Sweet Treats in Vienna
Sweet Treats in Vienna, we owe the so-called “Mehlspeisen/flour victuals or pastries”, to the rigorous fasts of the Catholic Church. Meat was forbidden for 150 days, and because fish was very expensive at that time, there was a focus on vegetable, egg and flour-based victuals.Today, the term Mehlspeisen (pastries) is prevalent not only for sweet dishes with flour, but for also those without. Because today it is the general term for any sweet dish eaten as the last course – whether it is pie, Schmarren (an elaborate pancake dish), pancakes or strudel. But sweet treats are not only enjoyed after the main meal in Vienna.
Traditional coffee house culture also includes sweet dishes with coffee. In most classic coffee houses such as Cafe Griensteidl, CafÃ© Landtmann, CafÃ© Imperial, CafÃ© Sacher, CafÃ© Central, CafÃ© Prückel or Kurkonditorei Oberlaay – to only mention some- you have to pass by the exquisite dessert counter to get a seat. Time to get an idea which of the delicious sweet treats would be the right companion to the coffee.
Depending on the coffee house there are also house specialties which canâ€™t be found elsewhere. Not so, of course, the Sacher Torte – even the original creation is only to be found in the Hotel Sacher, its served in several other places. But the Imperial Torte, the Landtmann Torte, the Sissy Punschkrapfen (glazed cakes with filling) of the Cafe Central, etc. are unique and can only be obtained in the coffee houses. One more reason to linger after long walks through the city in various coffee houses, and to indulge in chocolate, caramel, marzipan or nuts -whatever each person likes best.
The most famous cake of Vienna will be shipped to any country and enjoys great popularity. Basically, the Sacher Torte has become a synonym for chocolate cake- of course the original is in the Hotel and in the CafÃ© Sacher, to savour and to take home. The contents of the original torte is secret, but one thing for sure: there is a great deal of chocolate in it, and with a bit of whipped cream, it tastes even better.
Marzipan lovers prefer to eat the Imperial Torte. This chocolate-covered cake hides within itself a wonderful cocoa cream, chocolate and almonds, which together pamper the palate. The original is also available in the Hotel Imperial or online. The torte is available in two variations: Edition Mozart, in which pistachios are also incorporated, and the Dark Variant Edition, Black Orange.
The Punschkrapfen is mostly pink-coloured, though the CafÃ© Central Punschkrapfen is violet – the favourite color of Empress Sisi. The Sisi Punschkrapfen of course does not only look different – it tastes different. These apricot jam and Grand Marnier-filled cakes are a treat. For all those who would like to try this out at home, we present the recipe at the end of this article.
This Hungarian Torte consists of biscuit with nuts in a light yellow butter cream, and icing. Sheer poetry. And it is available at most pastry shops in Vienna. Another Hungarian torte, which is however not so common, something for caramel lovers, is the Dobos Torte. It is available at the Cafe Demel,for example. .
Oberlaa Kurbad Torte (die glutenfreie)
Nut mixture baked in several layers with milk chocolate mousse with nougat glaze- all without gluten. For those who have to refrain from flour, visit the Kurkonditorei Oberlaa for their treats. A sheer poetry. A good substitute if you can’t eat Sacher Torte.
In order to have an overview of how to get from the hotel to the various coffee houses, we have put some of them on this map.
Recipie for Sisi Punschkrapfen
Ingredients or 12 Pieces
- 9 eggs
- 150 g finely granulated sugar
- 1 package of vanilla sugar
- 1 lemon (organic)
- 160 g cake flour
- ca. 250 g apricot jam
- 80 ml Grand Marnier
- 400 g fondant
- violet food colouring
- candied violets
Preheat oven to 200° C. Separate the eggs. Using a hand mixer, combine the egg yolks with 50 g granulated sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon zest, and beat until creamy. Beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar and a pinch of salt until stiff. Carefully fold the beaten egg whites and flour into the egg yolk mixture. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Spread the mixture over the paper and bake for about 6 minutes at 200° C. Cut two bases measuring 12 x 12 cm each from the biscuit, and cut the remaining biscuit into small cubes. Combine 160 g jam with Grand Marnier and soak the cubes in it. Spread a thin layer of apricot jam on one side of the bases. Spread the egg mixture evenly over one of them, and cover with the other (jam side down). Lightly press together and chill. Use a round cutter about 3 cm in diameter to make Krapfen (doughnut) shapes. Coat with a layer of jam on all sides. Heat the fondant with a bit of water and vio- let colouring to about 40° C. Place the petits fours on a wire rack, ice with the fondant, dec- orate with candied violets, and sprinkle the sides with violet-coloured granulated sugar.
We hope you enjoy yourself in savouring these treats!