Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Luck Dessert

View from the Danube
The first and only time I saw Europe's longest river, the Danube, I floated on a daytime boat trip along it, admiring the locks on the canal. The boat stopped at times; gates ahead closed off a section of the river that slowly filled with water and pushed the boat upwards. Once in a while, the opposite happened. After the gates closed, some water would be drained from the section, so the boat would travel on a lower level before entering the next part of the river. On either side, the landscape of trees and the city of Vienna were pleasant.
The options for different cruises along the Danube were tempting, and many took you to Budapest, in Hungary. I haven't visited Hungary yet, but I can definitely get to know it through its cuisine! 
Hungarians eat makos guba around Christmastime, and believe that the poppy seeds in it give them good luck for the following year. So I tried this recipe for New Year's Eve 2011. 

This treat is a good way to use up your poppy seeds! I almost always make my desserts from scratch, and happened to pick the most traditional option for making this one. All the other websites show a pudding version that uses store-bought bread and is a lot easier to make. This one is a hungarian blogger's grandmother's bread recipe, from the following travel magazine:
After making the bread dough and cooking it, you soak the hard rolls in boiling water for a few minutes. That's the first time I ever heard of that. Next, you bathe them in honey and ground poppy seed (yes, ground poppy seed, as if it weren't fine enough already). You can make your poppy seed paste by placing them in a coffee grinder. The result is a black, not-so-sweet paste that oozes around the small rolls.
I added a bit of vanilla sugar on top, for good measure.

Best wishes for 2012!

Other recipe versions of the dessert:

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