Let there be no shame on me tonight …

Sacher Cake

Sachertorte – Gâteau de Sacher

I have spent a few years producing this gorgeous chocolate cake at  K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Ch. Demel’s Söhne, in Vienna. Naturaly I am bias towards the cake of Demel. But the Schokoladenkönig Wolfgang Leschanz of Schokoladenmanufaktur Leschanz, I believe produces the best at this time. Wolfgang was the Production Manger at Demel at the time of my apprenticeship.

The main differences of these three cakes are:

            • Demel does not fill the cake with apricot jam, but rather has one coating under the chocolate glaze.
            • Hotel Sacher fills the cake with on layer of apricot jam.
            • Wolfgang Leschanz fills it twice with name, and thus has a moist and pleasant cake.

Here is a bit of history about this famous chocolate cake:

The cake consists of two layers of dense, not overly sweet chocolate cake (traditionally a sponge cake) with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and dark chocolate icing on the top and sides. It is traditionally served with whipped cream without any sugar in it, as most Viennese consider the Sachertorte too “dry” to be eaten on its own

Franz Sacher

The history of the Sachertorte itself begins, however, in 1832, when Prince Metternich charged his personal chef with creating a special dessert for several important guests. The head chef having taken ill, left the task fell to the sixteen-year-old Franz Sacher, then an apprentice in his second year of training in Metternich’s kitchen, to whom the Prince is reported to have declared, “Let there be no shame on me tonight!” While the torte created by Sacher on this occasion is said to have delighted Metternich’s guests, the dessert received no immediate further attention. Sacher completed his training as a chef and afterward spent time in Pressburg and Budapest, ultimately settling in his hometown of Vienna where he opened a high-class delicatessen and winery.

Sacher’s eldest son Eduard carried on his father’s culinary legacy, completing his own training in Vienna with the Royal and Imperial Pastry Chef at the Demel bakery and chocolatier, during which time he perfected his father’s recipe and developed the torte into its current form. The cake was first served at the Demel and later at the Hotel Sacher, established by Eduard in 1876. Since then, the cake has numbered amongst the most famous of Vienna’s culinary specialties.

Legal issues

In the early decades of the twentieth century, a legal battle over the use of the label “The Original Sacher Torte” developed between the Hotel Sacher and the Demel bakery. Eduard Sacher had completed his recipe of the Sacher Torte in his time at Demel, which was the first establishment to offer the “Original” cake. Following the death of Eduard’s widow Anna in 1930 and the bankruptcy of the Hotel Sacher in 1934, Eduard Sacher’s son (also named Eduard Sacher) found employment at Demel and brought to the bakery the sole distribution right for an Eduard-Sacher-Torte.

 This is the cake from


Kohlmarkt 14, A-1010 Vienna

 And this, they say, is the “original”


Philharmonikerstraße 4, A-1010 Wien

And the best of them all is from

Schokoladenkönig Wolfgang Leschanz

Schokoladenmanufaktur Leschanz

1st District, Vienna

But all of them sell it to you packagers in a pretty wooden box


Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

2 thoughts on “Let there be no shame on me tonight …

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