Adventures in baking, pt. 2

/ 31 March 2007

Our eldest son, Alex, turns 15 tomorrow. It’s very hard for me to believe he’s that old already, even though he’s taller than I am! As part of the celebration, I tried to bake a cake for him today. He asked for a yellow cake with buttercream frosting — which is one of the most basic, and therefore easy, of the cakes I bake. Only, I’ve never tried to bake a cake in Vienna before. I’ve discovered that even cake flour is not very finely ground, and powdered sugar is not very powdered. I suspect this cake will taste ok, but I think it will be the first one I’ve made in which the frosting actually still “crunches” with sugar grains.

I think the solution is obvious: learn how to bake Viennese pastries and doughs. Oma gave me a first lesson, making something that's a cross between a sweet bread and a coffee cake. It's really good -- but as she doesn't use a recipe, I think it will take me a long time to learn how to duplicate it well. Her instructions include "add enough egg for it to look thick" and "then dump in a little milk" etc. etc.