Elegant Hungarian Tortes and Homestyle Desserts for American Bakers (Great American Cooking Series #6) (Hardcover)
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When Ella Szabó fled her homeland during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, she never dreamed that someday she would become a member of the US Olympic swimming team, an accomplished baker in America, and the author of a cookbook about Hungarian desserts. But a chance encounter with a fellow Hungarian in Connecticut led to Ella’s becoming the custodian of a collection of heirloom recipes that form the core of this book.
More than fifty recipes tell you how to bake Hungarian tortes, cookies, pastries, and cakes, from elegant old-world pastry-shop classics like Linzer Torte and Esterhazy Torte to easy homestyle desserts, many of them from recipes that have never been published before. Try your hand at delicate nut-flour tortes made from walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts: Almond Meringue Torte with Coffee-Cream Filling, Walnut Wedding Torte with Hazelnut Filling, and Chocolate Roulade with Hazelnut Cream. Enjoy easy-to-make Hungarian Almond Biscotti, Orange Kugelhopf, and Cherry Sponge Cake. And delight in devouring Walnut-Apricot-Lemon Bars, traditional Hungarian Cheese Biscuits, and Beigli, a festive Hungarian pastry roll filled with walnuts or poppy seeds, always eaten at Christmas. You’ll also find a complete section on ingredients, equipment, and techniques, as well as several historical and contemporary photographs. And a bonus: most of the recipes for nut-flour tortes are naturally gluten-free.
About the Author
ELLA KOVÁCS SZABÓ (1929–2009) emigrated from Hungary to the United States in 1956. A talented baker, she was a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, a fund raiser for Les Dames d’Escoffier, and a member of the National League of American Pen Women. SHARON HUDGINS is an award-winning author, editor, journalist, and culinary historian. Her books include T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks: Cooking with Two Texans in Siberia and the Russian Far East (UNT Press) and Food on the Move: Dining on the Legendary Railway Journeys of the World. She lived in Central Europe for many years and has been a National Geographic Expert on Danube River cruises. EVE AINO ROZA WIRTH (daughter of Ella Kovács Szabó) grew up cooking and baking beside her mother, immersed in Hungarian customs and culinary traditions. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, her years have been spent as a graphic designer, event planner, fundraiser, nonprofit board member, mother, and wife.
“This is a delightful collection of rich Eastern European fancy cakes and pastries, so beloved of the coffeehouse culture of Budapest and Vienna. All the classics such as Esterhazy Torte, Linzer Torte, and Kugelhopf are here plus many others, some for the first time in English. Copious introductory material and the headnotes of the recipes are alive with Ms. Szabo’s reminiscences of life in old Budapest. This is a must for anyone who loves great cakes and pastries.”—Nick Malgieri, James Beard Award-winning author of How to Bake
“This extraordinary collection of Hungarian tortes and homestyle dessert recipes will make you run to the kitchen to bake. The nut tortes—almond, walnut, hazelnut, pecan, macadamia nut—are astonishingly delicious, and the collection here is unique. The section on equipment and ingredients is masterful. Get your taste buds ready for a bunch of thrilling adventures.”—Greg Patent, author of Baking in America and A Baker’s Odyssey
“My friend Ella Szabo’s life’s work was to share the unique canon of luscious Hungarian desserts with the world. In this book, she (and her daughter, Eve) bring her family’s heritage recipes to light, and the world is a better place for her efforts. Get ready to add some new favorites to your recipe box, direct from the authentic collection of this wonderful baker.”—Rick Rodgers, author of Kaffeehaus
“Ella Szabó’s collection of recipes, and the stories accompanying them, is a treasure to read, and an important contribution to the canon of Hungarian cookbooks. Her story and the stories behind these recipes really transport the reader to the kitchens of the Hungary (and Central Europe) of many years ago. Her detailed explanations of the important baking techniques will go a long way to encouraging the reader to create these desserts at home.”—Carolyn Bánfalvi, tastehungary.com, Budapest
“Ella Szabó is a true master of baking. This is a must-have cookbook for both baking enthusiasts and professionals alike—a magnificent showcase of traditional tortes, cookies, and the lost art of handwritten recipes to keep us all busy in the kitchen for a long time to come. Elegant Hungarian Tortes is a true work of art and glance into the love that Ella Szabó had for her craft.”—Chef Paul Kendeffy
“There are no other books that have this wealth of Hungarian dessert recipes. The story behind the book is also unique and compelling. Herein are the original author’s priceless store of time-tested recipes, which might otherwise have been lost to the world. The background text is very readable and interesting, and the recipes are easy to follow.”—Edward Vajda, Professor of Linguistics, Western Washington State University
"Elegant Hungarian Tortes is a joy to plan memorable menus with and is an ideal resource as a 'user friendly' compendium of palate-pleasing, appetite-satisfying, authentic Hungarian recipes suitable for even the most novice of kitchen cooks."--Midwest Book Review