Hi! I’m Elma, the self-taught baker behind Torte and Such with Balkan roots. I live in Richmond, Virginia where my husband and I are raising our three little musketeers. I am not a chef – everything I know I learned from my mom and the only kind of baking I do is from scratch, the Balkan way.

I love everything about baking except one thing, I dislike weighing ingredients on the scale because there is so much of feeling in baking, how is one to measure that? I prefer the old time weighing that involves cups, tablespoons and teaspoons so my recipes are mostly set up in such way.  Do not be afraid to put your own spin on a recipe, trust yourself, baking is not about precision, it’s about inspiration and feeling.

Balkan pastries are an incredible mixture of East and West – molded by rising and falling Empires (from Ottoman to Austro-Hungarian), shaped by world wars and communist occupations, these centuries old traditions are beloved and honored. Here you can find anything from sweet and sticky baklavas, to grand Habsburg café tortes. These wonderful desserts require patience and love, but they are worth every effort and I hope they inspire a fearlessness in your baking journey. Bake something grand with me!

Send me an email @: torteandsuch@gmail.com