Named a Best Cookbook of the Year/Best Cookbook to Gift by Saveur, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Charleston Post & Courier, Thrillist, and more
“Dazzling. . . . [Polzine] brings a fresh approach and singular panache. . . . Her clear voice and precise, idiosyncratic instructions will allow home bakers to make exquisite fruit tarts with strawberries and plums, elegant cookies and layer cakes.”
—Emily Weinstein, New York Times, The 14 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2020
“This book . . . just keeps on giving. An absolute joy for bakers.”
—Diana Henry, The Telegraph (U.K.), The 20 Best Cookbooks to Buy This Autumn
Admit it. You're here for the famous honey cake. A glorious confection of ten airy layers, flavored with burnt honey and topped with a light dulce de leche cream frosting. It's an impressive cake, but there's so much more. Wait until you try the Dobos Torta or Plum Kuchen or Vanilla Cheesecake.
Throughout her baking career, Michelle Polzine of San Francisco's celebrated 20th Century Cafe has been obsessed with tortes, strudels, Kipferl, rugelach, pierogi, blini, and other famous delicacies you might find in a grand cafe of Vienna or Prague.
Many recipes are lightened for contemporary tastes, and are presented through a California lens—think Nectarine Strudel or Date-Pistachio Torte. A surprising number are gluten-free. And all are written with the author's enthusiastic and singular voice, describing a cake as so good it "will knock your socks off, and wash and fold them too."
Who wouldn't want a slice of that? With Schlag, of course.
Michelle Polzine is the chef/owner of 20th Century Café, and one of San Francisco's best pastry chefs. She began cooking in North Carolina in 1992 and got her big break in 1995 at Chapel Hill's Pyewacket restaurant. Polzine made the restaurant's famous dinner rolls, and a pastry career was born.
She has since worked at some of San Francisco's best restaurants, from Delfina and Chez Panisse to the Range. She has been covered in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and the New York Times, among other publications, and has been nominated as Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and cats.