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hun usa Culture

First Prize Winner in San Diego Cake Competition

A reader`s letter

Dear Editor,


My name is Mariann Magyar and I live in Simi Valley with my family. I am a pastry chef originally from Hungary and in the process opening our own bakery here in Ventura County. I am very passionate about creating sweets, especially traditional European and Hungarian specialties along with well known American cookies and cakes. Of course there are some difficulties when you move to the other side of the world to a different country and leave everything you ever known behind, but my partner and I took it as the greatest adventure of our lives. We came here with the intention of serving a great community and create a blooming business for our family.

We are baking pastries for different occasions and people are really impressed with our work, but I was eager to show my work to a professional audience as well to find out more about acceptable techniques here in the United States. We entered several professional competitions before in Hungary with great success winning many gold medals for our sweet creations.

On March 16th and 17th 2013 the San Diego Cake Club held their annual cake show in the La Jolla village Square Mall. This event is the largest of its kind in California and I thought this would be a great event to show one of our specialties. The competition was quiet large, they showed more than 160 cakes and sweets in several different categories.  It also offered workshop and net working opportunities for the industry what we found very useful and interesting.

We entered with a traditional Hungarian wedding cake for this competition made out of brittle candy entirely instead using well known elements like regular layered cake with filling and coated with marzipan (almond paste). Our creation was made out of grillazs (brittle candy) as we call it in Hungarian, what is caramelized sugar with some butter, walnut and molded into its final formation then perfected with very detailed white glaze decoration. The height of our cake was one yard, it weighed 23 lbs. and it was compounded using more than 170 different molded elements. Our exhibited creation was very popular among the visitors and organizers and they really appreciated the completely different technique we presented. The jury rewarded our work with a gold medal and I can’t even express how happy we are, knowing that our very unique technique and creation got such an attention.

Some information about the tradition and brittle candy wedding cakes:
Based on Hungarian traditions the beautifully decorated wedding cake made out of brittle candy will be broken by the bridal couple after the money dance. They believe that the newlyweds will spend as many happy years together as many pieces the cake will be broken to. During the reception the brittle pieces are served to the guests as one of the dessert.

The word "grillazs" (brittle candy) in English is originating from French. It means something sweet: a paste of melted sugar and butter mixed with grinded walnut, hazelnut or almond rolled out and dried at room temperature.

Back in time brittle came to life for medical reasons in the X. century. Slowly around the XIV. Century it became more and more popular as a dessert. For example in 1476 on the wedding of one of the most popular Hungarian king Matthias a garden with trees, fruits and birds built from brittle candy was served as the seventh course of the dinner.

Since that time the basic is the same only the technic, the personal style and the method of decoration is changing. The ingredients are the same: sugar, walnut, almond, peanut, sesame seeds etc.

Brittle candy figures, creations are great gifts for weddings, engagements, graduations, baptism, anniversaries or any other occasions. The theme of the brittle candy figure should match the occasion like:
-   for a wedding flower basket, carriage and four, kissing birds
-   for birthdays the job or hobby of the person
-   for kids favorite animals or story figure
-  for baptism cradle with baby, stork or tiny shoes.

Please visit our website and see our sweets and brittle creations! If you have any questions, please write an e-mail or call me.

Best regards,

Mariann Magyar

http://mgrillazs.eliveport.com, E-mail: mgrillazs@gmail.com, Phone: (805) 791-7116

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