Royal Austrian Desserts

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No room for dessert? Are you sure? Raspberry-Mint Chocolate Torte and Ginger-Lemon Cake are rich, luscious, and irresistible.


I dream of being in Vienna again someday for the waltz season, which takes place each year between Christmas and New Year’s Day. I still recall a ball given in the grand ballroom of the Hapsburg Palace on New Year’s Eve more than a decade ago. It was an ethereal evening–the women in flowing ball gowns, the men in tuxedos and tails, the graceful swirl of music–a lavish feast for the senses.

Chief among the pleasures to be found that evening were the desserts. When it comes to sumptuous ones, no city rivals Vienna, and during the waltz season, they are at their most exquisite.

These confections have all the richness and elegance of a Viennese ball. Whether you serve them as dessert to conclude a family dinner, as a delicious highlight to an evening of dancing, or simply to rekindle the flame of romantic memory, they should delight all whose favorite summer waltz is tending the herbs in their gardens. If fresh herbs are not available, substitute dried ones at half the amount tied in a small square of cheesecloth.

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