Rigó Jancsi

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Rigó Jancsi
Alternative names Gypsy John
Type Cake
Place of origin Hungary and Austria
Region or state Vienna
Main ingredients Chocolate sponge cake (flour, butter, sugar, egg whites, chocolate, egg yolks)
Filling: chocolate and cream icing, apricot jam, dark rum or vanilla
Cookbook: Rigó Jancsi  Media: Rigó Jancsi

Rigó Jancsi (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈriɡoː ˈjɒnt͡ʃi]) is a traditional Hungarian cube-shaped chocolate sponge cake and chocolate cream pastry. It gained popularity in the former Austria-Hungary and is named after Rigó Jancsi (1858–1927), a famous Hungarian Gypsy (Romani people) violinist who seduced and married Clara Ward, Princess de Caraman-Chimay, the only daughter of American millionaire E. B. Ward and the wife of Belgian Prince de Caraman-Chimay.[1]

In Flavors of Hungary, a cookbook written by Charlotte Slovak Biro, this cake is called "Gypsy John".


Clara Ward and her second husband, Rigó Jancsi, on a German postcard from about 1905

Clara and Jancsi met in 1896, while Rigo Jancsi played violin at a Paris restaurant, where Clara dined out with her husband, Prince Joseph. Between 1896 and 1898, newspapers wrote extensively about the marriage of the primás (first violinist)[2] Jancsi Rigó to the Belgian countess.[3] The cake is a celebration cake wearing Rigó Jancsi's name and in honor of the romantic love story.

Sources do not agree about the origin of the pastry. Some claim that Rigo created the pastry together with an unknown pastry chef to surprise Clara;[4] others claim that Rigo Jancsi bought this pastry to Clara and the confectioner named it afterwards Rigo Jancsi.[5]

The cake[edit]

The cake has two layers of chocolate-sponge cake.[6] These chocolate sponge cake layers are made with beaten egg whites, melted chocolate, butter, sugar and flour. Sugar creamed egg yolks are beaten into the mixture.

Between the two chocolate sponge cake layers is a thick layer of very rich, chocolate and cream filling,[7] and a very thin apricot jam layer.[8] The filling may include a touch of dark rum and/or vanilla. The cake is covered with a dark chocolate fondant glaze.[9]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]