[coffee, cake and culture: Vienna travel review + the one and only] Sachertorte
The whole trip was meant to be some kind of “coffee-culture-cake-trip”. Which means on one hand we visited some very interesting museums and exhibitions and on the other hand we tried the famous Austrian culinary specialties.
Moreover we explored the city and admired the amazing baroque architecture. Especially the gothic style Stephansdom is worth a visit. Not only because it is an incredible building also because it is right in the city center of Vienna where you can feel the the vibrancy of the city.
To cover the culture part of our visit, we went to the museum of art history, the art college and Albertina. In those museums we admired Venetian (Tizian, Veronese, Tintoretto), Flemish (Peter Paul Rubens, Anthonis van Dyck), old dutch (Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden) and old german paintings (Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach). In addition we saw some amazing paintings of Pieter Bruegel and some other masterpieces of painters like von Vermeer, Rembrandt, Raffael, Caravaggio and Velázquez (love his paintings of the little royal princesses!). Moreover we saw my all-time favorites: paintings of the impressionism times (Degas, Renoir, Monet, Manet…!). Every time I have the possibility to see paintings from this time, I am speechless. The colors are so unique and they transfer a special feeling to be… Absolutely stunning!
The Austrian cuisine is well-known for their sweet delicacies. They offer a wide range of different pastries and desserts, whereat most of the sweet dishes contain flour as one of the main ingredients, some examples are Gugelhupf, Palatschinken, Kaiserschmarrn, Marillenknödel… On the other side one of the famous not sweet dishes is the Viennese Schnitzel which is very thin veal coated with breadcrumbs and served with lemon. Of course my best friend and me we had to try everything!
We spend our coffee and cake break at the Sacher Café. There we tried of course the famous Sachertorte. The Hotel Sacher is the hotel which is well-known for their famous cake. In 1832 the 16 year-old baker Franz Sacher baked the Sachertorte for the first time. Henceforward over the years the dark chocolate cake filled with apricot marmalade gained popularity and from 1876 on it was offered at the Hotel Sacher and Café Demel. The texture of the cake is both moist and chocolatery but also fruity because of the filling and the highlight of this dessert is the dark chocolate glazing! Of couse we also tried Apfelstrudel, Wiener Busserl and the famous Austrian coffee specialities!
Last but not least we visited the well-known Naschmarkt. It was opened in 1905 and offers fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and baked goods. Moreover there are tons of small restaurants and Cafés which are perfect for a small break between the whole sight seeing!
For the cake:
- 140 g butter (room temperature)
- 110 g confectioner’s sugar
- 1 pulp of vanilla bean
- 6 eggs
- 130 g dark chocolate
- 110 g sugar
- 140 g flour
For the filling:
- 150 g apricot marmalade
For the glazing:
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 60 g butter
In a bowl cream together the butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla bean. Separate the eggs and add the egg yolks to the mixture. Melt the chocolate and let it cool before adding it to the mix.
Beat egg whites until stiff; slowly sprinkle in the sugar until the egg whites are firm and shiny. Now sift the flour and add it slowly and carefully together with the egg whites to the egg yolk mix.
Preheat oven to 170 °C. Cover a baking pan with baking paper and grease the sides of the pan with butter and cover with flour. Fill in the dough and bake for 55 to 60 minutes. The first 10 to 15 minutes you should not close the door of the oven completely, just let it open by clipping a spoon between the oven and the oven door. After baking the cake, let it cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Afterwards remove the baking paper and remove it from the baking pan.
Now cut the cake horizontally and trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Warm up the marmalade to make it more spreadable. Place bottom layer on a wire cake and spread with the marmalade. Place the second cake layer on top; spread the top and the side of the cake with the rest of the marmalade.
For the glazing put together the chocolate and butter and heat over a waterbath (but not too hot, approx. 60°C!). Now all in one pour the glazing over the cake and try not to spread it so much because you want a smooth and shiny glazing!
As I mention Vienna is not only famous for there sweet pastries, also for their coffee.
There are special names when ordering coffee, here are some examples:
“Kleiner Brauner” = Espresso with milk or whipped cream
“Großer Brauner” = double Espresso with milk”
Wiener Melange” = Half Espresso, half hot frothy milk
“Einspänner” = Double Espresso in a Special glass, topped with whipped cream
“Fiaker” = Double Espresso in a glass served hot with rum
“Franziskaner” = A light coffee Melange topped with whipped cream
Have fun baking