Monday, June 23, 2014

A sweep of the Kürtősh chimneys

Posted by Hendy

Sweeping through Crown Street, Surry Hills in search of afternoon tea one day, I discovered the rustic charms of Kürtősh house.

Short for kürtőskalác; a kürtősh is chimney-like baked pastry originating from Hungary, hollow and coated on the outside with delectable coatings, from crushed pistachios and almonds to coconut and cinnamon sugar.

Interior of Kürtősh, Crown Street, Surry Hills
The Surry Hills store is one of four for the Kürtősh brand (their original store in Randwick was followed by Surry Hills, Crows Nest and now Darlinghurst).

Kürtőskalác oven (right) and trays filled with toppings
The bakery front half of the Surry Hills store is filled with equipment used to prepare the kürtőskalács, decorated with an eastern European touch including some striking blue and white tiles behind the intriguing upright oven used to bake the pastries.

Dough stretched onto the roller before baking
The hollow, chimney-like characteristic of the kürtőskalács comes from the way the pastry is prepared.

The base dough is kneaded and stretched before being swirled onto a special roller and coated with a layer of oil and sugar to help develop the crisp outer crust. Toppings are added to the surface once the dough has been completely wrapped around the roller.

Selection of kürtőskalács on offer
Kürtősh's different varieties of kürtőskalács are on display behind the bakery window and each pastry is purchased whole for consumption, ideally with tea or coffee.

There are six varieties to choose from, each designed to give the kürtőskalác a different texture and taste; ranging from a simple cinnamon sugar coating to flaked coconut, chocolate, and crushed pistachio, hazelnut or almond.

Kürtőskalác pieces for sampling
The store is generous with pieces of bite-size kürtőskalács on sample atop the cabinets to allow for tasting and gauging of the various  toppings.

Cinnamon sugar coated kürtőskalác
Having sampled a few, we settled on the cinnamon sugar and the pistachio nut coated kürtőskalács.

The cinnamon sugar kürtőskalác looked a lot like a thin, hollow and elongated cinnamon donut, with a golden, crispy crust dusted evenly with cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon sugar coated kürtőskalác
Sweet, though not nearly as sweet as a donut, there was also a hint of rum flavouring to the pastry. The texture was nicely crusted on the outside and quite soft on the inside.

Breaking up the kürtőskalác was an easy task of basically un-swirling the dough from its baked form; a task delightfully shared by all of us around the table.

Pistachio coated kürtőskalác
The pistachio kürtőskalác was a lot more colourful with the bright green crushed nuts on the surface of the same base pastry, and was a little more difficult to break into pieces.

Pistachio coated kürtőskalác piece
The roasted pistachio nuts were a nice complement to the pastry which on the whole was slightly sweeter than the cinnamon kürtőskalác.

Kürtősh also serves the full set of coffee varieties and tea, to complement all the pastries and cakes.

Early grey tea served in a traditional pot with a kürtősh coaster
I loved the traditional tea pot in which the tea was served in and, if you request milk, it arrives in a cute little glass milk bottle.

Ricotta cheese pocket
While the kürtőskalács are the signature feature, Kürtősh house also offers a large range of other cakes and pastries, sold by weight.

The ricotta cheese pocket was quite delicate; only slightly sweet with spurts of rum, raisins, almond and the saltiness from the ricotta.

Traditional baked cheesecake
We also ordered the baked cheesecake, which is cut to your desired size and charged by weight. The simple flavours of the traditional cheesecake, with hints of vanilla and caramel in its crusty outer layer, were pure luxurious comfort.

Selection of pastries on offer
Service was excellent with the friendly staff assisting with any queries or curiosities you may have on the chimney pastries and their extensive set of cakes and pastries.

Coffee machine
The Kürtősh experience is relatively new but after a quick and thorough sweep through the menu - kürtőskalács, cakes and coffee - it's a confirmed winner for afternoon tea sessions in Surry Hills, and probably morning tea, brunch and dessert sessions too.

Kürtősh on Urbanspoon


Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

They're such pretty desserts aren't they, and a good self-moderation incentive that the cakes are sold by the kilo too. lol

Hendy said...

Haha, so true, though one can't just order variable portion of the cakes, if only... :((

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

We liked the Kurtosh there and the ability to order the cakes in whatever size we wanted!

Ramen Raff said...

I love the cinnamon sugar coated kurtosh!!! And that baked cheesecake!! They also do a great job with mecca's darkhorse blend for their coffee. For some reason, I prefer this branch over the original.


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