Tourists who visit Hungary will taste the famous Hungarian ‘brandy’ called palinka sooner or later during their visit. This unique Hungaricum is a strong, yet tasty and fruity alcoholic beverage and one of the main characteristics of Hungarian culture and gastronomy.
The soil in Hungary is extremely suitable for cultivation of fruit and vegetables, especially the Great Hungarian Plain, which is a huge region in Hungary where most palinka originates from. The tastiest types of palinka are said to be the apricot palinka, but many people like palinka made of plum, sour cherry and even Williams pear.
It is also an interesting fact to know that just like many strong alcoholic drinks, palinka is often used – especially among the elderly people – to cure several kinds of illnesses like cold, flu and some stomach related problems like overeating for instance. However, many people who taste palinka for the first time find it rather strong so if someone is new to palinka consumption there are great ways to get used to its unique taste and use it in the kitchen for example for desserts and baked goods.
Palinka works great with certain kinds of desserts and creates a wonderful harmony of flavours, if used carefully and wisely. The first thing that comes to the mind of a sweet-toothed person is of course, chocolate. And with a clever twist chocolate can easily be turned into delicious bonbons and if you are making homemade bonbons, you can use whatever you like, sky is the limit really but a palinka infused chocolate bonbon is definitely a great delicacy if you want to amaze your guests for example.
You can use any kinds of fruit, the only rule that you should keep in mind is the following: palinka should match fruit for the perfect flavour harmony. In the following, you will find the recipe of sour cherry palinka bonbons.
Ingredients: 100 grams of dried sour cherry, 1 dl sour cherry palinka, 4 tbs of sugar, 300 grams of dark chocolate
Preparation: Soak the sour cherries in palinka for at least 3-4 days.
Melt the chocolate with some unsalted butter or oil over the steam of boiling water (pay attention to chocolate temperature!) and fill the bonbon mold with the melted chocolate.
Put it aside and let it chill in the freezer but constantly check its texture. Do not overfreeze chocolate!
Put sugar into the cherry-palinka mixture and boil for a few minutes and cool it down.
Fill the bonbon mold and pour the remaining chocolate onto the cherry mixture.
Put it in the freezer again to let it stick together. With the above mentioned amounts you will get 24 bonbons. (Tip: professional bonbon makers use polycarbonate bonbon molds, which are durable, very easy to use and do not require regular washing.
Palinka as a versatile alcoholic drink is great for baked cakes as well. You can use it for fruit cakes and even brownies.