Blogging from Germany: Cake

I'm blathering on through equal portions of lemon cheesecake as well as himbeer/rasberry cake as I write. Seriously, to come to Germany and not stuff one's face with cake is a serious omission. Day One, we had cherry cheesecake, strawberry torte and German apple cake with whipped cream. And this was just for lunch.

Himbeerkuchen from Grimminger's
Just your average garden variety zitron cheesecake....
...off a market shelf
There's not much more that can be written about German cake. Except perhaps this: the stuff that was covered with some indeterminate white icing, brown flakes and red bits of candied papaya peel and called Black Forest in the Blue Moon/Blue Diamond cafeterias before they too succumbed to Mall-Heaven and whose descendants now malinger in various bakeries around Bangalore - is a bloody fake! A spy in the House of Love! 

To taste a real slice of schwarzwälder kirschtorte is to experience the loveliest 'small death' in a flurry of cream, chocolate, black cherries and booze. My friend Isabel Ferrari makes the superfragilisti-best I have ever tasted. Stacked skyscraper high with layers of chocolate cake and whipped cream, she adds generous doses of cherry schanpps to both cake and cream. 

Mannheim is also the city of Mozart. And what Mozart liked to do was sit in a particular cake shop, Konditorei und Kaffee Herdeggen, in the Quadrat and eat cake.

We went there one day, to eat Rhubarb Cake in the spring. But ended up also eating mango/coconut, chocolate/hazelnut and passionfruit. 

It is no wonder that children play...

Backe, backe Kuchen,
der Bäcker hat gerufen.

Wer will feinen Kuchen backen,
der muss haben 7 Sachen:

Zucker und Salz,
Butter und Schmalz,
Eier und Mehl,
Safran macht den Kuchen gelb.
Schieb in den Ofen rein

Baking is really a fine art.

Often on a morning, I go across to buy little multigrain rolls and pumpernickel at Grimminger's. And I find it impossible to resist also picking up a vanilla danish or a cinnamon roll or an enchanting, jewel-like slice of erdbeerkuchen, the strawberries glazed like uncut rubies above a layer of cake.

It was in Dresden that I ate my first stollen. Lemony and flecked with currants, I fell so in love and have since always taken some marzipan-coated stollen back home, to pick on in June or August and have Christmas flashbacks.

Ah.....sehr gut....mmm..mmm...mmm. Thus between the discourse of kuchen and torten and the semantics of fruit, cream, marzipan and chocolate, my waistline expands luxuriously. I stretch, I sigh and I make strange sounds of pleasure.

So, of cake in Germany, it appears one must simply ask "Are you experienced?"

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