The Gerbeaud slice (Gerbeaud-Szelet) is a Hungarian recipe of thin sweetened yeast dough, apricot preserves, ground walnuts and dark rich chocolate. Sounds divine doesn’t it?
The recipe was sourced from Rick Rogers’ Kaffehaus Book, it is a wonderful addition for any cake lover featuring recipes from the old bohemia country in Europe. The book covers basic batters and doughs, simple cakes, fancy cakes, strudels, sweet yeast breads, dumplings, pancakes and puddings. Rick provides some handy insights into the baking process and you’ll have to purchase the book to see.
There is a little history to the Hungarian Gerbeaud Slice, it was created within the confines of a Kaffehaus in Budapest. Gerbeaud Cafe have been making traditional Austro Hungarian cakes since 1858. Henrik Kugler and Emil Gerbeaud were known as confectionery craftsmen. A time when cake recipes were well guarded and highly regarded by the royal family. The cafe today sits on Vörösmarty Square in Budapest and patrons can stop by for classic Kaffehaus desserts such as the Dobos Torte, Esterházy cake and the Gerbeaud slice of course. This centuries old cafe has had some interesting visitors walk through it’s doors from royal aristocrats to Hollywood actors/actresses. There must be something special about Gerbeaud Cafe and I will confess I have now added Gerbeaud Cafe to my cafe bucket list (Yes I have a cafe bucket list!)
The Gerbeaud Slice does require some preparation and the two X 1 hour resting periods means it will take some time to finish. This did not bother me as I was off doing other things around the house. The dough is not meant to rise a great deal but mine did, it could be a difference in the ingredients across the continents. I think next time I will roll additional layers and ensure they are thinner. The icing was very easy to make and yes do spend $10.00 and buy a thermometer.
3 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup luke warm milk
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup apricot preserves, warmed
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted water
To make the dough crumble the yeast into the milk and let stand for 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar and the salt into a bowl, add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles a course texture. Add the yeast mixture and mix to form a very stiff, sticky dough, add more milk if necessary. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes. The dough will remain sticky, do not worry about adding flour to the board. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To prepare the filling: process the walnuts and sugar together in a food processor or blender fitted with a metal blade until finely chopped.
Butter and flour a 13 X 9 inch baking dish and tap out the excess flour. Divide the dough into three equal portions. Roll out one portion of dough into a 13 x 9 inch rectangle and transfer to the pan, pressing it into the corners to fit. Spread with a portion of the preserve and then sprinkle with the walnut mixture. Roll out another layer of dough, fit into the pan and spread with the remaining preserves and walnut mixture. Top with the third layer of rolled dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat to 350 F. Pierce the top layer of dough well with a fork. Bake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes usually. If the top browns to quickly cover loosely with aluminium foil.
Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan. Holding a long rack over the pan, invert and unmold the cake and cool completely, leaving the cake upside down.
To make the icing: Bring the chocolate, sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil until the instant read thermometer reads 220 F, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter to melt. Cool the icing until slightly thickened and lukewarm.
Apply the icing to the top and then place in the fridge to set. Cut the cake into slices as big or small as you see fit. Serve at room temperature.
Visit Gerbeaud Cafe
1051 Budapest Vörösmarty tér 7-8.
PO Box: 1364 Budapest Pf. 211.
Omotesando / Cafe
Jingumae 5-51-6, Terra Asios Aoyama 1F.
Open 11am-8pm daily.