Somlo Trifle

Somlo trifle or somlói galuska is one of the most famous desserts of the Hungarian confectionery. Two legends are linked with its name; according to the first one the trifle was named after the Somlyó hill of Fót (a small town near Budapest), another legend says that the wife of the confectioner who created the dessert was from Somló. Somlo trifle was devised at the end of the 1950’s by Károly Gollerits who was the maitre d’hotel of the Gundel restaurant for 16 years and it was made by József Béla Szőcs, Gundel’s pastry chef. The new dessert was first presented at the World’s Fair in 1958. It was a great success and won the professional award of the expo.

Making this trifle is time-consuming and complicated, therefore it only makes sense to start in if you have enough time to follow the instructions of the original recipe, step by step. The secret of somlói galuska lies in the excellent raw materials, it’s not worth skimping any of the materials in order just to economize. If you take your stand on these principles, the outcome will be, in return, a superb dessert that can beat easily any sweet creation of the top gastronomy.

Somlói galuskaphoto: zserbo.com

Ingredients:

Sponge cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 80 g (~6 1/2 tbsp) sugar
  • 80 g (~2/3 cup) flour
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 3 g (~3/4 tsp) baking powder

Walnut sponge cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 80 g (~6 1/2 tbsp) sugar
  • 20 g (~2 1/2 tbsp) flour
  • 60 g (~2/3 cup) ground walnuts
  • 3 g (~3/4 tsp) baking powder

Cocoa sponge cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 80 g (~6 1/2 tbsp) sugar
  • 30 g (~1/4 cup) flour
  • 40 g (~1/3 cup) cocoa powder
  • 3 g (~3/4 tsp) baking powder

Custard:

  • 500 ml (~2 cups) milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 30 g (~3 tbsp) corn starch
  • 80 g (~6 1/2 tbsp) sugar
  • seeds of a vanilla bean

Soaking syrup:

  • 50 ml (3 1/2 tbsp) water
  • 50 ml (3 1/2 tbsp) rum
  • 40 g (~3 tbsp) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of orange zest

Fillings:

  • 100 g (~2/3 cup) raisins
  • 200 g (~2 1/3 cups) ground walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • apricot jam

Toppings:

  • 300 ml (~1 1/4 cups) heavy whipping cream

Chocolate sauce:

  • 200 g (~7 oz) hig-quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 100 ml (~1/2 cup) milk
  • 100 ml (~1/2 cup) rum
  • 40 g (~3 tbsp) sugar

Place the raisins in 100 ml of lukewarm water to let them soak and set aside. After half an hour pour the water off the raisins.

Now comes the soaking syrup. Place the water in a small sauce pan.

Add rum, sugar and orange zest.

Place the saucepan on the stove and bring its content to a boil.

Keep simmering for about 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

To prepare the custard, beat the egg yolks with sugar.

Add corn starch and the seeds of a vanilla bean and beat to combine.

At last add the milk to the yolk mixture whisking to combine.

On medium heat cook up the custard, while stirring continuously.

When the custard is sufficiently thick remove from the heat and set it aside to cool.

Meanwhile prepare the batter for the cakes seperately, one by one.

Line 3 cake pans or baking pans of the same size with parchment paper. (I used 22×33 cm baking pans.)

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Mix flour and baking powder together.

In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until very stiff peaks form.

Place 4 egg yolks and 80 g of sugar into another bowl and beat until very thick.

Add the flour-baking powder mixture and orange zest to the yolk mixture.

Finally fold the beaten egg whites carefully into the mixture, without crushing the egg whites.

Pour the batter in a prepared baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan.

Make the walnut and cocoa sponge cakes in the same way.

While the cakes cool, set out the fillings.

The raisins and the soaking syrup are ready. In addition you will need some finely ground walnuts and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

Remove the paper from the cakes.

Place the walnut sponge cake in a casserole dish or in a plastic container.

Pour 1/3 of the soaking syrup over the cake.

Spread 1/3 of the custard on top.

Scatter 1/3 of the ground walnuts  and 1/3 of the raisins on top.

Place the cocoa cake over the fillings, pressing it down a bit.

Pour over the half of the remaining soaking syrup.

Spread the half of the remaining custard over the top.

Scatter half of the remaining raisins and half of the remaining ground walnuts on the top.

Now lay the third cake layer on the top, pressing down a bit.

Sprinkle the remaining soaking syrup on top.

Spread the top with a thin layer of apricot jam.

Spread the reamining custard over top.

Scatter the remaining raisins and ground walnuts on the top.

Sift 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa on top.

Cover the whole thing with aluminum foil and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

Before serving the trifle make the chocolate sauce.

In a small saucepan bring the finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, milk, rum and sugar to the boil over medium heat while stirring often.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.

Cool slightly.

Whip the cream just before serving.

Scoop out 3-4 dumplings from the cake and stack them on a plate or in a small glass bowl.

Sprinkle with the chocolate sauce and finally decorate with whipped cream.

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