A walk in the park on a late November afternoon. Looking for inspiration for a new dessert. As usual a quest for finding magic. The sun is piercing the clouds: a melange of greys and yellows everywhere you look. The walk takes me to a small "platz" close to Secession building : Schillerplatz. A squared plaza in front of the Academy of Fine Arts presided by the statue of Schiller. Schiller was one of the most prolific writer of his time. He is known for his dramas, poems, philosophic essays. His works stand as an immense contribution to German literature. He is sometimes referred to as the German Shakespeare. In 19th century his plays were received with standing ovations in Vienna.
The Schiller statue was first of its kind in Vienna. It was revealed in 1876. Until then only military or kings were subjects of public monuments.
Above few idyllic portraits of Schiller. His philosophic theses were an invitation for man to live in harmony: a "natural" man pondered by his rational side, senses and ideas in a perfect symbiosis achieved in what he was calling the aesthetic condition of life, where art and beauty would came into play.
In 1915, an Austrian - Hungarian cooking book is describing for the first time the recipe of a Schillerlocke, which translates literally as "Schiller's curls". The recipe is also known as Schaumrolle (cream rolls), an "Ode to Joy" in the world of desserts (if you did not know the lyrics for Bethoveen "Ode to Joy" were written by our subject today - Johann Friedrick Schiller ).
Schiller was known indeed for his fair blonde curly hair still one might wonder how this is linked with a sweet dessert, but let's go on with it. :)
Very close related to cream horns or cannoncini (a Piedmontese cannoli) the Schillerlocke is a puff pastry cylinder, filled with Swiss meringue. Other common fillings are pastry cream or whipped cream. Essential to enjoying this dessert is freshness. If not fresh you will miss the experience of tasting perfect textures: clouds of egg-white melting in your mouth and crunchy flakes of crust ( ..dripping on your blouse no matter how hard you would try to avoid it :)).
An elegant dessert just as a perfect fluted collar on a baroque shirt; like Schiller would say in his aesthetic thesis "The Good is Beautiful" (without trying to undermine the profound sense of the statement ) and believe me Schillerlocke is really good !
The Northern-Italian relative, the cannoncini alla crema are usually sprinkled with Piedmont walnuts and filled with vanilla cream. They are very popular in pasticerrias and served throughout the year. The Austrian customers seem to prefer the Swiss meringue as alternative for the filling, much lighter, lacking egg yolks ...although they do sprinkle lots of sugar on top :) Truly delicious !