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Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague Hardcover – February 5, 2002

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Reading Rick Rodgers's Kaffeehaus is like strolling through the streets of three of the world's most romantic cities--Vienna, Budapest, and Prague--where the coffeehouse is the center of the universe and that little something sweet to go with your afternoon cup is considered high art. Eleven chapters on subjects ranging from "Sweet Yeast Breads" to "Strudels" and "Sweet Dumplings and Noodles" cover the gamut of sweets you're likely to find in the classic kaffeehauser. Rodgers provides recipes for such legendary treats as chocolaty Sachertorte, flaky Sour Cherry Strudel, sugar-dusted Banana Gugelhupf, jam-filled Linzertorte, and rustic but soul-satisfying squares of Plum Cake.

A renowned cooking instructor and cookbook author, Rodgers has developed the patient voice and attentiveness the job requires, and these qualities shine through in his inviting recipes. Though the book focuses exclusively on the impressive desserts found in coffeehouses, rather than those that are home-baked, Rodgers has developed recipes accessible enough for recreating such scrumptious treats in any home kitchen. Filled with culinary lore--from the scandalous story of Rigo Jansci, the handsome gypsy violinist who lured an American millionairess to leave her husband for a passionate affair and inspired the sinful chocolate dessert that now bears his name, to the great Sachertorte controversy that gripped Vienna in the 1830s--Kaffeehaus is a treat for armchair travelers and adventurous bakers alike. --Robin Donovan

From Publishers Weekly

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague by Rick Rodgers (Barbecues 101, etc.) celebrates the sweet excesses of the Austro-Hungarian Empire's fascination with elegance, music and romance. Rodgers explores the lore of these legendary establishments, traces the creation of their extraordinary desserts loved throughout the world and provides detailed instructions for their re-creation at home for the enjoyment of new generations. Kelly Bugden's full-color photographs of the sumptuous confections, as well as the coffeehouses themselves, pay homage to an earlier more gracious era. Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel and Croissants are among the creations Rodgers demystifies.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965360784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609604533
  • ASIN: 0609604538
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Rodgers is one of the most versatile professionals in the food business. Through his work as a cooking teacher, food writer, cookbook author, freelance cookbook editor, and radio and television guest chef, his infectious love of good food reaches countless cooks every day.

Rick has been guest chef on the national television shows Today, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, Cooking Live with Sara Moulton, Food Network Challenge, and many others, including media appearances in every major local market.

Rick's combination of down-to-earth humor and solid information brought him the prestigious Bon Appetit Food and Entertaining Award for Outstanding Cooking Teacher. In addition to his publishing work, Rick teaches sold-out cooking classes from coast-to-coast, as well as the occasional international stint (including Korea and France) and he is a speaker at many festivals and seminars.

Rick lives in the New York City area. His website is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Rick Rodger's new book is the genuine article. It presents a wide variety of exquisitely authentic recipes from the justly famous coffee houses and pastry bakeries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. All basic techniques are genuinely Mitteleuropean and not French or American adaptations of these techniques. As such, the book is a valuable contribution to popular culinary history, as important to the foodie interented in such things as the dozens of books on regional Italian and French cuisine.
The chapters cover:
Basic batters, doughs, and glazes 14 recipes such as puff pastry
Simple Cakes 19 recipes such as gugelhupf and roulades
Fancy Cakes 14 recipes such as Sachertorte and Linzertorte
Strudels 7 recipes such as apple strudel
Sweet Yeast Breads 11 recipes such as brioche
Sliced desserts 14 recipes such as berry meringue squares
Cookies and doughnuts 10 recipes such as vanilla cresents
Pancakes and sweet omlets 8 recipes such as crepes
Sweet dumplings and noodles 4 recipes such as prune pockets
Puddings 7 recipes such as chocolate pudding
Hot and Cold beverages 6 recipes such as coffees, wine, and tea
Glossary of ingredients, equipment, and techniques
Coffeehouse guide to Vienna, Prague, and Budapest
Mail Order Sources
Coming from paternal grandparents who were born 40 miles east of Vienna, this book made my eyes misty in rememberance of my grandmother's baking. The book does not rely on store-bought puff pastry and does not hold back on liquer flavorings. The book does give excellent recipe for strudel dough, but it does not go so far as to have you make your own filo dough. I guess that will be in his book on Greek or Turkish baking.
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After eating up page after page of Kaffeehaus, I question the validity of the
quibbling reviews. People are knocking stars off this extraordinary book for
the publisher's decisions, which were obviously made to keep the price down.
Had the publisher satisfied the complaints, another set of grousers would
have said the book is too long and expensive. Three stars instead of five
because the photo captions are on another page and the type is too small (a
matter of opinion)? That's quite a knockdown, and undeserved. Not enough
photos? There are more than 50 photos in the book. I count over 25 photos
of the food, more than you would find in similar volumes, and most illustrate
the more unusual desserts like Apple-Poppy Seed Squares and Gerbeaud Slices.
What about some deserved extra credit for the fabulous world that Rodgers
(figuratively and literally) presents on a silver platter?
I have spent a lot of time in central Europe, and I can report that Rodgers'
recipes are the best in English...ever. The Brown Linzertorte he offers (with
a dash of cocoa for color, not flavor) IS the most popular one. Who really
needs a recipe for Eiskaffee (iced coffee with a scoop of vanila ice cream
and Schlag) or for Turkish coffee (requiring a special pot)? I have made at
least 20 of the desserts, and all were fantastic. Try the Linzertorte,
Apricot Coffee Cake (very simple, but still good), Orangentorte (made with
bread crumbs, almonds, and an unusual orange-curd icing), Leschanztorte (an
outstanding chocolate mousse cake), Ischl Tartlets, Vanilla Crescent Cookies,
and especially the Milchrahmstrudel (a warm farmer's cheese strudel).
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Terrahawk on September 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have made several recipes from this book, and everybody who samples my experiments agree. The recipes, and the results, are DYNAMITE!!! After exclaiming about the fact that I could pull this off without any real training, other than intuition, patience, and a little pioneer spirit, they demand more. My results get such acclaim that I have to tell them it's just a good recipe to get them to settle down!
While some of the recipes are complicated and require some patience and focus, the return on invested time, effort, and expense will pay off. This is not [a]Southern Living or Good Housekeeping recipe book with infinite mutations and bastardizations of boxed cake mix dressed up in Drag with shiny ribbons ... This is the real meal deal.
I agree that more pictures would be great, but that's expensive. The pages are thick and nicely glossed, so when the dough spatters a bit and hits the book it cleans up nicely. : ) The cost of the book is insubstantial to me compared to the results.
I have made the cover recipe, the 'X'-schnitten (buy the book) several times and neighbors and coworkers tried convincing me to open a bakery.
My hat is off to Rick Rodgers for making some VERY difficult pastries and tortes attainable and manageable for the mediocre middle-class experimentalist.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Rick Rodger's latest book, Kaffeehaus, is a charmingly beautiful cookbook, that has interesting stories about the Cafe's of Vienna, etc., but also has some great recipes from the four I have made and sampled. A great brunch dish is the Milchrahmstrudel (warm cheese strudel with vanilla sauce). Varying textures and flavors, a very different dessert/brunch item. One of my favorties was the Berry Meringue Slices. The blueberries stay so plump and firm, and the meringue melts in your mouth. Easy and delicious. The Chocolate Cake (Renrucken) was definately a dessert that can serve a large crowd, and worth the search for Red Currant Jelly. The next recipe I am going to try is the Ischl Tartlets. I'll let you know how those turn out!
And as for the font, frankly I can't read any cookbook lately without my reading glasses....I have a pair in everypart of my house, and two in the kitchen. Unfortunately I am not 20/20 anymore.....
Sue in New Jersey
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