Category Archives: Austria

Viennese Topfenstrudel

This is the real thing from Vienna. Topfen, called Quark in Germany, is an unsalted curd cheese that’s used a lot in sweet and savoury dishes in Austria. You could use cream cheese or ricotta as a replacement.

60 grs butter at room temperature
50 grs sugar
2 eggs, separated into
yolks and eggs whites
250 grs unsalted fine curd cheese
125 ml sour cream
finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon
40 grs raisins

additional butter to brush the outside of the strudel
1 package of filo pastry

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare the filling: Whisk the egg whites until very stiff. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter until soft, then add sugar, yolks, strained curd cheese, sour cream, zest and raisins. Mix well, then carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the rest of the mass.

On your counter-top, place a slightly moist kitchen cloth, then open the package of filo pastry (it dries out in minutes, so wait until the last minute). On the towel, place one sheet of pastry on top of a second sheet. Spread the filling on one fifth of the pastry sheets, leaving space on the sides around it. Then fold in the sides and start to roll up the strudel with the help of the table cloth underneath it. Place on a greased baking tray, brush with melted butter and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden

Dust with icing sugar and serve warm. For added richness, the strudel can be served with hot home-made vanilla custard.

Source: Hess, Wiener Küche

postmodern apricot dumplings

A postmodern deconstruction of an Austrian dessert classic that is much lighter than the original.
50 grs breadcrumbs
50 grs almonds (optional)
50 grs butter
pinch of salt

6 tbsp brown sugar 
8-10 apricots, ripe but firm
a few dashes of apricot schnaps or vin de liqueur (optional)

200 ml yogurt
200 ml mascarpone or whipping cream
3 tbsp  linden honey or elderflower syrup
2 cream chargers (optional)

Mix the yogurt, mascarpone and honey into a smooth cream. For a lighter texture, replace mascarpone with whipping cream, put everything into a syphon and charge with two cream chargers. Keep cool in the fridge. Melt a big knob of butter with a pinch of salt in a non-stick frying pan and on low heat, let the breadcrumbs and almonds slowly toast to a golden brown colour. Keep warm. Cut apricots into eights, caramelize sugar in a non-stick pan, coat the apricots in the sugar and deglaze with a dash of apricot schnaps or vin de liqueur. Keep warm.

To assemble, layer the ingredients into a tall, thin glass in the following order: Start with 1 cm of breadcrumbs, then 1.5 cms of yogurt, 3 cms of apricots , 1.5 cms of yogurt and finish with 1 cm of breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.

Peaches can be substituted for the apricots. Vanilla can be added to the fruits if they are not ripe and fragrant enough.

fried quince

Quince, one of those old-fashioned fruits that’s half-forgotten but well worth rediscovering.

ghee or butter
icing sugar

Peel and core the quince, cut in slices, a centimeter thick. Fry on both sides in ghee or butter until soft, brown and golden. Dust with icing sugar. Delicious. Can be combined with other deserts. Also great with game lamb or pork dishes.


2 egg-whites
2 yolks
30 grs fine caster sugar
200 ml milk
150 grs flour

Serves four, or one in the mountains.

Beat egg-whites to form stiff, firm peaks. In a separate bowl, mix yolks and sugar, then add milk, flour and a liberal amount of salt. Fold in the egg-whites.The batter should be fluffy and runny. Melt butter in a pan and pour in the batter. Fry until browned and turn over, when both sides are browned, rip into pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue frying until caramelized.

Serve dusted with icing sugar and compote: plum and elderberry, apple or pear.

Raisins can be added to the dough or sprinkled on the Schmarren when serving.

Beef Gulasch – Rindsgulasch (serves 4)

70g butter
400g onion, finely chopped (can be coarse-grated in a food processor)
1 tb Hungarian rose paprika
some concentrated tomato puree (optional, to improve colour)
1 tb red wine vinegar
550g beef, not too lean
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
2 cloves garlic, ground to a paste
1 tb flour

Sauté onions slowly without browning them. Add paprika and vinegar, then the meat, followed by caraway, a little majoram, garlic and salt. Cover with water or stock and simmer. Add more liquid if necessary. Dust with flour to thicken. Bring to the boil once more.

[try coating meat in the paprika before adding]

Serve with boiled potatoes, home-made Nockerln or crusty white bread rolls.

The onions have to be chopped as fine as possible and be fried on low heat as long as possible without browning. Then they need to be boiled in the Gulash until they disintegrate completely. That’s the trick for a good gulasch, plenty of onions that have completely dissolved in the sauce, thickening and flavouring it at the same time…

And a Gulasch gets better with time and repeated re-heating. So make it a couple of days in advance and reheat it once a day.

Saftgulasch is prepared in the same way but with equal amounts of onion and meat. Hungarian Gulasch is prepared in the same way but with potatoes that are cooked together with the meat.

Source: Georg