I was meaning to go to Angel for such a long time, but somehow that part of London remained out of my way until a couple of weeks ago, when we decided that it was about time to pay it a visit. Gloomy and doomy and windy and rainy, thats the sort of day we picked to do it. We had hoped that the weather would get better, but as we arrived it was quite obvious that we wouldn't be able to see and do a lot. I don't handle cold weather very well and I almost immediately and very nervously started looking for a place to warm up with a cup of coffee. It didn't take more than a glance through the shop windows in a road packed with coffee places and restaurants, to see that every single one was overcrowded. "Surprisingly" everyone had the same idea. My patience matched the below zero weather and nothing mattered any more, I was on the brink of turning around and heading back home, when my husband pointed to a couple leaving a nearby cafe.
In a rush to get in, I slightly pushed the man coming out and mumbled some sort of apology but it wasn't before the waiter showed us to our table that I came back to my senses.
And it was only then that I started looking around for clues of what kind of cafe we found ourself in. It looked Scandinavian, definitely Scandinavian, with simple decor in light wood and sleek lines.
But then, the small details didn't fit into that, like German posters on the walls and the smell of goulash soup coming from a nearby table; the menu was a final give away clue as it said Kipferl on the cover. An Austrian coffee house!
All of a sudden my mood lightened, I was warm and chatty and wanted to try a bit of everything.
I adore French Patisserie and have respect for every single cuisine in the world as every single one is special in their own way, but this one smells of (weirdly mixed with Turkish influences) childhood, home, family and means so much memories!
We had beautiful Linzer Torte and Vanillekipferl.
And now when the emotional tap is open, you may expect more recipes like this mainly from my Mum's notebook. Have you noticed the difference between baking to learn a new skill/satisfying a curiosity after seeing a picture of a pretty cake and when you're baking something that tugs on your heartstrings and brings back a flood of memories from that particular time in that particular place? Because, as much as I enjoy every minute of baking, I notice that difference, big time!
150 g flour
115g unsalted butter
50 g ground almonds
2 tbsp sugar
2 sachets of vanilla bourbon sugar
200 g icing sugar mixed with 2 sachets of vanilla sugar
Preheat the oven to 150/300F/gas mark 2
Cut the butter into pieces and rub it into flour until the texture resembles breadcrumbs, add the almonds and sugar, then mix to a firm dough.
Divide into 20 pieces each weighing about 17 gr, then roll into 8-10 cm rope and curve the ends to form a crescent.
Bake for about 30 minutes making sure they stay pale in colour.
Dredge a large piece of baking paper with the sifted icing sugar and roll the crescents to coat them thickly as soon as they come out from the oven.