Forget apple strudel or pork schnitzel, the Austrian culinary invention I always longed to sample was the Sacher-Torte.
For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, the Sacher-Torte is the world’s most famous chocolate cake. Invented by Frances Sacher in 1832, this Viennese treat differs from most normal chocolate cakes because it is thinly coated with apricot jam. So, on my recent trip to Vienna, I decided to go straight to the source – the Hotel Sacher. This landmark prides itself on having the secret and original recipe of this much-loved dessert, so as you can imagine I was keen to give it a go!
A few friends and I entered the Hotel Sacher Wien on a very cold winter’s day. We had to wait by the entrance for about fifteen minutes before a table became free. We were then shown to a table for four by a waiter, who (a) knew we were (budget-stricken) tourists and (b) was not amused.
I decided to order what some may regard as the Vienna special – a serving of the Sacher-Torte and a Viennese coffee (coffee with cream on top, sprinkled in cocoa). Our orders didn’t take long to arrive and soon I was able to try the chocolate cake of my dreams. It looked perfect sitting on the plate next to a helping of whipped cream. But I dug in anyway!
I took a bite…and then another…and then another. It was baked perfection! The cake wasn’t as moist as I was expecting, but I dunked each bite in cream to counteract this. The jam gave it another element of flavour, but it was only a slight hint of sweetness.
This is one experience you still must tick off if you ever visit Vienna – even if it’s just to visit where the Sacher-Torte began!
Don’t like chocolate cake? No problem! There are lots of other sweets for you to sample.