Per CakeSpy reader Amy:
A bakery selling something called 'chimney cakes' opened up around the corner from me recently. Chimney Cake Island. I couldn't find any mention of the chimney cake on your site so I thought I'd pass the word along. Apparently chimney cakes are Romanian (?). I plan to stop into the shop this weekend.
Well, Amy, you are right about the cakes being associated with Eastern Europe. As I found out on that handy-dandy site Wikipedia,
Kürtőskalács or kürtős kalács is a Hungarian pastry also known as chimney cake or stove cake or Hungarian wedding cake. It is baked on a tapered cylindrical spit over an open fire. Originally from Transylvania, it is famous as Hungary's oldest pastry. Kürtőskalács is sold in bakeries, pastry shops and even street vendors are selling them on street corners, carnivals and fairs.
Kürtőskalács consists of a thin yeast pastry ribbon wound around a wooden cylinder, heavily sprinkled with sugar, thus becoming a helix shaped cylindrical pastry or a pastry roll that sometimes tapers very slightly towards the end. The pastry is baked on a hand-turned, tapered, wooden spit, rolled slowly on the wooden cylinder above an open fire. The dough is yeast-raised, flavored with sweet spices, the most common being cinnamon, topped with walnuts or almonds, and sugar. The sugar is caramelized on the kürtöskalács surface, creating a sweet, crispy crust.
In Chicago? Please report back with your thoughts on this intriguing new bakery! Find them online at chimneycakeisland.com!