Emperor’s mess is another famous and warm Austrian dessert. It’s a kind of shredded pancake. Like many other desserts, you can also serve Emperor’s mess as a main course – this is not unusual at all in Austria and I do remember many occasions in my childhood where my mum regaled us with this simple but delicious eat. Growing up in a Catholic family, my parents traditionally abstained from eating meat on Fridays. Then a warm soup as an appetizer followed by a warm dessert like this was a welcome alternation.
My favorites sides for this sweet treat are stewed apples or plum compote. Optionally, you can also add some rum raisins to the batter to jazz it up a bit. Just let the raisins soak for about 30 minutes in rum and thoroughly drain them before adding to the batter.
- Prepare the ingredients Separate the eggs and combine yolks, sugar, and vanilla sugar in a medium bowl. Put the egg whites into another medium bowl.
- Make the batter Beat the mixture of yolk and sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Gradually whisk milk, sparkling water and flour to this mixture. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt to a stiff peak and fold them carefully into the batter.
- Cook the batter In a skillet melt half of the butter over medium heat. Pour the batter into the skillet and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown. Optionally, sprinkle drained rum raisins over the batter. Flip the Emperor's Mess at once. An easier way is to divide the pancake into quarters and flip every quarter. Add the remaining butter and cook for 4 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown. Using two spatulas or forks, tear the pancake into bite-size pieces to create the famous mess.
- Finish and serve the Emperor's Mess Sprinkle a tablespoon of powdered sugar over the pieces and stir occasionally until the sugar has caramelized (about 2 minutes). Serve the Emperor's Mess dusted with remaining powered sugar and apple puree or plum compote on the side.
Serve the Emperor's Mess immediately. If I don't have time to make apple puree, I serve Emperor's Mess with jam or vanilla ice-cream on the side.