Rare is the central European coffeehouse or bakery that doesn’t serve Esterhazyschnitten. The nut layers (always six of them, no more and no less) are sometimes baked into rounds and made into a torte, but the rectangular version is the more popular by far. Sometimes the layers are created from either almond or hazelnut, but I like the resulting depth of flavor when they are combined. You may use one or the other if you prefer. The feathered glazed top is another constant design feature for this multilayered torte. This is a simple technique, but you must work quickly while the glaze and chocolate are wet and unset. Be sure that you have everything ready (warm melted chocolate in a paper cone, just-prepared icing at the proper temperature, clean offset spatula at your side) before you start. In appearance, this might remind you of the classic French Napoleon pastry, but when you taste it, all comparisons will be meaningless. The Esterhazy (as famous a historical name in Hungary as the name Bonaparte is in France) is in a class of its own.
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