07 May 2011

You are an obsession, you're my obsession...

I have a long-standing relationship with obsession.

I should probably just let that sit there for a moment.

Okay...


Past fixations have included everything from Woody Allen and Depeche Mode to Maguerite Duras and canelés and of course certain boys who shall remain nameless. When I fall, I fall hard! I'm sure I don't have to describe to you what obsession can look like, just know that I am really good at it.
 


Now I have a new object of my laser-like focus. We (Cody and I) recently traveled to both Austria and the Czech Republic and I did what I do on every trip - I ate every traditional food item I could manage to wedge into my mouth! It wasn't pretty or lady-like, it was base, carnal, and nothing short of amazing!

AUSTRIAN PASTRY!  CZECH PASTRY!  I LOVE KAFFEEHAUS CULTURE!

I fell hard for all the tortes and schnittes. Pretty, tasty, elegant, creamy, and not too sweet. I always want my coffee served to me on a silver tray with a teeny-tiny cup of water!

When I got home I combed the internet for information. I wanted books, history, recipes. I was surprised how difficult it was to find. There doesn't seemed to be the cult-like following that I expected for these pastries. Believe me, I was ready to join that cult. I did find one site that led me to a book that seemed written especially for me: Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. I ordered it right away.

The days that passed until the book arrived felt like an eternity. When it finally did, I ripped it out of the envelope and started to read. I didn't speed through it like you might expect, I read slowly and deliberately. I wanted it to sink in. I didn't allow myself to try any of the recipes until I'd read the entire book and that was really, really hard. Now I've finished it and I am sated. Almost. 

I knew 10 pages in that this was my new project. I knew I would bake everything in this book even the recipes that celebrated cooked fruit (gross!) and poppy seed paste (not gross, but no love connection either). Everything.  I will bake it all. This is our first project together. I hope you're as ready as I am.

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