During one visit to Vienna, my friend Irene and I were eyeing a bakery window filled with Schaumrollen, and it brought back memories for both of us. I recalled that in my family a party wasn’t a party unless my Auntie Gisela made a platter of her Schaumrollen—flaky cream horns prepared from her homemade puff pastry. Irene told me how, in postwar Vienna, her mother used to insist that she eat meringue-filled horns, as it was believed that the eggs made them much more nutritious than the cream-filled version. Not the most solid nutritional advice, but it points out how the Austrians consider desserts to be food, not just a treat. Nonetheless, I take the middle ground and fill my pastry horns with a meringue-whipped cream combination because it keeps the pastry from getting soggy. Cream horn molds (such as Ateco 921), 5½ inches long, with a 1-inch-wide top tapering to a ½-inch-wide bottom (available at well-supplied kitchenware shops or by mail order) will give your pastries a tapered look; or use 5½-inch long cannoli tubes.
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