The choice of cake for Austria was very simple: the Sachertorte. One of the most famous Viennese delicacies, no description of Austrian cakes would be complete without mention of this fantastic gateaux.
The story goes that the cake was invented in 1832, then Prinz Wenzel von Metternich asked his head chef to create a magnificent dessert, suitable for serving to many distinguished guests who he would be entertaining that evening. However, due to illness the task actually fell to his 16 year-old apprentice, Franz Sacher. The prince was delighted with the result, reportedly claiming ‘Let there be no shame on me tonight!’ The dessert was the source of much controversy over the correct construction of the cake in the early 20th century, resulting in the Hotel Sacher being granted the rights to use the name ‘The Original Sachertorte’ for their cake.
The recipe below is the original recipe for Sachertorte, taken from the book Viennese Cooking’
- 3/4 cup (170 g) butter
- 6 1/2 oz. (180 g) semi-sweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup (170 g) sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup (120 g) flour
- 10 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 2 tbls. apricot jam
- 1 cup (225 g) sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- 7 oz. (200 g) semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 275°F(140°C) oven. Grease and line a 8″ cake tin.
Beat the butter until cream and smooth. Melt the chocolate and add to the butter. Add the sugar and stir well. Add the eg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and mix gently before folding in the egg whites. Pour the mixture into the pre-prepared tin and bake for about an hour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Slice the cake into two layers. Heat up the apricot jam and spread over the bottom layer, before placing the second layer on top. To make the chocolate icing, heat the sugar and water until it forms thin threads when a spoon is lifted from the pan. Melt the chocolate using a bain-marie, and gradually add the sugar mixture into the melted chocolate. Stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour on top of the cake, ensuring a smooth finish on both the sides and the top. Serve in small slices with unsweetened whipped cream.