"Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again."

"Romeo and Juliet" by Wi. Shakespeare

Baden (town centre)

“Great SPA towns of Europe” is the label under which UNESCO World Heritage celebrates a dear European tradition that started early 18th century : the "spa culture". Escapes from tumultuous life of the big cities, these “spa's” were elegant resorts hidden in gorgeous landscapes, rich in mineral spring waters, usually built on ancient Roman baths edifices. Currently there are eleven towns on the World Heritage list scattered throughout  Europe: Baden bei Wien (Austria), Spa (Belgium), Františkovy Lázně, Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně (Czechia), Vichy (France), Bad Ems, Baden-Baden, Bad Kissingen (Germany), Montecatini Terme (Italy) and City of Bath (United Kingdom). Easy to observe these retreat centers were named "spa's" after the city with the same name in Belgium.

Concerning about one's health started to become popular in the 1700's. Doctors were prescribing enthusiastically cures at a Spa town. Gout, one of the most frequent aristocratic illness, migraine or just simple fatigue were reasons enough to ask for 2 weeks or even few months in a Spa. The healing waters were the promised cure for most of the cases, involving drinking or bathing with a certain regularity throughout the day.

Beyond therapeutic benefits, the towns offered the opportunity to mix with the upper class, to be seen and to socialize. Promenade, bath and ball. Hotels although not cheap were crowded, restaurants were busy serving fine or diet food to hungry guests, concerts were playing in the park while throughout the night dancing, gambling or theater plays.... social entertainment designed to provide complete services for a relaxing, therapeutical, enjoyable and sometimes flamboyant stay.

We visited Baden at beginning of June on a gorgeous sunny day: wonderful architecture and panorama, cosy cafes and welcoming restaurants, one amazing park (KurPark) and an imposing Casino. Although dating far back in 17th century the architecture now is mostly belonging to Biedermeier era after massive rehabilitation works in 1812 ( recovering after a devastating fire)

A silent city drenched in grace and opulence. We could hear the butterfly wings in the scented air of the park, imagining lavishing hotel rooms filled with laughter and the music of Strauss, one century ago.

Baden (town center)

Many artists: poets, painters, composers found themselves as frequent clients of the spa's looking for inspiration but also the healing powers of the springs. The magnificent Baden Kurpark reminds us of Mozart and Beethoven. Both composers came to Baden to write music. Ludwig von Beethoven composed sections of his Ninth symphony while staying for 3 summers in 1821, 22 and 23. The house he stayed in at Rathausgasse 10 is now a museum where to experience and understand the music of a genius.

The Beethoven Temple was built in KurPark inbetween 1925-1927 and inaugurated on the anniversary of 100th years since his death. The paintings on the ceiling capture an allegoric fresco of the ninth symphony having as main character Prometeus.

Beethoven Temple( Baden KurPark)
Baden ( interior gardens)

The charming central plaza in Baden is in itself an invitation to a cafe (or maybe two :)). And what better place to go than "Cafe Central". The Cafe dates back to 1841. In its early days it was running  under the name "Cafe Francais" (as everything "francais" was fashionable since Metternich's Congress in Vienna). After the World War II it become Cafe Central being an outstanding example of Austrian Kaffee Kultur. We stayed about one hour and a half at Cafe Central : 3 coffees and one delicious, memorable Kardinalschnitte mit Kaffee. The taste, the texture remained well anchored in my mind that I decided to try the recipe at home.

Kardinal Schnitte has its own story. It was created by L.Heiner with the occasion of the Catholic Day held in Vienna in 1933. The recipe celebrates the bonds between Vatican and Austrian Catholic Church. It consists of two layers of meringue and biscuit ( white and yellow - symbolising the colours of Vatican) filled with vanilla whipped cream and red currant jam (red symbolising the dignity of the Austrian Cardinal). In time, versions of Kardinalschnitte were developed just by changing the filling. The best one (maybe being here a little subjective ...) is with Kaffee .


Perfect for your guests ! Perfect enough to become your guilty pleasure :)



5 egg whites

130g icing sugar

BISKUITMASSE ( very similar with GENOISE)

4 egg yolks

2 eggs (yolks and whites)

100g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g flour (type 405/480 - universal flour or pastry flour)


500ml whipped cream

3 x 2g instant Kaffee ( i used Jacobs )

Vegetable gelatine (for 500ml liquid)


250 g fresh raspberries

100g icing sugar


Preheat the oven at 160C ( with ventilation)

Line a tray (35x40cm) with parchment paper

Start with the BAISER: beat the egg whites and the sugar until the meringue is stiff. Use a piping bag with a round nozzle ( 1cm diameter) and pipe on the parchment paper 6 long biskuits (long as the width ot the tray) with a distance of cca. 2cm in between. Set aside.

Place all ingredients for the BISKUITMASSE in a clean bowl and beat them well with an electrical mixer for at least 5 min until fluffy and pale in colour. Sift the flour and fold it into the egg mixture until well combined.

Use a piping bag ( as well round nozzle 1cm diameter) and pipe in between the baiser biscuits ( 1 basier, 1 biskuitmasse, 1 baiser, 1 biskuitmasse, 1 baiser, pause, 1 basier, 1 biskuitmasse, 1 baiser, 1 biskuitmasse, 1 baiser ).

Place in the oven and let it bake for 20min. It should be fairly golden.

Take the tray out and leave it to rest.

Prepare the filling: beat the whipped cream with the icing sugar and instant coffee. Add the gelatine ( read carefully the instruction on the back - should be specially for cold dishes). Leave it in the fridge for 30min.

For the raspberry coulis just boil at medium temperature crashed raspberries with theicing sugar until the juice is reduced. Sieve the fruit pulp and the coulis is done.


In summary: the baked strips of biskuit and meringue are turned over, spread with the filling and folded on top of each other. They are wrapped in baking paper, cooled for 4-6 hours and then cut into pieces. Place one piece on a serving dish, sprinkle instant coffee and raspberry coulis or few raspberries. Delicious ! Enjoy ! :)

Beethoven Temple( Baden KurPark)
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