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Budapest Recipes

by Debra C. Argen
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Budapest, Hungary is a most enchanting city that provides a gastronomic feast for its visitors.

On a recent trip to Budapest, I experienced such wonderful dinners and desserts, that I had to request that the Chefs please share their recipes. These innovative and refreshingly creative chefs were more than pleased to share their recipes with Luxury Experience readers. For the complete story on Budapest, as well as the restaurants, please read our Luxurious Budapest article in the Destination section.

Executive Chef Alf Wagenzink, of the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Erzsébet tér 7-8, 1051 Budapest, (www.kempinski-budapest.com), shares 3 of his recipes with us this month: Duck Spring Rolls on Ruccola Cream and Deep-fried Glass Noodles, Baked Pumpkin Cappuccino, as well as his truly spectacular creation of a Chocolate-Wasabi Mille Feuille. Since the recipes were provided in Hungarian as well as in English, I have decided to include the recipes in both languages for this edition.

Duck Spring Rolls on Ruccola Cream and Deep-fried Glass Noodles
Serves 4

150      grams duck breast, stripes
20        grams carott, julienne
20        grams leeks, julienne
30        grams red pepper, julienne
30        grams green pepper, julienne
30        grams yellow pepper, julienne
6          spring roll wrappers
50        grams ruccola, fresh
5          grams glass noodles, dry
1          deciliter (deciliter is 0,1 liter)
chicken stock

Sauté all ingredients – except wrappers, ruccola, chicken stock and glass noodles – in a saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, place the filling in the middle of each spring roll wrapper and roll. Deep-fry for about 2 minutes in hot oil.

For the sauce, mix the ruccola with the chicken stock and blend until smooth. Deep-fry the glass noodles and place in the middle of the plate. Cut spring rolls in half and place around the noodles.

Baked pumpkin cappuccino
Serves 5

400      grams pumpkin
1          liter chicken stock
1          deciliter (deciliter is 0,1 liter) cream
Cayenne powder
10        black tiger prawns
Rosemary, fresh
1 onion, peeled, sliced
Salt, butter
20 grams butter

Cut the pumpkin into 5 cm pieces and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove skin. Sauté the onions in a casserole with the butter. Add the pumpkin and the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a food processor or a blender and mix until smooth. Add cream. Broil the tiger prawns, cut into small pieces and add to the soup. Serve the soup in a soup bowl, sprinkle with cayenne and garnish with the fresh rosemary.


Chocolate-Wasabi Mille Feuille
Ingredients (10 portions):

Wasabi Mousse
7          egg yolks
80        grams sugar
4          teaspoons Wasabi Powder (mix together with a little bit of water)
4          gelatin leaves
400      grams whipped cream

Truffle Cream
0.2 liter     cream
150           grams dark chocolate

Heat the cream together with the chocolate.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar together, beating them over hot water. Let cool.

Add Wasabi paste, whipped cream and gelatin.
Let rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Mix Truffle Cream and Wasabi Mousse together until smooth.

Place a square of chocolate on the plate, top with Truffle Cream and Wasabi Mousse, place another layer of chocolate, then Truffle Cream and Wasabi Mousse, and finally with another chocolate square.

Chief Patissier Alain Lagrange at Le Bourbon, Le Meridien Budapest’s restaurant, 1051 Budapest, Erzébet tér 9-10, (www.lemeridien-budapest.com), shares his recipe for an incredible chocolate dessert that is guaranteed to chase away the winter blues.

Milk Chocolate Ganache on a Brownie, with Crunchy Chocolate Caramel Chips
Recipe for 8


Chocolate Brownie:
400      grams melted dark chocolate
250      grams soft butter
300      grams sugar
6          eggs yolks
150      grams sliced almond
60        grams flour
6          eggs whites

Mix the melted chocolate and the butter together at the ambient temperature. Reserve for later.

Whisk until the egg yolks and sugar until light.

Add them to the chocolate mixture with a plastic spoon.

When the consistency is smooth, add the sliced almonds and the flour.

Whip the egg whites in a bowl set on crushed ice. Add the egg whites to the mix gently.
Pour the brownie mix on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Do not make spread the brownie mix on too thickly, spread mixture to 1.5 cm.
Bake at the temperature of 180-degree Celsius for 20 minutes.
Let cool and then cut into 8 portions.

Milk Chocolate Ganache:
½         liter cream
50        grams fresh rosemary
350      grams milk chocolate

Infuse the rosemary in the hot cream, then strain it and put the milk chocolate into this hot cream. Mix it with a plastic spoon. Cool this ganache for 24 hours. On the following day, whisk the ganache until it forms a light cream.

Caramel Chocolate Chips:
Water 70 grams
Sugar 250 grams
Glucose 50 grams
Butter 50 grams
Melted dark chocolate 50 grams

For this recipe you do need a sugar thermometer.
Cook the sugar and the water to 110-degree Celsius. 
At this temperature add the glucose and continue to heat until it reaches 130-degree Celsius.
Add the butter and continue up to cook until it reaches 140 degree Celsius.
Finish with the melted chocolate and heat until it reaches 150 degree Celsius.

Pour this chocolate caramel between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll it out with a rolling pin to 2mm thick. 

Dressing the plate:

Put a slice of the chocolate brownie on the plate.
With 2 spoons make a nice big quenelle with the chocolate ganache.

Finish the plate with the chocolate caramel that you will break apart and put it directly on the chocolate ganache.


Chef Kálmán Kalla, of The Gundel Restaurant, H-1146 Budapest, Állatkerti út 2, (www.gundel.hu) shares a few of his delicious recipes with us, including The Classic Gundel Crêpe.

Goat Cheese Soufflé in Strudel Basket
4 persons

4 filo sheets (300*300 mm)
80 grams butter
5 eggs
300 grams goat cheese
100 grams grated Parmigiano cheese
4 basil leaves, crisp fried
1 tablespoons minced basil
2 cups salad leaves
2 tablespoons basil vinegar

Cut the filo dough into 4 squares. Spread the mixture of the clarified butter and yolk on the filo. Place 4-4 squares over each other, slightly turning the corners away.

Put the squares into cups and pre-bake them in oven at 170°C.

Crumble the cheese with a fork and mix with parmigiano, 4 yolks and basil. Whip the egg whites and bake in oven at 180°C for 10 minutes, immediately before serving. Mix salad leaves and basil vinegar. Place them around soufflé, use the baked basil leaves for decoration.


The Classic Gundel Crêpe
4 servings (8 crêpes)

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 drops pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
Pinch of salt, grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup seltzer water
½ cup vegetable oil

1.     In a 2-quart bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Add the seltzer, a little at a time, until the batter is the consistency of thin sour cream. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2.     Brush an 8-inch crêpe or frying pan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan and tilt the pan to cover it with batter. Cook for 20 seconds, turn the crêpe over and cook for 20 seconds longer until set.
Put the crêpe on a plate. Make 7 more crêpes with the remaining batter for a total of 8, stacking them on top of each other as they are made.

Nut Filling:
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light rum
4 ounces ground walnuts
4 ounces finely chopped walnuts
2 ounces raisins
1 heaped tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.     In a small saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil. Stir in the rum, walnuts, raisins, orange zest and cinnamon and return to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring continuously, until blended. If mixture is very thick, add more cream.
2.     Divide the filling among the crêpes and roll into flattened cylinder.

Chocolate Sauce 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 scant cup milk
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons light rum


In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate and milk and heat over low heat, stirring, until the chocolate melts. Remove from heat and whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate, whisking rapidly to prevent the yolks from cooking. Add the sugar, cocoa, butter and rum and stir until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk.

To Serve:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Confectioners’ sugar

1.     Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Put 4 of the rolled crêpe in the pan and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to a warm plate and cover to keep warm. Cook the remaining 4 crêpes in the same was.
2.     Place the 2 crêpes on each of 4 warm plates. Pour the sauce over half of each and sprinkle the other half with confectioner’s sugar.
If you want to serve the crêpes flaming, fold them into triangle shapes and brown both sides. Put two triangles on each plate, pour the chocolate sauce on one and sprinkle the other with confectioner’s sugar. Heat 6 tablespoons of rum until hot, splatter it over the crêpes and carefully ignite.


Cottage Cheese Dumplings Wampetich Style
4 servings

2 cups cottage cheese, drained in a sieve
3 large egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons semolina flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped strawberries, peaches or seedless green or red grapes, (about 10 ounces)
1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts (about 5 ounces)
1 cup sour cream

1.     Put the cottage cheese, egg yolks, zest and flour in a large bowl and stir to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.
2.     Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the oil and salt and return to the boil. Gather about ¼ cup of the batter between dampened palms, press some fruit into the center and form the batter into a dumpling enclosing the fruit. Make more dumplings with the remaining batter to make 12 dumplings. Gently drop the dumplings into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface. You may do this in batches.
3.     Using a skimmer or large slotted spoon, lift the dumplings from the water and drain. Roll the hot dumplings in the nuts, place 3 on each plate and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately with a generous dollop of sour cream.
This was a popular dessert at the Wampetich restaurant, which was Gundel’s predecessor in City Park. It has also been a great favourite, in Hungarian households for the last 150 years. Zsuzsa Lengyel discovered an old recipe for the dumplings in an old notebook and has rewritten it for Gundel.

Köszönöm, (thank you), to all of the chefs who graciously provided their recipes, in order to create a feel for Hungarian cuisine at its very best.

© March 2004. Luxury Experience. www.luxuryexperience.com All rights reserved.

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