If you have ever had the opportunity to wander through the streets of Austria, you may have noticed shop windows filled with beautiful, shiny chocolate cakes. The dreamy chocolate cake or torte, known as a Sacher-Torte, is instantly recognizable from its smooth mirror glaze and the neat disc of solid milk chocolate on top. Have you ever wondered how that beautiful cake came to be? It has quite a rich history!
The cake was originally created in 1832 by a man named Franz Sacher at the age of 16. He was working as an apprentice to the chef in the court of Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich. It is rumored that the head chef was ill one fated night when the prince requested a new dessert to wow his special dinner guests. The talented young chef quickly invented this decadent cake on the spot.
The torte consists of two layers of dense, rich chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam sandwiched between the two halves. The entire cake is coated in smooth, shiny dark chocolate glaze and served with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream (called Schlag).
In 1876 Franz’s son, Eduard Sacher, opened a luxury boutique hotel in Vienna where he featured the stunning cake as the hotel’s trademark. The authentic recipe for this cake is a closely guarded secret! The Hotel Sacher version of the Sacher-Torte is rumored to contain three special types of chocolate that are produced by three different manufacturers exclusively for Hotel Sacher’s use.
To this day, Hotel Sacher makes sure to distinguish their authentic Sacher-Torte from other variations of the dessert. They continue to maintain the secrecy of their recipe, and they also sell their cakes in wooden boxes with golden corners, featuring the hotel’s seal and logo, engraved with the words “Das Original” and “Hotel Sacher Wien” on the interior of the lid, with a Bordeaux red wrapping paper featuring a Biedermeier motif.
If you happen to be in Austria in early December, stop in at the Hotel Sacher to celebrate National Sacher-Torte Day (December 5th) with a slice of this fantastic cake!
Traveling to Austria out of the question? Indulge in your own homemade version with this recipe directly from Hotel Sacher themselves> The Sacher Torte, Approximate Recipe.
Have you ever had a Sacher-Torte? What did you think?
Let us know in the comments!