Making the famous "Prügeltorte" at the Konditorei Mader patisserie in Kramsach is a real family affair, with several generations pulling together to create this traditional crunchy dessert baked over an open fire.
Preservatives? Flavour enhancers? Produce flown half way around the world? No, no and no. The Konditorei Mader in Kramsach uses only natural ingredients sourced from the local region to make "Prügeltorte", one of the most traditional sweet treats in Tirol, according to an ancient recipe passed down through the generations.
The name "Prügeltorte" is more than a little unusual and sounds somewhat threatening and dangerous, as "prügeln" means in German "to beat something or someone". However, there is a simple explanation: "Prügel" refers not to beating or hitting but to the shape of the basting device used to apply the layers of batter which form this sweet dessert. The Konditorei Mader is still run by the Mader family – Hermann and Christine, who founded and developed the company, together with their daughter Jeanette and her grandmother Gerda.
Traditional and tasty
Layer by layer, the thick batter is applied to a metal spit rotating over an open fire. As the batter drips and dries, it turns golden brown. The result is a hollow tower with spiky points and a deliciously crunchy surface.
In Tirol, the "Prügeltorte" originally came from the Brandenberger Tal Valley, where it would be made to celebrate special occasions. However, similar cakes have existed since the Middle Ages in many parts of the world. In some other German-speaking countries it is known as "Baumkuchen" ("Tree Cake").