Sunday, April 22, 2007
It all started more than four hundred years ago, in 1683, when Ottomans sent 300,000 Turkish soldiers from Constantinople to siege Vienna and doing their best to fend of the encroaching armies of the Duke of Lorraine of France and King John of Poland who aimed to defend their allies in Austria.
As the plot unfolded, the star character taking center stage was one Franz Georg Kolschitzky who, wearing an ornate Turkish uniform, wended his way into the confidence of the Turks and managed to relay enough information to the Duke and the King. The Turks were rumored to leve inordinate amount of supplies: 10,000 oxen, 5,000 camels, 25,000 tents, and a rather large bounty of gold.
Kolschitzky, took another route to claim his role in Viennese history: he recognized that among the supplies the Turks left behind was a considerable amount of coffee beans. He wangled them for himself and with this chest of beans, opened Vienna's first coffeehouse, the Blue Bottle (aka Blue Flask). So popular was his new business, it soon spawned an official guild of coffeemakers (kaffe-sieder) and cafes bursted onto the scene in old-world Vienna, welcoming artists and anarchists, poets, and radicals.
Kipfel and krapfen are two pastries that date from Kolschitzky's era. The kipfel actually began as a politically incorrect piece of pastry. Shaped like the crescent in the Turkish flag, it gave many a Viennese great satisfaction to bite into it with gusto. The krapfen is a jelly doughnut that Kolschitzky commissioned to be designed. Each was eaten with the three types of Viennese coffees of that era: mélange, coffee with milk; braun, a darker brew with less milk; or schwarzer, a strong, very black cup of coffee.
Kipfel pastries are also popular in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and the following is a typical recipe of this classic.
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces of cottage cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a bowl, mix together the butter and cottage cheese until creamy smooth. Add the heavy cream and blend until well incorporated. Sift the flour then stir that in; a stiff dough will form. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To prepare for baking, chop the nuts until fine. Mix with the sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Grease a baking sheet lightly.
Divide the dough into thirds and keep one and return the other two to the refrigerator. Roll out the one-third segment on a floured board until it is as thin as you can roll it. Cut the dough into triangles about four inches wide. Place a heaping teaspoon of the nut mixture in the middle of the base of the triangle then start rolling from the bottom and curve slightly into the shape of a crescent. When you are through with this segment of the dough, use the second, then the third until all the crescents are complete. Bake at 400°F. until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a rack.
Posted by M.A.M at 7:48 PM