monday, May 02, 2011

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

Another free choice week for the Heavenly Cake Bakers. This week I chose a cake I've been dying to make ever since the group made it in October 2009. Well, I guess I haven't been THAT dying to make it as I've waited until the last free choice of the bake-through to make it. So let's just say today was the Jancsi Torta's day.

(HCB history trivia: this was the first cake of the bake-through!)

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

May 1, 2011
Name of Cake: Sorry Your Marriage Wasn't As Good As Your Cake
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: a walnut-chocolate flourless cake frosted with raspberry ganache

A quick search on the internet about the Jancsi torta mainly brought up all the HCB entries about the cake! Aside from that, there were a few entries that said the traditional Jancsi torta, named after a gypsy named Rigo Jancsi, is a two layer chocolate sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate ganache and according to some, a thin layer of apricot jam, and covered in more ganache. It is supposed to be a very rich chocolate cake, which Jancsi purportedly created for his then-wife. Here's a nice article about the history of the couple and the cake.

Rose's take on the cake involves toasted walnuts instead of flour and butter, chopped chocolate instead of cocoa powder, and eight eggs which are separated and beaten to maximum volume for structure and height. She suggests skipping the ganache and serving the cake with sour cherry preserves, which many HCB did and enjoyed very much. I wanted chocolate, and discovered a tub of raspberry ganache from 5/30/2009 in the freezer, so that's what my cake got. It worked out well, I think.

The walnuts are toasted and the skins rubbed off, then processed in the processor with a little bit of sugar until fine but not oily or clumpy. Mine were oily and clumpy. Oops. A bunch of 62% chocolate is processed until fine but not melted and the chocolate and nuts are tossed together.

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

Then the eight egg yolks (or more, depending on the size of your yolks) are taken to the ribbon stage with the majority of the sugar, which looks so pretty.

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

The ribboned yolks and the chocolate-nuts are folded together. It is thick and sticky, and not as pretty.

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

The eight egg whites (or less, depending on the size of your egg whites) are beaten with a little bit of cream of tartar and sugar to stiff peaks. Also pretty.

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

About a quarter of the meringue is folded into the yolk-nut-chocolate mix, to lighten up the mix and get it ready for the folding in of the meringue.

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

The meringue is then added in thirds, lightening the batter considerably, until is it is fluffy and pourable.

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

The batter is sitting in my 9x"3" springform pan, but as I have the same pan as Marie and her cake rose over the lip of the pan (but didn't ooze all over the place), I decided to add the parchment to raise up the wall of the pan. This gave me a 9x4 pan and it worked out well.

I didn't photograph the cake after it came out of the oven, but the center sunk just like Rose said it would, and even the sides sucked in a little bit. Somebody out there had a cake that did that, too.

I softened the defrosted raspberry ganache, and it was a perfect amount to frost the sides and top of this cake. The raspberry brings that nice berry tang the sour cherry preserves would have, but I get my chocolate frosting too. This way, I reasoned, the cake is sort of like the traditional torta, but not really since it isn't.

Hungarian Jancsi Torta

The cake is lovely. Light and chocolaty, the toasted walnuts give the cake a nice earthy depth. This totally goes on my breakfast cake list.


Here's Marie's Hungarian Jancsi Torta from October 2009, and her Last Cake, Next Cake roundup of the group's cakes.

8 comments:

  1. Oh wow your hungarian jancsi torta looks incredible! The ganache especially looks great.

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  2. So pretty! I don't think anyone has made this with ganache. I've made it twice and both times served it as it - we felt it's good that way.

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  3. Lovely texture. I keep forgetting this is a flourless cake. I bet this would work with almonds too. Yum!

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  4. It turned out gorgeous!

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  5. Oh man, this looks good, and since I go ga-ga with any cake with chocolate and nuts.. me thinks this one is next on my free choice week.

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  6. Jane, thanks! I am surprised and pleased that the ganache, which had been frozen for just about two years, didn't suffer in taste or texture.

    Jenn, thank you! I bet it would be good without the ganache, but it is delicious with.

    Hanaa, I bet this would be great with almonds--it would change the flavor a bit but not for the worse I'd bet.

    Vicki, thanks! I am still thinking about how to fit in Prince William's groom's cake.

    Monica, why haven't you baked this one yet! I can't wait to see what you do with it, I bet it will be stunning.

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  7. Good call for ganache over sour cherry preserves. Clearly the superior choice! That sounds amazing, I'm going to have to put it on the "make soon" list. Walnuts are so nutritious...so of course this is the perfect breakfast food!

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  8. Amanda, I knew you would be on board with ganache! Exactly my point--with this cake being full of eggs and nuts (fiber, protein, vitamins, healthy oils), and no processed flour, this really ought to be a healthier cake than most.

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