Baking with Heritage: Kakaós Csiga {Chocolate Snails} by Cake Duchess

While Lora, Cake Duchess, is one of my oldest and dearest friends for the last four years on social media, this is the first time she's been a guest on Food Wanderings. I am squealing with glee here. With Lora being such a gifted avid baker I am super excited she is sharing with 'Baking with Heritage' her Hungarian family's heirloom Kakaós Csiga {Chocolate Snails} recipe.  I switched to consistently using heat resistant glass and ceramic bowls to proof my dough because of Lora. Her dough in the photos always seems to rise so effortlessly.

You might be familiar with Lora's community-wide monthly baking project 'Twelve Loaves'. Join her every month for a fun baking project. She is also a partner with the 'Bundt a Month' monthly baking effort. A recent favorite of mine is Devil's Food Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze. Lora, a beautiful mother of two adorable kids, a boy and a girl, has been a wonderful supportive friend. She's been grieving the loss of her Sicilian father and captured it in this heartfelt An Italian Cake and Grief post.

See the previous posts in the 'Baking with Heritage' series below. If you wish to be a guest in this series please drop me a note.

Please note that Lora made her riff of Kakaós Csiga with added Nutella but for those of us who have tree nut allergies she is suggesting just as delicious cocoa-sugar-butter alternative.
Hello! I am Lora from Cake Duchess. It is such a pleasure to be here today on Shulie’s incredible blog. Shulie and I  have been discussing my guest posting for her Baking with Heritage series for a while now. Due to the loss of my father, the post was postponed until now. Preserving a family’s heritage is very important to me. As the daughter of a Hungarian mother and a Sicilian father, my life has always revolved around both of those cultures. It was important for my parents to keep our heritage alive during my childhood. Now I am preserving this heritage for my children in my baking and other recipes from my parents.

Baking is something I take very passionately. I especially love to make yeasted breads and sweets. I remember my mother’s aunt baking her Hungarian sweets when I was a little girl. She was like my grandmother and she only spoke to us in Hungarian. Her name was Mariskaneni. Mariskaneni was quite the baker. She lived just next door to us and her house was my second home. I would go over mostly every day after school. I would enter her house and immediately hear the whirl of her mixer or even better, smell what wondrous dessert or bread she had just finished baking. One thing I fondly remember her baking are these  kakaós csiga “chocolate snail”.

Kakaós csiga is a Hungarian pastry that is just over a 100 years old.  Mór Pösch is the first baker that created the kakaós csiga in Göd, Hungary. He created this sweet to celebrate his 33rd birthday in 1908. It is a very popular pastry in Hungary and is enjoyed by kids that grab one from a bakery on the way to school and by anyone just craving a delicious chocolate pastry. Hungarians will argue what is the best way to prepare their chocolate snail. Some may like a thicker pastry and hardly any filling. Some may prefer more filling and a crispier pastry. There may be the fans that dig in to get directly at the cocoa parts that turn a little caramel like while it bakes. We prefer ours with just the right amount of filling. I know some Hungarians that add cinnamon to the filling and some that don’t. I prefer my filling with cinnamon. If I happen to have Nutella around, I like to add some to my filling. It’s not the most traditional way to fill it, but my customers here do not complain one bit.  I know there is a tree nut allergy in Shulie’s family. For those that can’t eat Nutella or don’t like it, you could brush the rolled out dough with melted butter (about 4-6 Tablespoons), sprinkle on the cocoa mixture and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

They are almost like a cinnamon roll, but are not baked in a round pan. They are placed loosely one by one on a baking sheet. You leave a little piece of the dough out around the edge to create the “snail” shape. Since my son at the moment loves snails, I exaggerated the snail shape a little. The dough is a recipe I use for mostly any sweet bread. This is a roll that is perfect to bake on a cooler fall day; so nice with a hot cup of a coffee or tea and of course, enjoyed better with friends. Thank you for having me here today on your wonderful series, Shulie. 
Kakaós Csiga {Chocolate Snails}

1 cup whole milk
1 (1/2 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
3/4 cup Nutella or chocolate spread (optional)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For just before baking
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature.  Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl.

Add 1 Tablespoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Beat in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, eggs and butter.  Beat in cooled milk.  Slow down the mixer speed and gradually add the flour and salt, stopping the mixer to scrape down sides of the bowl, until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky.  Knead for about 5 minutes until dough is soft and smooth.

Grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and swish it around the bowl to cover all the dough with oil . Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size; about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough.  Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to an 18 x 12-inch rectangle.

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon. Spread the Nutella over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on the sides. Sprinkle on the cocoa mixture

Brush the borders with water. Tightly roll the dough into an 18-inch log, rolling toward the clean border; pinch the seam to seal. Cut crosswise into 1 1/2 inches wide pieces. Clean knife after each slice to make it easier to cut. Place the pieces about 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pull out a little part of the dough on the corner to give it a little bit of a snail shape.

Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes while the oven heats to 325 F. Brush the rolls with butter before placing in the oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are a nice golden color. Check the rolls at about 22 minutes. Every oven is different. Cool a little before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Baking with Heritage series:
A Romanian Flatbread with Roasted Tomatoes
An Argentinian Tortitas Negras - Little Black Cakes 
Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cinnamon Swirl Challah