She is 94 years old, speaks with a delightful old-European accent, has a small apartment on the 7th floor and prays regularly for the health of the elevator. “I have been baking cakes since my mother first let me roll the dough when I was 8 years old in 1918,” she says. “I now have 86 years experience behind me and finally I’m getting it right. Yesterday’s cheesecake is just wonderful! Would you like a taste?”
Inside, her apartment was Spartan. A small TV stood on a coffee table in front of two armchairs. Against the wall was a small table with two chairs for eating.
“Where are the shelves with all your cake recipes?” I asked.
“I have no written recipes; they are all up here,” she said tapping her head. “I have a recipe for Linzertorte that’s been in my family for 400 years. It is the world’s oldest recipe for a cake. I have been carrying it around for 70 years. On Tuesday I baked a torte and I reduced the sugar by 10 grains. It was a great improvement. I must remember to tell my daughter. She is a great baker; not in my class but pretty good.”
She pushed a small slice of cheesecake over to me.
“Have you ever had a taste of heaven?”
“Wonderful! I cried. “Can I…?”
“When can I come back?”
“August would be good. In August I will be baking the Linzertorte. Yes, I will see you again in August!” She opened and helped me out with a little push.
I have date with the 94-year-old cake maker in August!