A few weeks ago my husband had a birthday. When I asked him what kind of dessert he wanted, he said either Julishka pie or the Hungarian cake. I decided to make Hungarian cake since we already had Julishka this year. Now, what is known as Hungarian cake in the US, in Bosnia it is known as Hungarian Woman cake, with a difference that we use only one word for it - Mađarica (Mah-dia-ree-tsah). It comes from the word Mađarska, which is the Bosnian word for Hungary. Mađarica is a sweet, rich, caramely, chocolatey goodness that becomes tastier as it “ages” (!Aging meaning days, not months or years!)
If the Hungarian ladies are anything like this cake, then Hungarian men should be very happy! If you make this cake today don’t serve it right away. It is best when served the next day or even a few days later. When kept in the fridge this cake will still be good even after a week.
Hungarian Cake (Mađarica) Printable recipe
- 300 g flour (2 1/3 cups)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 100 g butter (3.6 oz)
- 1 egg
- 100 g sugar (1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 200 g sugar (1 cup)
- 500 ml milk (2 cups)
- 60 g flour (1/2 cup)
- 150 g butter (5.4 oz) at room temperature
- 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa (sifted)
For the chocolate glaze:
- 100 g (3.6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
For the cake layers combine flour, baking powder, sugar and mix well. Add thinly sliced butter and start mixing until large crumbs start forming. Add egg and sour cream and knead into a smooth dough ball. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces.
On a lightly floured surface roll out each piece of dough into a 9 X 9 inches (23 X 23 cm) square. Lay it on a parchment covered cookie sheet and cut off any excess dough. Bake each layer for just about 5 minutes at 365 F (185 C). Don’t let it brown. Remove each from the oven and let it cool completely.
For the filling place the sugar into a thick bottom pan. Let it melt at a low temperature. When all melted, pour the milk over the melted sugar. Be careful as this will make quite a reaction and sugar will start to bubble and will instantly harden. With a wooden spoon break up hardened sugar into smaller pieces. As the milk simmers, occasionaly stir it. All the hardened sugar will melt.
While milk is simmering, mix the ½ cup flour with a bit of milk and make a smooth mixture. ( In Europe there is a special kind of flour for making a filling base, but in US there is not, so you may get few crumbs in the filling – don’t worry about it)
When all the hardened sugar has melted and you just have a great smelling caramelly milk, pour the flour mixture in it, mixing constantly until it thickens. Let it cool completely.
Beat the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy, add the sifted cocoa and beat until all combined. Add the butter to the caramel mixture. Filling is now done. I have divided my filling into two equal portions. One I left as it is and into the other one I added 1.8 oz (50 g) melted dark chocolate and 1 tablespoon of rum.
Putting the cake together and chocolate glaze
Divide the filling into 4 equal portions. Lay one cake layer onto a serving plate, spread the 1st portion of the filling on it. Repeat until the last cake layer, which comes on the top.
For the glaze melt the chocolate over a hot water disch, add oil and mix until smooth. Let it cool for about a minute or two and pour over cake. Shake it a little so it evenly spreads over the top. Leave the cake in the fridge for at least 24 hours or even better 36.
Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving, cut into small bars 1 X 2 inches (2.5 X 5 CM) and enjoy!
See below what happens when you add milk to the melted sugar…