For six months, the sign tantalised: there on the side of the highway on Ballarat’s eastern approach, “Hungarian Chimney Cakes’.
Oh, the mystery! The exotic appeal — why Hungarian? What chimney? Just … what?!
Well, the answer is tasty indeed, with the pastries being dispensed at Ozzie Creations, right next to the remarkable Mill Markets.
The cylindrical pastries, harking from Transylvania and baked on a rod, have the texture of doughnut under a hard crust. Sayest the blurb: ‘a handmade pastry with a crunchy caramel coating wrapped in sweet spices and nuts’. They unroll in a long tendril that’s not only noms but damn fun to munch. They take 6-7 minutes to bake, but there’s enough pretty — gem stones and gewgaws and clothes, personalised jigsaws made from photographs — in the shop to occupy your attention, as well as tables and chairs if you can’t wait to get home to tuck in. They make other snacks, and coffee, too.
The adjacent Ballarat branch of the Mill Markets is well worth a visit for antique hunters and gift buyers: the sprawling complex is divided into bays where shops range from artisans selling glassware, handmade soaps and paintings, to business offshoots hocking old toys, antique and funky furniture, and all manner of stuff — even suits of armour. If you’re into old stuff, allow two hours at least to peruse, and take heart that there are clean loos and a cafe on site … plus a seriously large fireplace with sofas.
Yes, it’s getting cold in Ballaratia, with the morning mists a’lingering. Thank goodness for the chimney (cakes)!
Those Transylvanians loved putting things on rods 😀
Try the caviar, I’m here all week 😀