Mosaics and Linden Trees
After our concerts this past summer in Poland, my husband Paul & I had the wonderful opportunity to travel for an extra week to other destinations in Europe. We took off by train from Warsaw for a trip to Budapest and Vienna. We had been to Vienna a few years ago and were impressed by the creative and cultural energy of the city. It was wonderful to be able to return to Vienna and to find new neighborhoods to explore.
Our hotel Altwienerhof was in the 15th District of Vienna and was reached by an underground stop that was easy to remember- Gumpendorfer Strasse! I have never been an early riser, so on our trips, Paul often leaves early around 6:30 or 7:00 AM to find coffee and to do a bit of exploring. This particular morning he decided to walk in the residential neighborhood near our hotel. He observed that there were a few placards on the walls and almost by chance came to a small clearing on a tiny street called Turnergasse.
It turned out this was the site of a memorial for the Turner Temple that was destroyed in 1938 during the terrible Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass).The synagogue was an important symbol and a center of the district’s Jewish life. The Turner Temple Memorial was opened on November 16, 2011.
A web of black concrete beams was chosen as the central design element. Mosaics form a bridge between the past and present and they show fruit and plants mentioned in the Torah. There is a row of Linden trees that were integrated into the design and according to the community organizers for the memorial, they symbolize the horrors of the past but also strive to let the citizens of Vienna and the world be open to a future full of hope.
Later that morning Paul showed me the site and we also looked at some of the placards- one included a picture of a Jewish Kindergarten that was housed at 21 Herklotzgasse.
We looked down the hallway of the building and discovered a small sign that said Turnhalle. We walked down the narrow passageway and saw that the building that housed the former kindergarten was now occupied by a vegan restaurant run by a group of lovely dedicated young cooks. We strongly felt the caring and effort of the community to remember and honor the past, but also were encouraged that the spaces emptied because of distant terrible horrors, were being used in a positive and caring way.
The next day we returned to the Turnhalle Restaurant for lunch, The day before my purse had been stolen in the center of Vienna at the historic Cafe Mozart. After a frantic morning of visits to the consulate to obtain new passports and take care of other missing documents, it was time for a good dessert treat! There was a delicious looking cake and the young server explained it was one of their favorites- a vegan raspberry poppy seed cake. It was excellent and of course when we got home, I felt a craving for the cake. After quite a bit of experimentation and although It was a bit different, It brought back sweet memories of our recent trip. I brought the cake to share with my daughter and her partner for Rosh Hashana. Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Here is my reconstructed version!
Raspberry Poppy Cake with Streusel Topping
8 ounces fresh raspberries
¼ cup soft white semolina
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups poppy seeds
½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup almond or soy milk
2 tsp. cornstarch
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup butter
3 tablespoons shortening
½ tsp. salt
2 Tsb. ice water
½ cup sugar
¾ butter (8 tablespoons)
1 cup flour
½ tsp cinnamon
Cover outside of 9 inch spring form pan with heavy duty foil to prevent leaks
In food processor combine butter, shortening, flour, salt and powdered sugar until mixture has small lumps the size of peas. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and process until mixture forms a ball. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
Make the Filling:
Grind poppy seeds in several batches in a small spice grinder. The poppy seeds may clump together- this is fine!
Mix together all ingredients except poppy seeds and cornstarch over low heat. Whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. Combine cornstarch will a small amount of water and stir until smooth. Add to mixture and bring to a boil. Add poppy seeds, stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes until poppy seeds swell. At this point if mixture is to thick add up to ¾ cup more almond or soy milk. The mixture should form a loose pudding.
Make the Streusel Topping:
Combine all ingredients in bowl of food processor until mix until large clumps form.
Preheat oven to 350 F
1.Roll out dough and fit into bottom of spring form pan – dough should come up the sides a few inches.
2.Pour in poppy seed filling and smooth with a spatula
3. Place raspberries evenly over filling
4. Place streusel clumps evenly over top.
5. Bake aprox. 45 minutes until the top is a light golden color.
6. Let cool completely before serving.
7. The cake is excellent the next day, refrigerates well and also can be froze