Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Daring Bakers' Challenge - Chimney Cake

Oh my gosh, this month's challenge was so awesome.

I absoltuely love when challenges introduce me to new things and new methods, and this one did both.

The August Daring Bakers' Challenge took us for a spin! Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen taught us to make rolled pastries inspired by Kurtoskalacs, a traditional Hungarian wedding pastry. These tasty yeasted delights gave us lots to celebrate!

Kurtoskalacs, also called chimney cakes, have their roots in Transylvania, and are fun treats baked in a super fun way.

It starts with a very sticky, soft dough. Once the dough is ready, the fun begins.

A section of dough is rolled out very thinly on a well-floured surface, then cut into a long strip. Easily achieved by cutting the roughly-square shaped thin dough in a spiral pattern.

The strip is then wrapped around a rolling pin that has been wrapped in many (I did four...) layers of aluminum foil.  This was a little tricky, since you have to keep the dough from unwinding as you go, but once you have all the dough on the rolling pin, just give it a couple of rolls on the counter top to seal all the edges and keep it in place.

Then brush it with some melted butter (or, to keep it dairy free, like I did, melted coconut oil)...

...and roll it in some cinnamon sugar.

Then, you bake. I rested the handles of my rolling pin along the edges of my roasting pan to make sure that the heat would get all the way around the pin and dough, and to keep the finished chimney cake from having a flat side.

And, much to my surprise and delight, it worked!

When it came out of the oven, I sprinkled on a bit more cinnamon sugar, then removed it from the rolling pin mold by firmly tapping the end of the rolling pin on the counter top. Again - I was delighted and surprised when that actually worked!

And the finished product was both super fun and super delicious.  Seriously, these were fun to eat. Somtimes we'd fill the hole with some ice cream, sometimes we'd just grab a section and un-ravel it as we went. Either way, it was delicious, and I really want to make it again.

Swathi also provided us another recipe for a different coiled treat, a Spanish treat called an Ensaimda. I didn't have the opportunity to make both recipes this month, but stay tuned, because I really, really want to try those, as well.

Thank you, Swathi, for this amazing, delicious and fun challenge!

To see the challenge as it as presented to us, check it out here.

Dairy-Free Chimney Cake
(from the Daring Bakers' Challenge)

For the dough:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
3 tablespoons melted butter (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup milk, lukewarm temperature (I used coconut milk)

For baking:
melted butter (I used coconut oil)
sugar (I used cinnamon sugar)

For the topping:
Approximately 1/2 cup sugar (I used cinnamon sugar)

Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and the active dry yeast to the lukewarm milk and set aside for 5-10 minutes until it proofs (becomes foamy).
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. To this add egg, melted butter, and milk/yeast mixture. Stir the mixture until it comes together to form a dough, and then knead for about five minutes.
The dough will be sticky. Don’t be tempted to add extra flour. Grease your hand if needed.
Transfer the dough to a well greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (spray the plastic, too) and allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes at room temperature, until doubled in volume.
While the dough is rising, prepare your rolling pin(s) by covering it (them) with aluminum foil. You'll want to use at least two or three layers, to protect the pins from burning in the oven.
Brush the wrapped rolling pin(s) with melted butter.
Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 4 equal parts (about 4 oz each).
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
On a well floured surface, roll out one portion of the dough, shaping into an approximate square shape, about 1/6 inch thick.
Using a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife, cut the dough into a long ribbons of about 1/2 inch wide.
Wrap one end of the dough strip around the prepared rolling pin, tucking in the end so the dough doesn’t unwind.
Keep the dough very thin (under ¼ inch (6 mm)) as you stretch and wind it on the rolling pun. Then roll the whole thing slightly on the counter top to flatten it/press it together.
Brush the rolled up dough with melted butter and roll it in the (cinnamon) sugar.
Set the rolling pin in a roasting pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Turn the rolling pin at once least once (or more) throughout baking time to ensure uniform cooking.
When cake is done, roll it once more in sugar again.
You can be creative here and use other toppings, like nuts (or whatever you want) at this point. If you are using other toppings brush on more butter, then roll the finished cake in the toppings of your choice.
Tap the end of the rolling pin on a table top to release the cake and set it up right to cool on a cooling rack. It might not seem like it, but it will release pretty easily.



  1. The chimney cakes look absolutely perfect. They were super fun to make too.

  2. Yum!!! They look great Shelley :) I too, didn't make both - but can't wait to try the other soon!

  3. Shelly glad you enjoyed the chimney cake, I love addition of coconut oil version, thanks for let me to host the challenge.

  4. Very nice! This was a fun challenge. I didn't get to the other recipe too. Maybe a sourdough challenge? :)

  5. Your chimney cakes are beautiful!! I agree that these were such fun to eat.


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