Baking at the 20th Century Cafe: Iconic European Desserts from Linzer Torte to Honey Cake

December 3, 2020
Baking at the 20th Century Cafe: Iconic European Desserts from Linzer Torte to Honey Cake

“Dazzling. . . . [Polzine] brings a fresh approach andsingular panache. . . . Her clear voice and precise, idiosyncraticinstructions will allow home bakers to make exquisite fruit tartswith strawberries and plums, elegant cookies and layercakes.”—Emily Weinstein, New York Times, The 14 BestCookbooks of Fall 2020“This book . . . just keeps on giving. An absolute joyfor bakers.”—Diana Henry, The Telegraph (U.K.), The 20 BestCookbooks to Buy This AutumnAdmit it. You're here for the famous honeycake. A glorious confection of ten airy layers, flavoredwith burnt honey and topped with a light dulce de leche creamfrost­ing. It's an impressive cake, but there's so much more. Waituntil you try the Dobos Torta or Plum Kuchen or VanillaCheesecake.Throughout her baking career, Michelle Polzine of SanFrancisco's celebrated 20th Cen­tury Cafe has been obsessed withthe tortes, strudels, Kipferl, rugelach, pierogi, blini, and otherfamous delicacies you might find in a grand cafe of Vienna orPrague. Now she shares her passion in a book that doubles as amaster class, with over 75 no-fail recipes, dozens of innovativetechniques that bakers of every skill level will find indispensable(no more cold but­ter for a perfect tart shell), and a revelationof in­gredients, from lemon verbena to peach leaves.Many recipes are lightened for contem­porary tastes, and arepresented through a California lens—think Nectarine Strudel orDate-Pistachio Torte. A surprising num­ber are gluten-free. And allare written with the author's enthusiastic and singular voice,describing a cake as so good it "will knock your socks off, andwash and fold them too."Who wouldn't want a slice of that? With Schlag, of course.