Budapest Coffee Cake

In her brief intro, Maida warns to watch out for this recipe. She explains that she received love letters, proposals, and propositions all due to this cake and tags it the most popular recipe in all her books.

Recently while listening to a podcast on my playlist, I heard a second account involving baking and falling in love. This time after a first date, homemade apple pie sparked a romance that ended in marriage. Of course, I know the saying a way to a man’s heart…but it seems so fairy tale happy ending and I feel a bit too cynical to believe.

Anyway, I picked this as my next better baking project to actually serve for breakfast at an informal family gathering my sister planned for her birthday. As it turned out, most people could not stay overnight as originally planned and the breakfast eaters dwindled to my mom, sister, my daughter and me. We could no way tackle this elaborate cake. Coincidentally my other daughter who is a freshman in college asked if I had something she could take to a community service dinner she was volunteering at the same day. She had signed up for dessert and this cake seemed perfect.

So all wrapped up and not yet tasted, off the cake went. My daughter told me it was a hit, even the leftovers with her friends and that she liked it, too. However; no marriage proposals came in (thank goodness).

Once again my baking project elicits questions, though.

If you bake and are not able to taste it yourself, how do you assess its merit? And how important is it to taste anyway if someone else does and approves? We don’t necessarily have to like what we are baking, right? How do professional chef’s and bakers handle preparing something that is not of their palate but could be for others and how much of their cooking or baking do they love? What if they have diet restrictions, but still include menu items for the general public who may not? Do they taste?

While listening to another podcast I heard a chef say that nothing leaves her kitchen without her tasting it. I think this wise. I have plans to give Budapest coffee cake a second try for an additional reason. The top of this cake stuck to the Bundt pan and I pasted it back together before glazing. With precision and adeptness not achieved and my own taste questions lingering, there seems only one choice but to bake over.


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