No matter which part of the world you visit one of the most important elements of that visit is sampling the local food and cuisine. So much so that it warrants in-depth research and also a significant allocation from the travel budget. For me though, more than the food, its coffee and deserts. I have a major sweet tooth and no travel research is complete without a thorough analysis of the local deserts and a short list of “must haves” from the local ‘specialty stores’.
While researching for our trip to Bled we came across several articles that spoke about the famous Bled cream cake. The pictures looked intriguing and inviting (as deserts always do) and so the moment we reached Bled we sat in the first café we saw and ordered this famous cake. However the desert that came to our table didn’t resemble the famous photographs that we had seen all over the internet. Baffled we asked the café owner who then cleared our confusion.
A cremeschnitte or a cream cake (in Slovenia also called a Kremna rezina – means ‘cream slice’) is a local desert popular in several central-European countries with many regional variations. The desert is actually quite simple – it has layers of flaky pastry, custard and cream topped with more pastry and icing sugar. In Bled this cake recipe was introduced (and is patented) by the local Hotel Park . This cake was invented by chef Ištvan Lukačević, who moved to the Park Hotel in Bled in the 1940s from Serbia to become the pastry chef. Lukačević used a traditional recipe from his native region of Vojvodina and reinvented the dish by substituting half of the custard with whipped cream. Hence the pictures of the cake that we see online are that of the original cake invented by chef Ištvan and still served at the Hotel Park. But most local cafes serve their own version or variations of this dish.
Since we had ordered it anyways we decided to give this cake a try and with just one bite fell in love with the amazing desert. Subsequently we also tried this cake in the coffee shop of near Škocjan Caves. I felt that the sheer brilliance of this dish is actually its simplicity – three simple ingredients combined in just the right proportion and layers to create a masterpiece. In taste it was similar to a vanilla slice but much lighter and creamier and so much more delicious. Also it was just the right amount of sweet and a definite must have on your next trip to Slovenia. Though we missed eating this dish in the original Hotel Park we loved the local version we ate at the small cafés and look forward to enjoying the original on our next trip to Bled 🙂
If you are interested to know how one of these is made then you can take a guided tour of the Hotel Park’s patisserie too.