Vargabéles

by | May 17, 2019 | Desserts

Vargabéles is a Transylvanian dessert, its hometown is Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca). It was first made in the restaurant of the Darvas family in the 1920s or 1930s. It’s a special cake that consists of a cottage cheese – pasta filling and two layers of dough. The dough was originally a shortcrust pastry, but nowadays it’s replaced by store-bought phyllo dough sheets. The recipe was so treasured that vargabéles was delivered by plane from Kolozsvár to the Gundel restaurant in Budapest during the World War II.

The cake’s specialty lies in the filling: it’s a combination of a cottage cheese cream and cooked angel hair/vermicelli pasta (cérnametélt in Hungarian). The filling is covered by phyllo dough, but if you can’t aquire it, feel free to use puff pastry or knead a plain shortcrust pastry. Vargabéles can be served as a dessert or as a main dish after a hearty, thick soup.

Vargabéles
Vargabéles – photo: zserbo.com
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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