Sunday, 30 August 2015

An Enchanted Evening
In Vienna's Josefstadt

School of the Piarists
It is through this portal - leading up from
the square in front of the church of Maria Treu -
that the eldest son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
must have stepped through many times
when he went to school here in the 1790s.
Every time I walk by
I imagine Wolfgang Amadeus waiting
by those steps to pick up his son.
So far,
I have missed him,
but who knows,
one fine day ...
I keep on looking

Maria Treu Church Square
To the left, again the school entrance,
under the old chestnut trees to the right,
the outdoor tables of two restaurants
beckon to sit down and enjoy
the feeling of being transported
to some southern land -
one of those magical places in Vienna
where you turn a corner and suddenly
are not sure anymore whether you
are now in Italy.
That feeling still takes me
by surprise, its intensity
something I'll never get used to.

Beyond the chestnut trees,
a glimpse of the white painted façade
of one of Vienna's most beautiful Baroque churches,
the Piarist Church of Maria Treu,
while under the trees
restaurant patrons enjoy
among other delicacies,
what is in my opinion Vienna's
best pizza, an authentic Italian one
from the wood fired pizza oven
of Sestante restaurant

Lingering a bit more
in the evening light,
over an espresso un caffè,
brewed from coffee beans roasted in Venice,

the shadows slowly encroaching on the church square,
the waning Golden Hour painting the sky in the bluest blue,
before ceding to the Blue Hour and then night falls,
in Vienna

Photographed 19 August 2010
Jodok Fink Platz in Josefstadt
8th District
Images and Text © 2010 by Merisi
First published 20 August 2010

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Joseph Hoffmann Villa Skywa-Primavesi
Vienna off the beaten Path

Tympanum Figure
Reposing female by Anton Hanak
Villa Skywa-Primavesi

Villa Skywa-Primavesi
Built for the banker Robert Primavesi
by architect Josef Hoffmann
1913 -1915

Photographed 28 August 2015
13th District (Hietzing)
Images and Text © by Merisi
-> Architect and designer Josef Hoffmann at Wikipedia:

Friday, 28 August 2015

A Lonely Cloud
Floating into the Blue Hour

View from the Albertina Balustrade
Hotel Sacher and the Opera House

Photographed 18 August 2008
Images and Text © by Merisi
Sky Watch Friday

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Gianduia Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Sometimes she bakes

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Baked in the cool morning air
before the next heatwave hits

200 g dark chocolate couverture or semisweet baking chocolate
100 g butter at room temperature
200 g superfine sugar
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1 pinch of Salt
200 g roasted hazelnuts, finely ground

Grease and flour an 11 inch (28cm) cake pan
Preheat oven to 330°F (170°C)
Melt chocolate
Beat chocolate with butter and 100 g sugar until fluffy
Add egg yolks, one at a time
Continue beating for 5 more minutes

In a separate bowl:
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until the soft peak stage
Continue beating while gradually adding 100 g sugar
Beat at high speed until stiff peaks form

Fold first hazelnuts into chocolate batter
then 1/3 of the egg whites, mix carefully.
Quickly fold in the rest of the egg whites until no white streaks remain

Pour into the cake pan
Bake in the preheated oven at 330°F (170°C) for 30 minutes
(I like to check after 25 minutes. Cake is done when the center still feels somewhat soft to the touch
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, on a wire rack

In my convection oven, I bake the cake at 320°F (160°C) for 25 minutes.
I like to serve the cake with a dollop of crème fraîche and raspberry-strawberry sauce
(I puree defrosted rasperries and strawberries with the immersion blender,
then strain it through a fine sieve - I don't add sugar)
The cake and the sauce keep in the fridge for four days, at least
(if you can hide it that long from you know whom) ;-)

Photographed 26 August 2015 at Casa Merisi Pâtisserie
Images and Text © by Merisi
Gianduia at Wikipedia:
Gianduja or gianduia (Italian: [dʒanˈduːja])[1] is a sweet chocolate spread containing about 30% hazelnut paste, invented in Turin during Napoléon's regency (1796–1814), when the Mediterranean was under a blockade by the British.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Where the Pope Stopped for Coffee
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. Tuscan Bliss

After-Dinner Coffee
Espresso in enamel cup
Sosta del Papa
Barberino Val d'Elsa

Tuscan Views
Stopping by the roadside
6 August 2014
Images and Text © by Merisi

The true story behind Pope Pius VII's "coffee stop":

"La Sosta del Papa is a small hamlet of Barberino Val d'Elsa,
located on the street Via Cassia state just before with the municipal boundary with Poggibonsi.
Known locally as the piss of the Pope took the name from a curious and fun fact of daily life
that saw, in spite of himself, Pope Pius VII on June 2 1813.
It is said that the Pope, during the long journey to Rome back from France
where he had been deported by order of Napoleon Bonaparte,
were caught in this area by a sudden physiological need."
More @ -> La Sosta del Papa

Monday, 24 August 2015

Summer in Vienna
Garden of Klimt's Studio at Feldmühlgasse

Looking into the Garden
View from Klimt's last studio

Outside Staircase
of the so-called Klimt-Villa

Summer scene in the
villa's garden

Photographed with my mobile phone
during lunch hour on 22 August 2015
Images and Text © by Merisi

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Piarist Church of Maria Treu
Sunday in Josefstadt

Piarist Church Maria Treu
Joseph Haydn's "Mass in Time of War"
was first performed here, on December 26, 1796.
View from Maria Treu Gasse

Photographed today at noon
Images and Text © by Merisi