Making Chimney Cakes in Davenport, Iowa
If you saw mini pastry towers called Chimney Cakes ($5), wouldn't you order them? Originating in Transylvania and common in Hungary, chimney cakes are made of dough wrapped around wooden cylinders, covered in sugar and baked in a special rotisserie oven. The pastries are then garnished with flavorful decoration from cinnamon sugar to ground walnuts.
Wandering around the Freight House Farmers Market on a Saturday in Davenport, Iowa, I spotted the cylindrical pastries at the chimney cakes food truck owned by Szabi and Eva Bujdoso. After visiting their native country of Hungary last year and eating a lot of chimney cakes, the Bujdosos decided to start a business making the European desserts. Szabi Bujdoso said his favorite flavor is the walnut chimney cake because that's what he ate as a child.
A cinnamon chimney cake tastes a bit like a cinnamon roll, but it's a lot more fun to eat. I tore off a piece at the bottom of a chimney and immediately loved how the sugar caramelizes on the surface of the cake and the underside still stays soft. The cocoa chimney cake is bittersweet and perfect for those who don't like their pastries too sugary. I also loved the slightly chewy texture of the coconut chimney cake. Don't be afraid to buy more chimney cakes than you can eat in one sitting—just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and have the chimney cakes for breakfast.
Check out the slideshow to see how chimney cakes are made.