Every visitor in Vienna is told to never leave without having a slice of this iconic dessert. The Sacher Torte, invented by accident in 1832 by a 16-year old chef’s apprentice Franz Sacher for Prince Wenzel von Metternich and his guests – has become Vienna’s top sweet culinary jewel. In fact there is even a special day for it in Austria – the 5th of December is the National Sachertorte Day.
To the uninitiated, the cake looks like any ordinary chocolate cake which in essence it is. But its composition was something ahead of its time back in the 19th century – two layers of dense yet spongy chocolate cake melded together with a layer of apricot jam in the middle and finished off with dark chocolate icing all over.
While the cake is a source of cultural pride for the Viennese people, its history has been fraught with controversy, even reaching litigious proportions at some point with one part claiming the rights to the phrase “The Original Sacher Torte” and another staking the right to decorate its cakes with a seal that reads “Eduard-Sacher-Torte”. And because the cake has also gained fame worldwide the recipe is often imitated. However, it is said that the original recipe has remained a closely guarded secret by the Hotel Sacher.
One thing is agreed upon by the master bakers of Vienna though: the true Sacher Torte is a result of the finest ingredients and the way the baker combines them. The cake must also be served with freshly whipped and lightly sweetened cream.