Austrian Strudel Magic on the Viking Vilhjalm
By FBWorld Team

The art of strudel making takes on a new dimension when Executive Chef Roman Paput takes Viking guests on a trip to the Budapest market to buy ingredients for his unique strudel making class. Guest enjoyed perusing the market with the chef for fresh ingredients to include in the cooking lesson, and participated in the demonstration planned and implemented that afternoon for the entire ships enjoyment in the Vilhjalm lounge.

In the afternoon two guests joined Chef Paput and his sous chef for the scheduled cooking lesson, where a table filled with all the necessary ingredients was set up in advance for audience viewing in the Viking Vilhjalm Lounge, and a crowd of guests congregated to watch and learn the secrets of making authentic apple strudel.

Chef Paput & Bonnie Carroll

Apple strudel is considered to be the national dish of Austria along with Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz. The oldest known strudel recipe is from 1697, a handwritten recipe housed at the City of Vienna Library. As a type of sweet or savoury layered pastry with a filling inside, the strudel gained popularity in the 18th century through the Hapsburg Empire (1278-1780).

Austrian cuisine was formed and influenced by the cuisines of many different peoples over many centuries of the Austrian Hapsburg Empire's expansion. Strudel is related to the Ottoman Empire's pastry baklava, which came to Austria from Turkey via Hungarian cuisine. Strudel is most often associated with Austrian cuisine, but is also a traditional pastry in the whole area formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Viking Apple Strudel Dessert

Chef Roman Paput has been working for Viking River Cruises for many years, and learned to cook from his family members as a boy. He worked in hotel restaurants while studying and developing his craft, and said he enjoys very much his time working for Viking as an Executive Chef, and appreciates the wonderful staff working with him in the galley.

At dinner that evening the gorgeous strudel was served as our dessert, following an authentic Austrian dinner of Wiener Schnitzel and Tapelspitz, that was indeed worth waiting for. The apples were tender in the rich custard sauce and the strudel was perfectly crisp and sweet. Two of the ladies who had accompanied the chef on the strudel shopping jaunt to the market earlier that morning stopped to give him a kiss and thank him for including them in this fun and educational Viking cooking adventure.

Chef Roman Paput & Sous Chef Prepare Table of Ingredients

Little shopping jaunts to local markets in preparation for Chef cooking lessons are fairly common on the Viking ships, but this one was especially appreciated by everyone on the Vilhjalm because who in the world does not like Viennese apple strudel? When booking your next trip with Viking you should inquire if they will be offering one of these culinary adventures. I hope to be duplicating, or trying to duplicate Chef Paput's recipe for my friends and family in Santa Barbara, and some of the other guests I spoke with expressed their enthusiasm about doing the same.

A video of this cooking demonstration created by Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News can be found in Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News (July Issue) or can be viewed on You Tube, along with a personal interview with the Chef that was done by Bonnie Carroll while the ship was cruising through the Wachau Valley. Perhaps these videos may provide some home enjoyment for you and your friends. Below you will find the recipe for Chef Paput's Viking Apple Strudel. Guten Appetit!

Viking Easy Apple Strudel
Making strudel dough from scratch is notoriously difficult and time consuming. Here, the chef has simplified the recipe using puff pastry so you can easily create a similar treat at home. The filling is still very traditional, and will bring back memories of cosmopolitan Vienna and sophisticated coffeehouses. Close your eyes and you may even hear a lilting Strauss waltz.

Viking Easy Apple Strudel

Prep Time: 18 minutes.
Cook Time: 30 minutes.
Makes: 12 servings.

1 sheet (1/2 box) frozen puff pastry, thawed
Flour for dusting
1/2 cup (96 g) sugar
1/4 cup (30 g) walnuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup (55 g) raisins
1/2 tspn. (1.5 g) lemon zest
1 tspn. (2 g) cinnamon
3 cup (1/2 kg) chopped peeled Pippin apples (approx. 2-3 apples)
2 tbls. (29 g) butter, melted
1 tbls. (2 g) breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Lay puff pastry on a clean, floured kitchen towel. Lightly dust with flour. Roll very thin, to 14 x 17 inches (35 x 45 cm), gently sealing any tears with your fingers; set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine sugar, walnuts, raisins, lemon zest and cinnamon. Add apples, toss gently to mix.

3. Lightly brush dough with most of melted butter; sprinkle with breadcrumbs; add apple mixture down center of dough leaving a 1-inch (2-cm) margin. Fold in 1 inch (2 cm) along 2 short and 1 long side of dough; moisten edges lightly with water, and roll dough toward unfolded long edge, using towel to assist as needed and enclosing filling. Press gently to seal. Using towel as a sling, transfer strudel seam-side down to a cookie sheet, brush lightly with remaining butter.

4. Prick top with a fork and bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing crosswise into 12 pieces.

Serving Suggestion
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or custard sauce.

For additional information visit:

By Bonnie Carroll

About Bonnie Carroll
Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since 1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News -, does travel and food reporting on KZSB1290 radio, and contributes to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle publications. Her first children's book C.C. Charles was published in 2002 and she is currently working on a second book. Contact her at Contact her at


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