Zserbó / Gerbeaud Slices

by | Oct 29, 2013 | Desserts

Gerbeaud slice or zserbó is named after the world-famous confectionery, Café Gerbeaud, which is situated at Vörösmarty square 7 in Budapest. It’s one of the greatest and most traditional café-confectioneries in Europe. The legend of Gerbeaud began with Henrik Kugler who was the third child of a confectionery dynasty. He opened his confectionery in 1858 at József Nádor square. This was the first place where ice cream creations were available. In order to be closer to the city center, Kugler in 1870 moved the store to Vörösmarty square. His coffees, liqueurs and sweets attracted the audience, mignons and Kugler cakes had a good market since it was possible to take them home, wrapped on a paper tray.

Cafe Gerbeaud in 1890
Café Gerbeaud in 1890 – photo: gerbeaud.hu

He met Emil Gerbeaud, the talented young confectioner in Paris in 1882. As there was no successor who could have taken over the leadership of the store, Kugler invited Gerbeaud to Budapest in 1882 to declare him to his business partner. Since 1884 Gerbeaud was the new owner of the confectionery and expanded the selection with numerous products like butter creams, Parisian crèmes, hundreds of kinds of short cakes, candies. He employed 60 persons for sales and service.

As a chocolatier Gerbeaud naturalized the cat tongue chocolate and the cognac cherry bonbon in Hungary. By the end of the 19th century, he had about 150 employees, many of whom only came to Budapest to learn and work with Gerbeaud. Gerbeaud became internationally acclaimed. He was awarded numerous national and international prizes. The secret of his success was that he strictly took care of the product quality, mistakes were not allowed.

Cafe Gerbeaud today
Café Gerbeaud nowadays | photo: gerbeaud.hu

Zserbó is very popular in Hungary, it’s usually baked at Christmas and special occasions.

Zserbó - Gerbeaud slices
Zserbó – Gerbeaud slices – photo: zserbo.com
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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