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Austrian Desserts and Pastries: 108 Classic Recipes Hardcover – Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; Reprint edition (Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616083999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616083991
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 18.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm interested in the origins of patisserie and although French patisserie gets all the credit, I wonder if there aren't a few origins from Austria, especially as there have been numerous influxes, either friendly or not, over the centuries between European countries. In this I've not been disappointed. I've just bought this so will update my post when I've had an opportunity to try out some of these lovely recipes presented in such mouthwatering photos.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
122 of 128 people found the following review helpful
Stunning but there are problems 8 Oct. 2011
By Grandma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you remember your history, much of what we call Germany today, along with most of the Balkans, Poland, Hungary, Austria and even part of northern Italy were once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and they were famous for - among other things - their food, particularly pastries. Long ago and far away I had the privilege of living in Germany for several years. During most of that time my apartment was in the home of a wonderful German woman who became like a second mother to me. One custom that Lydia and her family observed daily was a coffee hour about 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon. Everyone who was available in the household and often a guest or two would gather in Lydia's living room for coffee and pastries. The simpler ones Lydia often baked herself and I was lucky enough to learn her recipes, recipes that I still use today. The more complicated things, though, were usually brought in from the Konditorei. Most days there would be just one or two offerings, but holidays and birthdays always brought a wide array of stunningly beautiful, marvelously tasty creations, some of which have haunted my dreams for forty years or so. The recipes for most of them are in Austrian Desserts and Pastries: 108 Classic Recipes, as well as recipes for many of the sweets we sampled touring Germany and Austria, and some specialties I'm unfamiliar with like Pumpkin Strudel and Rhubarb Strudel. The book is beautifully printed on quality paper and it features loads of color photographs of the final product. I did, however, find some problems.

First, this book was translated from German and it is clear that while the translator is competent to translate, he is not a cook and definitely not a pastry chef, so some things have been translated literally but not well. Bear with me while I do a bit better of a job with some of those. You will often find something called "torte glaze" called for as an ingredient. In practical terms, the most generally available product is Dr. Oetker Clear Glaze, 2 Packets each .35oz. While some supermarkets do carry Dr. Oetker products, their Clear Glaze is not one that I have run across here in the US. You may have to order this online. The link that I included goes to just one of the several sellers here at Amazon that offer the product. You should not consider this an endorsement of any one particular seller. You may also need Dr. Oetker Vanillin Sugar (10 Pack) or Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin Sheets (Dr. Oetker's gelatine sheets, which are made in Germany, are offered here on Amazon, but I cannot acquire a link for those). Most of the recipes also specify "flour(fine)" without stating whether the most acceptable flour available in the US is pastry flour, cake flour or 00 flour.

Some attempt to translate the recipes from the original Metric measurements to US standard has been made, but the results are patchy at best and many of the recipes are inconsistent in the measuring system used. A "heaped cup" could easily range from an extra tablespoon to nearly an extra cup, depending on your particular idea of "heaped." For best results you will want to follow the metric measurements and will need a scale to weigh dry ingredients. There are a huge variety available in both manual and digital models across the whole spectrum of price ranges. Look for a model that "tares" - allows you to zero out the weight of the container so no math is required - and has a display with numbers large enough to see underneath your container, ideally one that measures as small as 1 gram and as much as 7+ pound (about 3 kilos.) Your standard Pyrex glass measuring cups have metric liquid measure on one side. Don't be surprised to find one recipe calling for a teaspoon of something and that immediately following it asking for 4 grams of the same ingredient.

Finally - and hardly least - the recipes often either fail to give a pan size, stating only that a recipe makes "one torte of 12 slices" or call for a pan that most American home bakers will not be familiar with. The two most prominent of those are a Gugelhupf (Kugelhopf) pan and a rehrucken loaf pan. While these can be hard to locate, several versions of each are available here at Amazon. SCI Scandicrafts Kugelhopf Mold 9-inch 10-Cup is nearly identical to the mold in my kitchen and the Rehrucken Ribbed Loaf Pan - 11" Long is very similar and of the correct size for the recipes in the book. Both are eligible for Super Saver shipping. I've written to the publisher for clarification of pan sizes for the various cakes & tortes and will update this once I've received a reply. Additionally, one or two of the recipes call for a pastry frame, an item common to a commercial bakery but not part of the usual equipment one would find in even the most well equipped households. The least expensive available here is Paderno World Cuisine Adjustable Rectangular Frame Extender (from 11 Inch x 7 1/2 Inch to 21 1/4 Inch x 13 3/8 Inch), but at $57.26 you might very well want to leave this on the shelf and improvise.

Austrian Desserts and Pastries: 108 Classic Recipes is definitely not a book for the novice baker by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it a book for those who are not comfortable switching between measuring systems. That said, if you have a bit of patience and a little knowledge of baking wizardry, the results for many of these pastries will be spectacular.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Charming! 19 Oct. 2011
By Malini L. Goculdas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When I saw this book I simply had to get my paws on it. Dietmar Fercher is a famous Viennese pastry chef. He has worked in Austria and Germany and now has his own cafe-patesserie which has won awards.

This book is a visual treat, packed with luscious pastries shown in tantalizing photographs. They are of the highest quality, pastries that you would eat in small amounts because they give high satisfaction.

The book is translated from the German, and in some instances one feels it has barely been translated at all! But this simply furthers its charm and lends authenticity. If you are considering buying this book, you probably would be open to some non-English as long as it doesn't interfere with teh baking. While many of the recipe names might be unimaginative by the frilly standards of French patisserie - "raisin cake" or "punch torte" for example - finally a spade is called a spade, and the end-result is none the less for it.

The recipes are clear and straightforward. If you are an uncertain baker, start with something that is not too complicated and just follow the steps. (I'm no expert, just someone willing to dive in!) Best of all, the recipes inspire confidence. Perhaps us humble folk can also one day create stunning multi-layered torten or make blatterteig from scratch. In baking (as in life!) many complicated things are possible when broken down into small steps.

I made the wine souffle, which consists of white wine and lemon. It was easy to do, but then souffles suffer a bad rep for no reason! It was very, very tasty. Quite a good combination of flavors. Raised a few eyebrows around here, as no one had heard of a souffle made with wine. Unusual is good.

This is the very first book that makes me feel I can make puff pastry from scratch. That's the sort of thing one hopes from a cookbook. And I well over 500, oh dear...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great - love it 3 Jun. 2014
By Lunchtimerunner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am Austrian and I got this book as a gift for someone. I flipped through the book to make sure it was good enough to give away; The book is great; Recipes in there are what my mom makes, what I make at home, etc; There are also lots of pictures and "technical" instructions on how to do things; Like how to pull Strudel dough;
I can definitely recommend this book, you won't be disappointed;
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Book 5 Jan. 2013
By Happy Dish Lady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the previous reviewer noted, this book can be a bit confusing due to the baking terminology and the European ingredients and bakeware. With a little persistence, and a good search engine, one can decipher the sometimes confusing aspects of this book. Even in spite of such hurdles, I can highly recommend this publication. The photography (every recipe has a picture) is in itself a work of art. Before even trying one of the recipes, I enjoyed just flipping through the book. I eventually made the strawberry schnitten. Wow! It was a work of art as well as a culinary delight. This book would also make a great gift - - the binding and paper are of a very high quality and the presentation is top-notch.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Kindle Edition: Only 30% of recipes have accompanying photographs 16 April 2013
By Pastry Princess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I am reviewing the Kindle edition of this book. Many positive reviews on here rave about the abundance of beautiful photos in the book. According to Happy Dish Lady's review, there is a photo for every recipe. Unfortunately, I discovered that this is NOT the case for the Kindle edition. Approximately only 30% of the recipes have accompanying photographs or diagrams. I need photos/diagrams to show me what a "Stirred Linzer Torte" is supposed to look like if I want to try to make it. Overall I am disappointed with the digital edition but planning to purchase the hard copy because I would still like to learn traditional Austrian patisserie. On the recipes: I've never been to Austria, so I cannot comment on the authenticity of the flavors/textures in the finished product. But I made the strawberry torte pictured on the cover (without the polkadots) and it tasted very good.
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