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Sep 13, 2007 06:53 AM

Anyone with Hungarian roots/relatives? [Moved from Quebec board]

For many many years now, I have been searching for a recipe for ludlbab. The only place in Montreal where I ever had the original was at the Coffee Mill, downtown - long gone. Cafe Roccoco sells one, but it's not authentic, and there is a baker here in NDG that makes one, but again, not the real thing. The one I had at the Coffee Mill (my parents used to take me there for my birthday or any special occasions when I was a child) wasn't very high, was dense - had a shortbreadlike crust, sour cherries here and there and a crisp chocolate top. I have been to Budapest a few times and had it there also. But it seems that the recipe is a closerly guarded national secret, as I have been unable to get my hands on one - either through internet searches or from my hungarian friends.

Does anyone know anyone who knows someone who might have a recipe and be willing to part with it???

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    1. re: eat2much

      Thanks - but there is no sponge cake in the authentic recipe - the bottom is truly a crumbly type affair, the body of the ludlab a rich, creamy, dreamy thing.

      Thanks though

      1. re: maisonbistro

        I remember it well from my days at the Coffee Mill!

            1. re: eat2much

              Stop- making a grown woman drool - with no hope of salvation is not nice.

    2. If you can find a copy of George Lang's "The Cuisine of Hungary" and if he has a recipe, it will likely be authentic.

      2 Replies
        1. re: zerlina

          Thanks but not to be. I contacted one of the vendors (through Amazon) who has the book and she just emailed me back - she says there is no ludlab recipe in the book. Arrrghhhh

          I'm telling you, it's a closerly guarded Hungarian secret.

        2. I have a friend who lives in Szaget. I can e-mail her if you think it is worthwhile. Is ludlbab a regional delicacy? She cooked at my house on a visit and it was all so wonderful. Later she sent Szaget paprika which is not exported and it was so amazingly delicious.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Paphos.SK

            Is Szaget the same place as Szeged? Pride of Szeged paprika (comes in hot and sweet) is definitely available in Hungarian and gourmet shops in Montréal, such as la Boucherie hongroise on St-Laurent. I think Slovenia also carries it.

            1. re: lagatta

              You, know, I have no idea if it is a regional thing. Like I said, I grew up on it from the Coffee Mill, and then had it again about 10 years ago in Budapest, in a few "coffee" shops - which are more about great pastry than coffee (YUM) there. Whichever shop we went to during our stay, they all had the same formula for making the ludlab and it was outstanding. We didn't travel very much into Hungary, as were travelling through it (meaning that besides Budapest we didn't stop anywhere else), so I didn't scope out the dessert anywhere else.

              Szeged also has great goulash named for it (which of course is made with the aforementioned paprikas).

              Wherever she is, I would be greatly in your debt if you could email her and get that for me. I honestly have been on this quest for a long long time.

              Thank you thank you thank you for offering.

              1. re: maisonbistro

                Yes, Szeged goulash typically includes sauerkraut.

                I have fond memories of the Coffee Mill...

              2. re: lagatta

                Yes, I think I mispelled Szeged. I was squinting at the paprika package and there was no language I recognized. I can't really even figure out the Brand name!

                Alas, I live in Saskatoon and will have to wait to check out the Hungarian gourmet shops. I wasn't even sure there was a Hungarian restaurant -- a goal for another visit. I'll have to go to a good Portuguese resto, too. I posted on a different thread about some of our dining adventures!

            2. Just went through a stack of cookbooks I inherited from my Hungarian grandmother but found nothing. Would've thought George Lang's book would have it, but no. Next time I order csiga from my grandparents' church in Cleveland, I'll see if any of the ladies there have a recipe.

              1. The recipe for Ludlab and for Rigo Jancsi plus many others can be found in the richly illustrated book " Kaffeehaus" by Rick Rodgers. I bought my copy from one of the online used book clearinghouses for about $20.
                The subtitle of the book is " Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest and Prague. It was published in 2002.
                According to the author the real ludlab cake (also called Chocolate-Cherry Mousse Cake in the book) consists a classic chocolate sponge cake, a chocolate mousse, cherry preserves, cherries and a chocolate glaze.
                I made this cake last week - and yes, I'm Hungarian born and raised, living in the U.S. , formerly in Toronto.
                This guy's recipes for Gerbeaud and Dobos worked perfectly and were easy to make. The ludlab was overcomplicated and, I think, it should have used sour cherries, not sweet ones.
                The filling of this cake, as I discovered after spending a lot of time and effort with the original recipe, would have been just as good if I used Oetker's Dark Chocolate Mousse Mix with whipping cream instead of the milk it advises you to use. Two boxes of Mousse Mix and about 1/2 L. of whipping cream would have been enough for the cake.
                Having said all this, here is the recipe except for the mousse filling which would take too long to describe.

                4 lge eggs, room temperature
                3/4 cup sugar
                3 tbs. milk
                3 tbsp. vegetable oil
                /2 tsp. vanilla extract
                2/3 cup sifted cake flour
                1/4 cup DUTCH processed cocoa powder
                pinch of salt.

                Oven at 350F (180C).

                Butter 9 inch. spingform pan AND line bottom with parchment or wax paper. Lightly flour the inside of the pan.
                Mix eggs and sugar in in heat proof bowl and place bowl over a medium pan of simmering water over medium heat. Water should not toiuch the bowl.
                Whisk until eggs are very warm and sugar is dissolved.
                Remove bowl from stove and beat mixture on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
                Meanwhile heat the milk and oil until hot.( I only heated the milk.) Pour into another bowl and mix in vanilla.
                Sift flour, salt and cocoa together.
                Fold HALF of this mixture into the egg mix.
                Fold in the remaining mixture.
                Add a dollop of batter into the milk mixture.
                Fold the whole milk mixture into the batter and pour it into the baking pan.
                Shake pan to smooth the top.
                Bake on middle rack for about 30 minutes, until ready.
                Cool cake for 5 mins. in pan, remove from pan and cool completely.

                Cut cake into 2 layers. You will only need 1 layer for this cake. Make at as thin or thick as you want.

                Spread cherry preserves over the cake.
                Spread a layer of the choco. mousse over this.
                Add a layer of sour cherries. (If using frozen, thaw it first.)
                Spread remaining mousse over cherries and frost the sides of the cake too.
                Refrigerate at least 4 hrs. or overnight.

                Place cake on a rack over a jelly roll pan.
                Smooth the filling (mousse) with a spatula dipped into hot water.
                Pour all the COOLED but still pourable glaze ( recipe follows) over the whole cake. Make sure the sides get covered too.
                Decorate top of cake with sour cherries. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

                1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
                4 ounces ( I used 120 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped. ( I used Ghiradelli chocolate. If I had Oetker Chocolate Glaze at home, I'd just used that. It's perfect. Unfortunately, not sold where I'm living. )

                Good luck.


                3 Replies
                1. re: kaytee533

                  This recipe might work:

                  By the way, i just ordered the Kaffeehaus cookbook from Amazon two days ago. I got too tired searching in vain for the correct recipe for gerbeaud square.

                  1. re: Toadberry

                    I love the kaffeehaus book! One of my faves!

                    1. re: foodslut

                      I remember the Coffee Mill in Montreal and its Ludlab. Here's a recipe from that's very close:

                      Flourless Chocolate Cherry Torte

                      Macerated cherry mixture:

                      1 cup sun-dried cherries
                      3/4 cup kirsch (cherry brandy)
                      2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
                      Zest of one orange
                      Chocolate cherry torte:

                      8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
                      1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
                      3/4 cup whole blanched almonds
                      6 large eggs
                      2/3 cup granulated sugar
                      Sweetened whipped cream garnish:

                      1 cup heavy cream
                      2 tablespoons superfine sugar
                      1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
                      Optional garnish:

                      Chocolate-dipped cherries
                      Shaved chocolate
                      Macerate the cherries:
                      In a non-corrosive medium saucepan place the cherries, kirsch, cherry juice and orange zest. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit at least 1 hour.

                      Make the chocolate cherry torte:
                      Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 10" cake pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Melt the chocolate with the butter according to the directions in the Chocolate Melting Tips. Set aside. Place the almonds in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until finely chopped. Set aside.In a 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer using the wire whip attachment beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and forms a ribbon when the whip is lifted. Using a rubber spatula scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate/butter mixture, ground nuts and reserved soaked cherries (including the juice). Mix until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the torte 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the torte in the refrigerator until chilled. The center will sink slightly. Invert the cake onto a plate.

                      Garnish the torte:

                      In a chilled medium bowl using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use. Place a slice of the torte on a serving plate and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate dipped cherries and shaved chocolate, if desired.