Monday, August 17, 2009

Cookbook Review: And now for a bite at the Berghoff Cafe

As you may recall, I recently reviewed The Berghoff Family Cookbook. The latest book, The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook (by Carlyn Berghoff with Nancy Ross Ryan), will be released this September, and contains many of the recipes made popular in the Berghoff Cafe, as well as additional recipes from Carlyn Berghoff's personal collection.

As in the previous book, there are many beautiful photographs of the recipes. As the title would suggest, many of the recipes are lunch and snack oriented, although there is also a chapter that includes some of the "Berghoff Plates" (a selection of their daily specials) such as Classic Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Jus Lié and Spaetzle and Turkey Meat Loaf, as well as a chapter on pizza. The main focus of the book, however, is on soups, sandwiches, salads, and there is also sampling of their delicious looking baked goods and desserts.

Dishes such as Sausage Wellingtons, Fresh Baked Pretzels, Alsatian Onion Soup, Homemade Chicken Spaetzle Soup, and the Westphalian Ham Panini with Granny Smith Apple and Applesauce all stood out to me as dishes I would love to try. I thought the chapter on salads had some really delicious sounding choices, such as the Berghoff Buffalo Cobb, made with homemade Ranch Dressing and Grilled Chicken Breasts. Desserts such as The Chip Cookie, Walnut-Applesauce Coffee Cake, and Vita's Oatmeal Cookies all sound very tempting as well. I am really looking forward to trying them out.

The first recipe in the cookbook is actually three versions of the classic deviled egg, with a Berghoff spin on the fillings, Deviled Eggs with Three Fillings (page 3-5). Since my daughter thinks deviled eggs are one of the greatest appetizers of all time, I decided to try making all three variations: Caper Deviled Eggs, Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs, and Horseradish Deviled Eggs. I thought they all turned out very good, especially the horseradish version, which will now become my new go-to recipe for deviled eggs.

Since I am an avid baker, as well as a huge fan of rye bread, I was immediately drawn to the recipe for Berghoff Sandwich Rye (46). While the flavor and texture of this bread was really quite good, I did have a bit of difficulty with it falling on me after the second rise, giving it a bit of a misshapen look. The dough itself was easy to work with and rose beautifully. I live in Florida and it is extremely hot and humid here, so it is quite possible that I really don't need the second rise. I made a second loaf and shortened the duration of the second rise, and it was a bit better, but sadly still fell slightly. The flavor is good enough to keep trying to get it right, and it did make nice sandwiches. I think this bread will also make very nice croutons.

The next recipe I decided to make was the Cream Cheese-Almond Coffee Cake (page 146) and this recipe alone is worth picking up a copy of the book. This was so tender and perfectly sweet without being overbearing. I used a mix of dried cherries and cranberries instead of just the cherries, and I think dried blueberries would also be great in this. The crumb topping was just right, light and crispy and nutty. This is the kind of coffeecake that begs you to eat another slice. This will also be added to my short list of favorite coffeecakes to make again and again. Absolutely delicious!

I really enjoyed The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook and I encourage you to pick up a copy when it appears in stores in your area. It is a really nice book. I know I will be trying out many more of the recipes, especially some of those unique sounding soups and salads. Recommended.


  1. Lucky you to get your hands on it so early. It sounds like a great book and the food you have prepared from it looks fabulous!! well done Heather!

  2. It is a really nice little book :) The cake was just so wonderful. Once my things arrive and I finally can unpack, I am hoping to try some of the soups.

  3. This sounds a great book and everything looks wonderful esp the cake - yum!