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Rains Journal – Issue Eight: La Glace

September 26, 2016

A Slice of Life

Words: Sylvester Dunvad
Photos: La Glace

The year is 1870. Young confectioner Nicolaus Henningsen opens the doors of La Glace for the first time and lets out the sweet and intoxicating smell of freshly baked cakes onto the streets of Copenhagen. Now, fast forward almost 150 years, and you will still find La Glace opening up its doors every day, serving the now great-great-grandchildren of the pastry shop's very first customers. That is because La Glace is no ordinary business. Where as it currently seems like the majority of western eateries are participating in a contest to see who can come up with the healthiest restaurant or coffee shop, the people behind La Glace have decided to stick to their roots. In the bakery’s own words; they insist on selling a slice of life – not calories.

And those sweet slices of life come in many variations too – with the most famous one being the ‘Sports Cake’ which, contrary to its somewhat healthy sounding name, wont make anyone any better of a sportsman. In fact, the crushed nougat centre, which has been neatly draped by heavy whipping cream and dotted with small bits of caramelized choux pastry, will probably work against anyone’s odds of ever making it in the sports world. Though, a menu item doesn’t survive for 125 years without having something going for it.

If one is out to get the absolute most out of a visit to La Glace, a cake of choice will almost certainly have to be washed down with some kind of hot beverage. Whereas a traditionalist would probably opt for a cup of the bakery’s renowned, in house-roasted coffee, a sweeter tooth should go for the hot chocolate. Nothing quite soothes the mind like leaving all feelings of guilt behind and enjoying both a slice of the bakery’s sweet creations and a cup of hot, newly roasted coffee.
The cakes of La Glace also serve come to their right in case of a special event like a wedding, baptizing or anniversary. A simple phone call with the expert confectioners often times results in a cake specially made for the occasion, a cake that will most definitely help guest remember the event as a sweet time. The bakery is especially renowned for its layered wedding cakes, which certainly owe up to the huge responsibility it is to be a newly wed couples first ever taste of indulgence.

But cakes are just one of La Glace’s two specialities. The other one being the name itself – La Glace is French for ‘the ice cream’. Since the original ice cream-machine was installed, La Glace has specialised in producing 9 different types of ice cream, that are to be shaped into all sorts of decadent ice cream-cakes- and sculptures. Everything, from the fruit juice to the elegant garnishes, are overseen by the bakery itself, and to this day all ice cream is churned from the same original machine.
And so it goes with La Glace. A successful business with a business model that is not often viable in todays society, they keep on insisting on making everything in house, which more often than not results in those amazing works of sweetness that can only be admired.

Visit Denmarks oldest pastry shop at:

La Glace
Skoubogade 3, 1158 Copenhagen

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