Monday, June 7, 2010

Schaum Torte - two ways.

It seems that everyone claims to have started the baked meringue craze. Pavlova from Russia, meringues from Martha, and now I hear that the Schaum Torte hails from Wisconsin?¡  Wherever it started, these sweet serving vessels can hold just about anything and turn it into a local legend.  

I’ve made Pavlova before (see my post for it last year HERE) and it was lady-like and elegant.  But as I was blog-hopping I saw something different to do with these little clouds of sweetness.  I decided to try it when I was assigned to bring an ‘elegant’ dessert to a dinner a few weeks ago.  It’s hard not to fall in love with these, but (trust me) don’t expect your menfolk to feel the same way.  If it can’t be picked up and inhaled (if you know what I mean) it’s not worth the bother.  

My friend Jennie mentioned to me that her family calls these “Schaum Torte” - which name seemed vaguely familiar.  I didn’t know exactly what the recipe title means.  It seems that Pavlova is Schaum Torte (and vice versa)  

The first mention of a meringue confection dates back to 1604 in the recipe collection of Lady Elinor Fettiplace.  She calls this recipe White Bisket Bread.  Here is her ‘recipe’ for what may have started it all... (I can almost hear her narrating this - I love it.)  Makes me wonder how our recipes will sound when read 400 years from now.
Take a pound & a half of sugar, & an handful of fine white flower (flour), the whites of twelve eggs, beaten verie finelie, and a little annisseed brused, temper all this together, till it be no thicker than pap, make coffins with paper, and put it into the oven, after the manchet (bread) is drawn.

So.  Whether it was named after a famous ballerina, her light as a feather tu-tu, or whipped up by the chef of Louis XIV - it simply doesn’t matter.  Good things get around - and I’m really happy that you can’t keep a good recipe “secret.”   Whoever ‘invented’ this recipe - Thank You!

For a photo tutorial on how to make this classic dessert, as well as the recipes and links - go to:


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  2. Whatever you call this desert, I love them. They are my favorite desert hands down, especially the lemon curd ones. Thanks for the great tutorial.