salzburg + hallstatt

our second honeymoon stop was salzburg, where we engaged in extreme tourism by way of a sound of music tour, fancy wieners in hidden alleys, and mozart kugel! that fancy wiener part sounds dirtier than it is. we really just found this great hidden sausage stand that shakes a bunch of curry on your wiener and people stand in a cronut-sized line for them (so i guess it isn't actually that hidden). 

but let us discuss the cuteness that is salzburg! salzburg is like whoville and disneyland with a large emphasis on cake and chocolate. i loved it so much. and what's even greater is that it's not even really trying that hard to be cute, it is o.g. cute because it's been like that for hundreds and hundreds of years. we went to a restaurant that was 1200 years old and a bakery that was 800 years old. can you even imagine 1200 years ago?! i can't, i just get flashbacks of failing my gregorian chant tests in first-year music history. for the record i did inquire about that bakery's sourdough starter (what is the german word for starter?) but alas their starter is not 800 years old. 

our sound of music tour was everything we dreamed it would be! we frolicked down the path where maria sings "i have confidence" and ate cake in a cafe right next to the church where they got married. eggboy asked if the von trapps really walked across the alps to switzerland, and our tour guide informed us that, no, they just walked 600 meters to the train station. it all suddenly became clear but i'm pretty sure that eggboy would have loved an x-treme sound of music tour requiring a days-long hike through the alps. 

we spent one afternoon in the little lakeside town of hallstatt, about an hour outside of salzburg. we felt like we were in a postcard the entire time. it's so pretty and it has the coolest history. it is home to the oldest salt mine in the world and up until recently, it was only accessible by boat. it kind of reminded me of being on catalina island. a schnitzel-scented catalina island, because of a waterfront schnitzel and sausage stand. not that i'm complaining or anything.


here are some places in salzburg that we loved!

schatz konditorei // this place is hidden in an alley and it might be the cutest bakery of all time. it's the definition of cozy and it sells the cutest colorful cakes. seriously, it is the bakery of my dreams. 

café tomaselli // even though it's pretty young by salzburg standards (only 150 years old!), it's a total institution. i guess mozart drank almond milk there?? if you go, take a peak into the upstairs room, it is so beautiful, i can see why people are regulars. 

cafe-konditorei fürst // ok, yes, we spent about three days in salzburg and this is the third bakery i'm listing, and we went to all of these places multiple times, so do you see why i only packed stretchy pants. but we had to go to this one, it's home to the original mozartkugel!

stiftsbackerei st. peter // this is the 800 year old bakery! it's the bread bakery for the st. peter monastery and it has the fluffiest brioche and the most fantastic smells.

st. peter stiftskeller // the oldest restaurant in the world. it's connected to the same monastery as the stiftsbackerei and we came here for valentine's day. i have to admit, we kept getting distracted trying to envision what it would have looked like 1200 years ago and placing bets on where mozart sat.

hotel goldener hirsch // this place was our cozy oasis in the middle of old town salzburg. it oozes with character and has the most amazing traditional decor. i'm so glad we stayed there. 

restaurant s'herzl // this is one of the restaurants connected to the goldener hirsch, and i had one of my favorite meals of hour whole trip there. goulash with knödel! eggboy got the schnitzel so i tasted some of his, but i don't know, i think goulash was the surprise winner of my heart for this trip.

augustiner bräu // it's a massive beer hall inside a monastery. if i ever decide to become a monk, you'll know where to find me. 

balkan grill // this is the alleyway sausage place i mentioned above. toasty buns, lots of curry, two sausages to a bun. it's so good, it makes me want to shake a bunch of curry onto everything.

bob's tours // this was the tour company we used for the sound of music tour and the hallstatt tour and they were great! we took both tours on a sunday which worked out really well since not a whole lot of businesses are open on sundays. 

gmundner keramik // we didn't buy a whole lot of souvenirs, but we did buy some little dishes from this company, which has been in business since 1492. our hotel had these ceramics everywhere and i loved them so much, so we figured this would be a perfect place to get some little mementos. 

-yeh!

halva + jam hamantaschen

the whole time we were in europe, whenever my phone would get a little bite of wifi and refresh its facebooky self, a new outrageous form of hamantaschen would pop up on my screen and my jaw would drop and i would take eggboy's attention away from his maps and tell him all about them. cheddar biscuit hamantaschen. hand pie hamantaschen. manischewitz hamantaschen. funfetti (!!!!!!!) hamantaschentaco hamantaschen!!!!!

like, i'm sorry, original sacher torte, you need to hold on, i'm having a hamantaschen emergency. being present and living in the moment, it's what i do best (?)

fascinatingly, i found a hazelnut filled triangle cookie in the back of a dainty pastry case in lucerne that looked almost exactly like the massive hamantaschen from new york delis. i asked the baker what it was called, curious if lucernians had a different name for it, but she didn't know and i already had a mouth full of marzipan so i didn't get one and now, talking to you, i'm embarrassed by my poor research skills. 

needless to say, i had a big list of things to make as soon as i got home and hamantaschen was number one. (goulash was number two, knödel was number three.) it was a true sign that leah koenig's new book, modern jewish cooking, was waiting for me when i returned. and there are some sexy hamantaschen in that book, both savory and sweet. 

there are a lot of sexy things in that book in fact. a sundae with tahini, pistachios, and figs. jalapeño-shallot matzo balls. savory french toast with za'atar butter. it's like leah asked me what all of my favorite ingredients were and then fancied them up in the most inspiring and beautiful ways. there's already a stain on the hamantaschen page, and i look forward to getting the rest of it all dirtied up and loved to bits. 

these hamantaschen use the dough from leah's book, which is extra convenient because it doesn't require softening butter or cream cheese, and so you don't need to use an electric mixer. it's also totally dairy free. for the filling, i took some of my own liberties and used halva spread from sesame story, which is the creamiest halva i've ever had, but you can also make your own and do what leah does and add a brilliant pinch of cayenne. and then any jam will do. i pulled out blueberry, blackberry, apricot, and strawberry... the more kinds you use, the more you get to taste test :)


halva + jam hamantaschen

makes about 36 cookies

ingredients

dough (from leah koenig's modern jewish cooking):

2 1/2 c/315 g all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tb fresh orange juice

1/4 c/60 ml vegetable oil

2/3 c/130 g sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon zest

filling:

halva spread

jam

clues

whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. 

in a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest until combined. slowly stir in the flour mixture until the dough begins to come together. turn the dough out onto a flat surface and knead a few times with your hands until it is smooth, but not sticky. (if the dough appears too dry, knead in more orange juice, 1 tsp at a time. if it looks too wet, knead in up to 1/4 c/30g more flour, 1 tb at a time until you reach the right consistency.)

divide into two flat discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

preheat oven to 350f/180c and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. remove half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-in/4-mm thickness. use a 3-in/7.5-cm round cookie cutter or glass to cut out circles and transfer them to the baking sheet, 1/2-in/12-mm apart. re-roll scraps and cut out additional circles.

spread about 1/2 tsp of halva spread in the center of each circle and then add a small dollop of jam. fold the left side over on an angle, followed by the ride side and then the bottom, forming a triangle-shaped pocket. pinch the seams firmly to seal. repeat this process with the remaining dough.

bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. let them cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


-yeh!

vienna

i woke up at four this morning with all of the jet-lag! oh man, i am a sleepy sally and it appears that not even any amount of ina garten making eton mess for alex baldwin in the tv will keep me awake right now. 

since four this morning i have drank many espressos, done an enormous amount of laundry, arranged all of eggboy's guidebooks and souvenirs on his desk, bought lots of vegetables to make up for only eating salami and schnitzel and cake and knödel the past two weeks, and placed a new baking soda in the refrigerator because i brought home pinzgau cheese which is so outrageously smelly, it's a good thing our closest neighbors are cats.

above are all of my favorite photos from the first stop on our honeymoon, vienna! our days in vienna began with the doughiest tastiest bread and the creamiest scrambled eggs at our little b&b, which played a continuous soundtrack of waltzes. from there, we went and introduced ourselves to our favorite composer statues, conducted daily cake research, and spent the time with schnitzel that schnitzel deserves. we explored the naschmarkt and the opera hall, and one day on the outskirts of the city, we went bonkers when we came across the apartment that beethoven lived in when he wrote his second symphony. we didn't know how we could top that the next day, but then we ate at a restaurant with a cheese library and a bread sommelier, so there was that! 

the german that i learned in high school came back to me bit by bit and i was able to order a sacher torte and salami pizza on pizza night. every so often we'd see a sign or a plaque from which we could safely assume that, oh, mozart must have walked down this road, or oh, maybe mahler was here. it was really quite magical.


here are some places in vienna that we loved! (thank you sooo much to all of those who sent recommendations!!!)

 

cafe demel // we shared an esterhazy torte in a grand room with a huge chandelier and it felt so fancy. there's a big window to the kitchen so you can watch the bakers decorate all of the cakes. i could have stayed there all day!

trzesniewski // tasty little open faced sandwiches with pickles and eggs and bacon.

mayer am pfarrplatz // a winery on the outskirts of vienna, right where beethoven spent a few summers! i kept stealing bites of eggboy's spätzle, it was so good.

joseph // the most amazing bread. so doughy and chewy and flavorful... it left me speechless.

spiess & spiess // our cute little b & b in a quiet residential part of vienna, with a cute little courtyard and perfect scrambled eggs. 

if dogs run free // we had drinks and became the most hipster versions of ourselves.

steirereck // it's a restaurant in a park with a cheese library, a bread sommelier, a chocolate course, and an indoor herb garden. it was like eating at a tasty museum! i loved it so much. (thanks, pops!! :)

figlmüller // where schnitzel dreams come true.


-yeh!


matcha cake with black sesame buttercream

greetings from the alps!! today we left salzburg and arrived in the tiny town of mittersill, austria, which is surrounded by the biggest and handsomest mountains i ever did see. we are so full on cake and knödel and rye bread and i have forgotten what vegetables taste like. we are having the most wonderful time! 

i believe there is a sauna at our hotel so we're off to do some research on that! but more on our honeymoon soon :) 

for now, cake!

may we all give a round of applause to the power couple that is matcha and black sesame? they go so swimmingly well together in sweet green tea and nutty sesame glory, and they even look good together, in that dark but whimsical way. to the designer that creates a matcha and black sesame inspired dress, can i be your friend?

let's take a look at some of matcha and black sesame's recent appearances:

buttermilk matcha rolls with black sesame filling aka the star of my next brunch party!

black sesame vertical cake roll with matcha mochi completely mind blowing.

matcha + black sesame mousse cake it almost looks too perfect to eat.

black sesame cake with matcha frosting as if these mini cakes just swapped their outfits.

matcha panna cotta with sesame brittle such daintiness!

matcha cake with black sesame frosting and brittle beautiful!!! 

sesame nougat with matcha chocolate and black sesame yes.

do you see what i mean? look out, blake lively and ryan reynolds. 

here we have mini cakes and medium cakes. the mini cakes were made in their typical mini cake way, with 2 1/2-inch circles stacked with a blob of frosting piped in the middle. and the medium cakes were made using a newer-to-me technique that's based on momofuku milk bar's cake decorating technique, with of course further inspiration from graham and his cake to end all cakes. with this technique, you are supposed to use a cake ring and some acetate to create sort of a tube that you fill with layers of cake and frosting before freezing and then removing from the ring. (specific steps are here.) but i spent about 20 minutes too many searching for the perfect cake ring online before deciding to just make my own by way of a 28-ounce tomato can. so i removed both ends of the can, (made tomato soup), and then used the can to cut out a few cake circles. instead of using acetate i lined the inside of the can with parchment, and then set it on a plate before pressing some cake down into it and piping in some frosting between the layers. i froze my can of cake for a few hours before removing the can and the parchment. it was so much fun! i highly recommend it.

of course, if you'd like a magnum sized cake, this recipe will also work to make one 2-layer 8-inch cake. 


matcha cake with black sesame buttercream

makes one 2-layer 8-inch cake, three to four 4-inch cakes, or about twelve 2 1/2-inch cakes

ingredients

cake:

1 3/4 c sugar

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

2 tb aiya cooking grade matcha 

1 1/2 tsp each: baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt

2 large eggs

1 c buttermilk

1/2 c flavorless oil, like canola

1 1/2 tb vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

3/4 c boiling water

frosting:

2 c unsalted butter, softened

4 2/3 c powdered sugar

6 tb toasted black sesame seeds, finely ground in a spice grinder

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

a pinch of kosher salt

clues

cake:

preheat oven to 350.

for an 8-inch cake, grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment. for medium or mini cakes, grease a half sheet pan (18" x 13") and line the bottom with parchment.

in a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. in a medium bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients except for the boiling water. whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then stir in the boiling water. it will be a very thin batter. pour into cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes for a sheet pan and 28 minutes for round cakes.

if you're making a round cake, let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn the cakes onto a lightly greased cooling rack. make your frosting (below) and decorate as desired.

if you're making medium or mini cakes, it is easiest to let the large sheet cake cool fully in the pan. once it's cool, wrap it in plastic wrap and then freeze it for a few hours or overnight, until firm. cut out your circles and then decorate as desired.

frosting:

use an electric mixer to beat all ingredients together until smooth. 

enjoy!

-yeh!

this post is sponsored by aiya matcha! all opinions are my own.