rigó jancsi torta

rigó jancsi torta
Hungarian Chocolate Cream Rum Torte

One of the classic late 19th-century Austria-Hungarian coffeehouse tortes, this elegant, rectangular cake is named after a famous Hungarian violinist of the time, Rigó Jancsi [pronounced, ree-go yan-CHEE] (1858-1927). It has two layers of delicate chocolate sponge cake, filled with luscious chocolate rum whipped cream, brushed with apricot preserves, and topped with dark chocolate ganache. It’s traditionally served in square-cut pieces and pairs beautifully with a cup of coffee or tea. Available in the spring and fall.

Chestnut Variation - A Bakehouse Exclusive!
Our very own variation of the traditional Rigó Jancsi, this regal torte is made with two light layers of chocolate chestnut sponge cake, filled with chestnut rum whipped cream, brushed with a thin layer of apricot glaze and finished on top with rich dark chocolate ganache. Sweet chestnuts, which can be roasted, boiled, steamed, grilled or dried and milled into flour, are a staple in Hungarian food and desserts and happen to grow in abundance here in Michigan. We get our high-quality chestnut flour for the cake from Chestnut Growers Inc., a consortium of 32 Michigan chestnut growers, based in Grand Haven, MI. We just knew Michigan chestnuts, with their subtle, earthy sweetness, would add a novel, distinctive flavor to this classic Hungarian torte. We invite you to experience it for yourself. Your taste buds will swoon with delight! Available in winter.

A Cake, A Legend, A Forbidden Love

The story behind the cake’s namesake has many versions, but the most common is that Rigó Jancsi, in 1896, entertained the American stage performer and Belgian princess, Clara Ward (1873-1916), with his singing and violin playing in a Paris restaurant she frequented with her royal husband of the time, Prince Joseph de Caraman-Chimay. Clara was instantly smitten and slipped Rigó her diamond as he serenaded the room. The pair soon ran away together, and their scandalous affair inspired a baker in Budapest to name the torte after him, in celebration of their forbidden love.
There’s a local connection here too, as Clara Ward was a native of Detroit, the only daughter of the industrial magnate, Eber Brock Ward (1811-1875), who was thought to be the first Michigan millionaire. Clara led a very international life, living in many countries and married to many different men. Let’s celebrate her independence and joie de vivre by eating a piece of Rigó Jancsi!

Hungry for more Hungary?! Join us on the Zingerman's Food Tours Hungary trip — September 5 – 15, 2022
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