There is no better colour than pink to represent Baroque period. That's the hue of the clouds on a windy day. That's the moderation of a passionate red. That's the flushed cheek of a Baroque angel. Baroque "heavens" were one of the most aesthetic representation in art history. Such beauty that anyone would long for, reserved somehow for portraying gods and uppper-classes and most desired by the common people.
World maps and empires' borders were still in the making in 18th century. An opulent period. Exotique & Godly were a new allegoric "combo" : being a greek god, a rich ruler of a newly discovered continent, living in the clouds literally above all people were frequent representations for Kings and Queens. Beauty and Grandeur were the purpose of a painting, undermining the accuracy of the shape, logic or even laws of physics.
At Melk, one of the most famous Benedictine Abbey situated in Wachau region, the garden pavilion's ceiling is a baroque masterpiece. Painted between 1763-1764 by Johann Wenzel Berg it is a feast for the eyes, designed to give joy to the Benedictine monks after long periods of fasting. To find out the fascinating meaning behind the ceiling images, I invite you to visit the official site of Melk monastery and even more I invite you to go for a day trip: travelling through time and space for few hours. www.stiftmelk.at
I visited Melk in late September. A stunning experience! With my mind full of awe and beauty I turn back to Vienna wondering which cake would represent best my wonderful tour. Punschkrapfen came as the perfect choice: coated in pink fondant icing, as a baroque rose, filled with the sweetest jam of Wachauer apricots and soaked in exotique flavors of an Indian "paantsch".
The Punch was introduced in Europe from the Indian subcontinent to England by sailors of East India Company in the late 17th century. The drink gain reputation and was soon spreading throughout Europe. Its name seems to be derived from the Indian term "paantsch", which means in Hindi "five" - it was made with five ingredients: alcohol (wine or brandy, replaced by rum in mid 17th century), sugar, citrus juice, water and spices.
The story of Punschkrapfen is hidden somewhere in history. From what I read it became popular in 19th century Austria. Katharina Prato (1818-1897), an Austrian food writer, awarded by Kaiser Josef for her contribution to Austrian cuisine is covering the recipe in her most comprehensive South German cooking book published in 1895.
19th century was also the birth scene for Petit Fours. Tiny cakes made at the heat of burned out charcoals in fours ("ovens" in French). An efficient method of cooking in 1800's France aiming to use fully the firewood heat for an entire menu. The sweet Petit Fours were usually consisting of 2 layers of sponge "glued" with fruit jam , cut in tiny cubes and coated in thick pink or white glaze. Punsckrapfen is not too different than Petit Fours. It consists of 2 layers of genoise/biskuit and in the middle a fine paste: marillen marmelade (apricot jam), rum and crumbled genoise. The little cubes are coated in pink glasur and decorated with chocolate or confit cherries. Such sweet delight !