In the last post I wrote about the importance of failures and about the so called kakaós kalács, a Hungarian cocoa-flavoured brioche, which after the second attempt finally turned out to be really soft and light as it should be. The following day I received a message from Lindi- who I didn’t know until two days before, but we have a friend in common, Meli- who ALREADY baked the kalács and shared her experiences with me. After discussing the result I danced around the house because of joy that somebody already tried my recipe and ended up in the kitchen looking at the first version of kalács, which was still lying not he kitchen table. If you read the last post, yes, it is the one, which was not only salty but also dense. What should I do with it? I think about my grandmother who rethinks, reuses everything and never throws away anything, especially if the ingredients were as valuable as eggs and butter. I could make máglyarakás or cook a pudding and pour over it alongside with some fruits. But I think about something else.
A year ago, when I used to cook in our tiny houses’s even tinier kitchen, I put together a bread pudding using day-old kifli (a crescent-shaped bread roll). Without using any recipe, I just put together a custard using milk, eggs, flour and sugar, I poured over the kifli, and topped with ground poppy-seeds and mulberries that we got from our neighbours. I was really content with the spontaneous result but didn’t write down the ‘recipe’. So I decide that this is the perfect timing for creating the ideal Hungarian kalács pudding. There is more than enough ingredient.
First I try to recreate the mulberry-version from last year, using raspberries instead. I am not completely satisfied, but after tasting I eat up the half of the portion while standing at the stove. ‘ I can do better’, I encourage myself full of enthusiasm, and I make it once again, this time I add more liquid and replace part of the milk with cream. The result doesn’t meet my expectation so a third version is necessary. I go back to the original recipe but I don’t add flour, let milk cool down before mixing with eggs and wait 15 minutes before baking so kalács slices have enough time to soak up the liquid. I reduce temperature of the oven and extend baking time. I am excitedly waiting for the result.
Edges of kalács have become crunchy, lightly caramelised because of the brown sugar, then comes a soft layer and at the botton a creamy custard. Exactly as I imagined.
So if next time your kalács accidentally turns out to be salty or dense, or because of mystery doesn’t disappear on the day of baking, don’t complain or apologise. Just put together a kalács pudding with fruit you like and soon your kitchen will be filled of scent of vanilla and you find yourself dip your spoon into the pudding right away it comes out of the oven.
Well, who did talk about failure here?
“Kalácsfelfújt”/ Hungarian brioche pudding
200 g day-old ‘kalács’, challah or brioche
500 ml milk
50 g sugar
10 g butter
1 package vanilla sugar
80 g frozen or fresh raspberries or any kind of sour fruit
1 tablespoon brown sugar
butter to grease the baking dish
Slice the ‘kalács’ or egg bread to 1 cm thick slices. Butter a 13 x 20 x 5 cm ovenproof baking dish and arrange slices in it.
Heat up milk with sugar and butter and by the time butter has already melted, remove from heat, add vanilla sugar and let it cool down. Slightly beat eggs, add the cooled milk mixture, and whisk. Pour it over the kalács slices and let it soak for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. Sprinkle the top with raspberries and brown sugar and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until it has just set and the edges of the kalács are browned.