Baking at the 20th Century Cafe
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The glories of Austro-Hungarian cakes, pastries, and desserts are legendary. But they have received little recent attention in baking books. Michelle Polzine is here to remedy that with this captivating collection of recipes from her San Francisco bakery.
Meticulous recipes, sometimes supported by careful step-by-step photographs, walk you through the creation of such classics as Sacher, Dobos, and Lizner tortes, Esterhazy Schnitten, vanilla kipferl cookies, and strudel, liebchen, strudel. There is other traditional Eastern European fare as well, including Moldovan cheese and nettle pie.
But Polzine is not content to rest on other bakers’ laurels, treating some of the best ingredients California and the US have to offer with inspiration from Mitteleuropa: cranberry-ginger upside cakes, a date-pistachio torte, Meyer lemon-coconut cheesecake, tangerine and coffee granita.
And yes, the cafe’s legendary honey cake is here as well, an elaborate ten-layer creation for which people make pilgrimages. None of this is quick-and-easy baking, but that isn’t to say it’s not wonderfully rewarding.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.