I come from Slovakia and no matter how many countries produce this beautiful sweet treat, Traditional Chimney Cake originates in Skalica – a small town near the Czech borders in the North-West of Slovakia.
I am talking about the real “Skalický trdelník” as we call it. The name comes from the word “trdlo”, which has been a wooden stape where chimney cakes have been wrapped and baked over the open fire. What a delicacy! I need to adjust baking possibilities of everyone at home. Therefore, the only must tool is a stainless cake rolls or anything you can wrap the dough in: bottles, cans and other oven proof round shapes. If you do not use any professional baking tools, wrap your lightly greased tool in a sheet of aluminium foil.
Chimney Cakes are very popular treats among the whole Central Europe, especially in countries like Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Romania, etc. You can find them offered in stands in Prague. There is even a specialized store close to the Old Square. A very well-known specialty is to fill up the chimney cake with ice cream and whipped cream. These satisfying treats are being serving during any special occasions, feasts and holidays like Christmas, Easter, etc. During the festive occasions you can find chimney cakes in Slovakia with many different flavours: cocoa powder, chocolate, coconut, sprinkles, cinnamon, vanilla or nuts. I go for the traditional taste of Skalica region to honour my sweet aunt, who had been living there for many years. Dobrú chuť!
Chimney Cakes are suitable for kids from the age of 3 plus, because of possible allergens – nuts. Sprinkle with cocoa powder mixed with sugar and offer cakes to kids from 2 plus. These cakes make the perfect dessert. Enjoy! Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes + 2 hours of rising The Dough
20g of fresh yeast
½ cup of lukewarm milk
25g of caster superfine sugar
40g of butter, melted
50ml of olive oil
A pinch of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of lemon zest
A splash of rum
1 + 1 whole egg (leave a bit for brushing)
400g of semi-coarse flour, sifted
A pinch of sea salt
A bit of egg reduced with a little milk
1 package of cinnamon sugar (mixture of caster superfine sugar and ground cinnamon)
1 handful of walnuts or hazelnuts, chopped
2 packages of vanilla sugar
5 tablespoons of Icing sugar, sifted
First, activate the yeast. In a coffee mug pour lukewarm milk and sprinkle with fresh yeast. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and mix. Let it sit in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl place sugar, melted butter, olive oil, nutmeg, lemon zest and rum.
Stir in the eggs. Leave around the half of 1 egg for brushing. Mix with a fork and set aside.
In a large and wide mixing bowl place the flour and salt. Add the activated yeast and part of the liquid mixture. Start kneading The Dough from out to the inner side. Slowly incorporate the whole mixture and add milk if needed. In the finale, The Dough should be thick and non sticking texture.
Sprinkle with some flour and cover with a clean cloth. Let is rise in a warm place for at least 1.5 hour (I left it for about 3 hours). Knead with hands from time to time. Note that this Dough is similar to my brioche rolls, therefore, it is really easy to work with.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Transfer The Dough into your working board and divide accordingly to the amount of shapes you have. I used 3 movable rollers of 30 cm. Therefore, I divided my Dough into 3 parts: in total I made 1 large Traditional Chimney Cake of 30cm and 6 small of 10 cm.
Think what kind of tray you want to use. My tip is to use a small tray that aligns to the forms as per following picture above. The cakes must be baked all the way through and this way you can easily turn them in the oven if needed. If you do not have this option, just gently put them in a large tray lined with some baking paper. If they are not evenly baking, flip them. You will glue them with some egg, but if they get open, it isn’t a tragedy. Just fix it straight away in the oven or eat them separately. You will tear them apart anyway.
Each part roll into a snake shape of 3cm thick. Then, wrap The Dough tight around lightly greased form. After each roll is prepared, gently roll the form on your working board, so it gets pressed for a bit and gets into the shape of the Traditional Chimney Cake.
Next, let them rise in a warm place for 15 more minutes.
In a small flat plate mix chopped nuts and cinnamon sugar. In a small mixing bowl lightly whisk the remaining egg reduced in a bit of milk.
Take each of the form and brush it with egg mixture and then, generously sprinkle with the nutty sugar mix. Gently transfer the cakes into a small/large baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until baked through and golden on top.
Meanwhile, mix around 3 tablespoons of icing sugar with 1 vanilla sugar in sprinkler. Once the cakes are done sprinkle them generously in sugars. Serve warm or cold with a cup of tea or coffee. Yummy!
Makes 3 chimney cakes of 30 cm.