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“To taste Michelle Polzine’s desserts is to travel deliciously, stylishly, back in time. I count my lucky stars that through learning and cooking from this book, we can all access the wonder of her uncompromising vision.”
—Samin Nosrat, New York Times bestselling author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Transporting readers straight to the grand cafés of Europe, Baking at the 20th Century Cafe brings renewed attention to the legendary sweet and savory baking recipes of Central and Eastern Europe. Polzine, one of San Francisco’s best pastry chefs, pays homage to the foundational desserts of so many cultures, while lightening and modernizing the recipes through her California lens. Her fruit desserts, nut-based desserts, and chocolate treats—many of them gluten-free—are smart, interesting, and foolproof, and deliver big flavor. Polzine’s coveted honey cake recipe is included, too, along with recipes for plum kuchen, walnut hamantaschen, Sacher torte, linzer torte, poppy-filled rugelach, vanilla cheesecake—even pierogi and potato knishes, all full of twists and innovations. All the recipes are written with Polzine’s quirky, relatable “you can do this” enthusiasm to assure readers that they can achieve excellent results. Following in the footsteps of such esteemed bakers as Nancy Silverton and Dorie Greenspan, with Baking at the 20th Century Cafe, Polzine offers a new entry into the essential baking cookbook canon.