Viennese patisserie is all about pretty shapes, special doughs, and dried fruits. One of the most popular local pastries is the fragile and crumbly Mürbteig that has the particularity of being made with no baking powder. This dough is also used for preparing cakes where it acts as a thin base that can be topped with fresh fruits or full-fill with rich cheese.
Another favourite one in the doughs league is the Germteig, used for making the famous Gugelhupf. As it gets really sticky it can be difficult to handle, so you should be quick and light when you place the mixture in the circular pan where it is traditionally baked. Between the batters is the Biskuitteig and its characteristic sponge texture that makes it perfect for dense fillings, multiple layers and sugar icing. It is like a friendly and easy going pastry that due to its airy-lightness, good height, porous composition, and they can be prepared as pates, sponge smoothness it is used for preparing almost all of the formal Austrian tortes. This dough is so flexible and gentle that it also appears in the rolls recipes such as the jelly Biskuittroulade.
It is not only dough what makes the difference. Viennese pastries are named in different ways according to their size and shape, they can be called Torten, Kuchen or Schnitten. Among the essential distinctive ingredients, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts play a central role. They can be presented as pates, fillings or decorations and they go good together with raisins and fresh apricots from the Danube Valley. When travelling to Austria, a part from tasting the fabulous baking tradition for breakfast at any of Innsbruck hotels, you can think about taking some classes to learn how to prepare the local delights. With plenty of culinary schools and hotels Vienna is a great destination for a cooking trip to the Alpine country. A part from attending cooking classes and pastry demonstrations, you can join gastronomical tours leaded by English speaking guides to local food markets, vineyard and wineries for a complete tasting of Austria.