Not until you have had Aranygaluska – raisin dotted sugary balls of dough – have you experienced the ultimate in countryside dessert specialties so famous in Hungary. In order to bake golden coffee cake first of all you will need a 10-inch tubed pan.
To make 8 to 10 servings of Aranygaluska, measure and set aside 4 and 3/4 to 5 cups sifted flour and scald 1/2 cup of milk.
Soften 2 packages active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (40-45ºC) If compressed yeast is used, soften 2 cakes in 1/2 cup lukewarm water, 28-30ºC) Let yeast stand 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile put into a large bowl 1/2 cup shortening, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt.
Immediately pour the scalded milk over ingredients in bowl. When mixture is lukewarm, mix in 1/2 cup of the sifted flour, beating until dough is smooth. Stir the softened yeast and add to dough, mixing well. Add about one-half of the remaining flour and beat until very smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, well beaten. Then beat in enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes.
Knead: form dough into a large ball and put into a greased bowl. Turn dough over to bring greased surface to top. Cover bowl with waxed paper and towel and let stand in warm place (about 25ºC) until dough is doubled. Punch dough down with fist; pull edges in to center and completely turn dough over in a bowl. Cover bowl and let dough rise again until nearly doubled.
Meanwhile, lightly grease the bottom of the tubed pan. Mix together in a shallow dish and set aside 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup (about 100 grams) finely chopped walnuts and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Place into another shallow dish and set aside 1/2 cup of melted butter. Measure and set aside 1/2 cup raisins.
Tear off bits of dough and form into balls about 1 and 1/4 inch in diameter. Roll balls first into butter, then roll lightly in sugar mixture. Arrange layer of balls in the tubed pan so that they do not touch each other. Sprinkle about one-third of the raisins over balls and slightly press raisins into balls. Continue in this manner until all dough is made into balls and arranged in the pan and all raisins are used. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture or butter over top layer of balls. Cover pan with waxed paper and towel and let dough rise again 30 to 45 minutes or until light.
Bake at 190ºC 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Run spatula around sides of coffee cake. Invert onto plate. To serve, break coffee cake apart with forks. Hungarian Aranygaluska tastes best with creamy vanilla sauce.
source: The Hungarian Cookbook, by Melanie de Proft (Culinary Arts Institute, Chicago, 1955) photo: jutkakonyhaja.blogspot.hu