Rigo Jancsi is the Hungarian chocolate pastry which was on my do list for long time. Finally I made this delicious treat for this month Baking Partner’s challenge. Usually I make the recipes based on the ingredients, or importance. Never tried recipes based on the story behind it. Yes this Rigo Jansci is result of scandalous love story between a famous Hungarian Gypsy 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.
Not all the famous love stories ever end in happily ever after. Just like Romeo Juliet, Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal. Here is the story of this cake Rigo jancsi/Gypsy John cake. Clara Ward, born in 1873, was the youngest child of Eber Brock Ward, multi-millionaire captain of pretty much every pre-automotive industry in Detroit and the Midwest, and an actual captain, too. He died when Clara was two years old, leaving her all of his lumber fortune. (He also left behind lot of fortune for her, steel, railroad, silver and salt mine, shipping, real estate etc..)
When she reached 17 years old, Clara married the Belgian Prince de Caraman-Chimay and became one of Detroit’s elite contingents of gilded age celebrity princesses. It was the ultimate status move for wealthy industrialists: marry your pretty young daughter off to a minor European monarch, who has only name but in reality broke and needed cash for repairing his old chateau (Castle).
Clara was not found of her life in those large mansion may be she couldn’t adjust the life to his terms. Clara and the Prince left for Paris in 1894 when they got tired of dealing with the scandalous royal gossip. In between Clara become mother two kids. Clara and Prince were a frequent visitor of cafes where Clara met a Hungarian violinist named Rigó Jancsi(1896) and, to the creating confusion among the general public and the panting joy of tabloid reporters, fell in love and ran away with him.
To celebrate their love Rigo Jancsi asked the chef to create a cake in his name. The Prince de Caraman-Chimay sought a divorce. Meanwhile, gossip taunts followed Clara and Rigo all over Europe. After few years Rigo was not faithful to Clara and continuing with his affairs and cheating Clara. Clara in the end need to performed at cabarets and salons an art she called poses plastique (wearing something see through and standing still, in a pose, for a long time) for survival. She went on to marry a Spanish waiter she met on a train but her true love – and her last husband- was an Italian station master of a railroad. Clara died at the young age of 43 in Padua, Italy.
When I read about the story I know that I need to try this cake. At first tried recipe from a Hungarian site, but it turned out as a bad sponge cake. Then I tried recipe from Joe-pasty. However his recipe is for a big cake. I know if I made that nobody will try it. So I tried only 1/3 of the recipe. Also adjusted the chocolate mousse filling with gelatin as stabilized whipped cream tend to stay long than the non ones. Since I am the only one going to finish, if you can finish it sooner then, you can skip the stabilized whipped cream part.
I tell you this cake is also like their love story long process, took almost a day. First make chocolate sponge cake, then chocolate whipped cream mousse as filling, then again top with sponge cake and finally top with chocolate ganache. This cake is served as small 2 inch pieces. So there is enough for to a family of four to enjoy. Give it try if you are enthusiast like me. Chocolate over chocolate over chocolate will be delicious and dangerous isn’t it? Here is the recipe of Rigó Jancsi~ a traditional Hungarian and Viennese Celebration Cake