Bernd Rosemeyer (October 14, 1909–∞)
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Herr Rosemeyer!
Our patron saint the fearless Bernd Rosemeyer has turned one hundred last night, sacrificing 71 and counting years to the fastest highway accident in human history. We baked him a cake.
Words and pictures: Peter Orosz | Cake: Natalie Polgar
A silver-blueberry cheesecake, in fact—or should I say, in bad German, Alu-Silber-Käsekuchen?
Rosemeyer was younger than I am when he was flung at 270 miles per hour from his Auto Union Rekordwagen on the Autobahn on that cold January morning. Precocious would be an understatement.
He was right up there in natural—strike that: completely, abnormally supernatural—talent with the very fastest who preceded and followed: Nuvolari, Fangio, Clark, Prost, Senna and Schumacher. Quite a club, this, where membership means a 43% chance of a fatal crash at hyperspeed.
In death, Rosemeyer was said to be serene, having come to rest against a tree with no external signs of injury, quite a feat when you consider that he hit that tree at Mach 0.35.
But let us not talk about death, talk instead about the life he lived, coasting through the evil years of an evil empire which idolized him for all the wrong reasons, coasting along foreboding racetracks at surreal speed yet finding time to marry his Elly who would go on to live to be a hundred years old.
Bernd Rosemeyer lived and died an explorer, a pusher of envelopes. In fragile cars employing principles of physics barely understood or not at all, he raced, raced at speeds we no longer dare approach without coccoons of safety.
Perhaps his Bernd Jr., who only had ten weeks to share with his father, might not agree with that approach. But then again, he might. There are people who race, on the Nürburgring, in the Drake Passage, in outer space, they race.
The Bernd Rosemeyer Silver-Blueberry Cheesecake
Mix one pound of Philadelphia cream cheese with 3.5 ounces of butter, six ounces of confectioner’s sugar and the zest of one lemon. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 300 °F. Mix ½ pound of blueberries, ½ pound of flour, two ounces of outmeal, six ounces of brown sugar, one pack of baking powder and half a teaspoon each of salt and ground cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat two eggs and mix with one cup of plain yogurt, three tablespoons of apple juice and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Pour into buttered springform cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool.
When cake is cool, cut horizontally in two. Spread one half of cream cheese mixture on bottom half. Replace top half. Coat entire cake with other half of cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with metallic silver decorative candy. Garnish with assorted pieces of aluminum. Serve chilled.
Bernd Rosemeyer lived a beautiful life. Wish him a happy birthday, wherever he is.
∞ Published on Thursday, October 15th, 2009