“We didn’t have a Shabbat without Kakaós (which is cocoa in Hungarian)” says Malka Hamer who emigrated from Budapest with her family in 1951 and settled in Netanya in Israel where she still lives today. “We used to eat it with whipped cream and I continue to make it for the family just like my mother and grandmother before me – the children and grandchildren love it so much that I always have a cake in the freezer and if someone comes over I immediately pull out a slice for them.” The Kakaós, which is sometimes also called the secret babka of the Hungarians, is made with a thin, crispy yeast dough and is bursting with cocoa filling. It has two non-identical twins – the Makos Beigli (roulade filled with poppy seeds) and the Dios Beigli (filled with nuts).
Ingredients for Kakaós - Hungarian Cocoa Roulade
For the dough:
- 4 cups self-raising flour
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup (180 ml) oil
- ⅓ teaspoon/.8 oz (25 grams) fresh yeast
- ½ cup (135 ml) water lukewarm
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
For the nut filling:
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) walnuts Coarsely chopped mixed with 4-5 tablespoons of sugar (taste and add more if you prefer a sweeter filling)
- pinch cinnamon ground
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
For the poppy seed filling:
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) ground poppy Freshly mixed with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 4-5 tablespoons Sugar (טועמים ומוסיפים אם מעדיפים מלית מתוקה יותר) (taste and add more if you prefer a sweeter filling)
- about 2 tablespoons oil
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
For the cocoa filling:
- 4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder high-quality
- 10 tablespoons Sugar
- about 2-3 tablespoons oil or melted butter
For every version of the cake:
- jam any type you like
- 1 egg beaten
1. Put yeast, lukewarm water and sugar in a bowl, mix and let it sit for fifteen minutes until the mixture thickens and begins to foam.
2. Put self-rising flour, eggs and oil in a mixer bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix for about 10 minutes to obtain a uniform dough. Cover the bowl and transfer to the refrigerator overnight for a slow and moderate rise.
Fill and bake:
3. In the morning, take out the dough and divide it into 4 equal parts. Roll each portion into a thin rectangle on a lightly floured surface, spread jam generously on each rectangle and sprinkle the filling of your choice on top: nuts/poppy/cocoa - if the filling mixture is too stiff, mix with a little oil/honey as needed until you reach a spreadable texture. The draw of these cakes is an abundance of filling - don't be afraid to go big.
4. Roll each rectangle into a log on the long side and transfer to loaf pans. Brush the surface of the pastries with beaten egg. Transfer the pans to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (or until the pastries are brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry).
In December 2021, we launched the first festival of its kind in the country, which aims to revive home baked goods that are disappearing from the landscape to ensure that they will remain with us for many years to come. We started by researching and locating nine bakers from different ethnicities who prepare traditional pastries that are now extinct, we connected them to 9 selected bakeries from around the country and launched the festival of lost pastries: ten days in which each bakery prepared one pastry and offered it for sale.
About the bakery:
When we opened in 2010, the idea was to bring classic French patisserie to Jerusalem, over the years we expanded our range, incorporating local flavors (like an artichoke pine nut croissant),” says David Laor, the head pastry chef and co-owner, along with Michal Ludricks, of David Laor Confectionery. Esther, David’s wife, emigrated to Israel from Hungary 9 years ago. The dough of the kakaós is indeed a yeasted dough, but it is typical of Eastern Europe and Hungary in particular and is different from the French dough. It’s a cold and crispy yeast dough with a very slight rise. Also, the fillings of the kakaós, makos and dios (cocoa, poppy seeds and nuts respectively) are not French at all, and I had a lot of fun experimenting with them. The meeting with Malka was very exciting and connected me to the long tradition of Shabbat in the home that I would love to begin in our family as well.”