What was the reason for the creation of the most famous cake in Vienna? What is it made of? How did the name come about and why was there a legal dispute about the origin of the cake?
The Chocolate Side of Vienna: The Sacher Cake
It is a secret recipe. The dessert consists of the protected Sachermasse, glazed chocolate and apricot jam (apricot jam). Then there are other ingredients, but they are part of the secret of the “real Sacher cake” , which since its invention is still valid in the house of Sacher.
It is believed that this “secret” Sachermasse consists of the following ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, sugar, chocolate . One does not know exactly the quantities. Most important is the 15% chocolate content with min. 35% cocoa solids. It is important to use apricot jam (apricot jam) and not any other jam. The chocolate icing, must consist only of chocolate and fat and no other icing containing cocoa.
It is popularly copied and baked in many households on special occasions. No birthday or holiday without Sachertorte, because it really tastes good to everyone, from toddlers to grandmothers. Best served with plenty of whipped cream (Schlagobers).
Now let’s talk about the history and legend of the famous Sachertorte:
When the deliberate tart was invented in 1832 , there was no Hotel Sacher to go with it, only a hopeful young man. Franz Sacher, Kocheleve at the court of the then almost omnipotent Prince Metternich, had not only talent but also fortitude. The prince’s chef, who came from France, the motherland of grande cuisine, had fallen ill and a grand soirée was in the offing, for which the state chancellor wanted a new sweet creation.
“That he makes me but no shame, tonight” is quoted with pleasure.
This is where it already begins, the creation of legends? Did Franz Sacher, the 16-year-old apprentice (trainee) in the 2nd year simply invent a new kind of chocolate cake? Did he leaf through the cookbooks of the Biedermeier era and take inspiration from other cake recipes? We don’t know…
In any case, one thing is certain: the prince got his cake, and it was a complete success. However, it was a one-time experience at the time and no further attention was paid to the cake at first. Franz Sacher gained further experience in Budapest and Pressburg and returned to Vienna in 1848. He opened a delicatessen including a wine store.
Now we are getting closer to the legal dispute : His eldest son Eduard trained as a Confectioner at the imperial and royal Court confectioner Demel. The Sacher cake was offered there, and later also at the Hotel Sacher, which was founded by Eduard in 1876 . The cake quickly became the best and most popular specialty in Vienna. So where did the original come from? Who is allowed to sell the original Sacher Torte ?
Eduard Sacher had offered the Sacher Torte as the “Original Sacher Torte” during his apprenticeship at the Demel . After Eduard’s death, his wife Anna Sacher managed the hotel, which went bankrupt in 1934. The son of the two, also named Eduard, moved to Demel and gave the former court confectioner the exclusive right to sell the “Eduard Sacher Torte.
In 1938, an already unfortunate year in Vienna, disagreements arose with the new owners of the Hotel Sacher. They used the name “Original Sacher cake registered this name. Well, the Second World War came and after that the hotel owners complained that the Demel sold the original Sacher cake . A years-long legal battle ensued, which finally ended in a settlement.
In 1963, the following was decided. The Hotel Sacher sells the “Original Sacher Torte” while the Demel sells the “Eduard Sacher Torte. Nowadays, the name Demel’s Sachertorte has become established. What exactly is the difference now? The difference lies in whether the cake is filled with jam once or several times.
The “Original Sacher Torte”, available at the Hotel and Café Sacher has two layers of jam, while the one from Demel is spread with jam only once underneath the chocolate coating. Both cakes are decorated with a chocolate seal . Hotel Sacher, of course, has the inscription “Hotel Sacher” on the cake, while the Demel cake has the inscription “Eduard-Sacher-Torte Erzeugnis Ch.-Demel’s Söhne” .
Each year, Hotel Sacher handcrafts approximately 360,000 cakes . These are only sold at Hotel Sacher, Café Sacher or in special Sacher stores . Of course, exclusivity also has its price. A delicious piece of the most famous Viennese cake incl. Whipped cream costs
€ 7,90 (as of February 2021) It is exported all over the world and also makes a good exquisite souvenir or special gift.
Time Travel Tip:
What makes the Sachertorte so desirable for all lovers of sweet food? Their inimitable taste and “dense, lush sweetness”, confirm the “chocolate side of Vienna” . Best to taste several to determine which one you like better