Monday, June 23, 2008

Rigó Jancsi

My favorite dessert is the luscious Rigó Jancsi. It is Hungarian in origin and I first sampled it on my last trip to Hungary. Sadly, I have not had it in 24 years. Why so long? It would seem that I have yet to sample an authentic Rigó Jancsi outside of Hungary. My brother-in-law tried to make it once for me as a birthday present, but sadly failed in his endeavor. Although the failure was still pleasing on the palate, it just did not come close to replicating the original. I also tried the Rigó Jancsi offered by the Farkas bakery, but even they admit that it is not authentic in duplication. It differs enough that I think they should not even call it Rigó Jancsi and should come up with some other name for their chocolate confection.

Rigó Jancsi is a chocolate lover's dream come true. It is chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate. The top is a solid layer of chocolate. The cake is light and fluffy. The chocolate mousse cream is like eating a chocolate cloud. Also, consistent with the Hungarian palate, it is not overly sweet. As a result, it is not difficult to eat many in a single sitting. Perhaps some day I will try my hand at trying to re-create this masterpiece. My Hungarian cookbook describes careful folding of the batter to ensure a light and fluffy cake as well as beating the chocolate cream until the peaks are stiff enough to stand on their own. It also states that everything depends on using the very best cocoa.

This dessert has an interesting historical background. It was named after the Hungarian violin primás Rigó Jancsi. It turns out that the Belgian Duke was having dinner with his wife at a venue where Rigó Jancsi was playing. The Duke's wife, the Princess Chimay fell in love with Rigó Jancsi's passionate dark eyes and soulful violin playing. She left her husband for this gypsy violinist. It created quite the scandal in that day. The scandal caught the imagination of a pastry chef and hence created this dessert to honor the love affair.

Rigó Jancsi may have stolen the love of the fair Princess Chimay, but the dessert has captured my unrelenting longing for it.


Blogger Miz Minka said...

Now, that sounds delicious! Lots of chocolate flavor but not as overly sweet as so many America chocolate desserts. Yum. :)

If you're going to try to replicate the recipe yourself, I'd highly recommend using Green & Black organic cocoa powder. Simply out of this world; it's certainly the very best cocoa I've ever tasted! Ghirardelli premium unsweetened cocoa is a close second. If you can't get any in your neck of the woods, I'd be happy to send you some! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 9:17:00 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Hello Miz Minka,

Yes, one of the problems I have had with the American desserts is that they are overly sweet. Especially the frosting on those commercial cakes--ick.

I might try the recipe when I am feeling ambitious. Have you ever tried the Holland dutch processed cocoa (I sometimes can find it in the import stores)? I find it is quite good. Is the Green & Black cocoa better? I will start going out to look for it.

If you are ever interested in trying to make this dessert, let me know and I will email you the recipe. I get the feeling that due to our European upbringing, our palates are similar.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Miz Minka said...

Frosting on commercial cakes??? That stuff is NOT edible. YUCK.

Green & Black organic cocoa powder is dutch processed. I've never tried the Holland brand.

And yes, please do e-mail me the recipe, I'd love to try it! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Miz Minka said...

Actually, it comes down to individual taste preference: do you like acidity in chocolate or not? That might determine which type of cocoa powder to use, as does what you're using it for... Here is more info about cocoa powder.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

>Perhaps some day I will try my hand at trying to re-create this masterpiece.

Let me know if it works. I'll rush over to your kitchen!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Miz Minka and Aydin,

You are BOTH welcome at my place if I end up making this dessert and it turns out well. Aydin, I imagine you might be poking about my yard looking for gastropods as well as eating this dessert? Miz Minka, I will be happy to give you the recipe, but I need to dig it out this weekend. I have a couple for it, I will have to see which one is best--although one is in Hungarian.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:09:00 AM  

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