Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vienna Continued: Café Mozart

While in Vienna, hubby and I decided to visit some of the Mozart sites in the city. Mozart is the best known musical genius of all time. Although originally from Salsburg, he spent his most successful and creative years in Vienna. We even got to visit Mozarthaus Vienna, Mozart's gorgeous apartment which he lived in from 1784 till 1787. This picture is a view from Mozart's apartment window.
We took a break for afternoon tea at the Café Mozart. This café was named after the monument to Mozart (now in the Burggarten in the first photo) that once stood outside the building. I felt like I stepped into a Venetian royal palace when I entered the cafe. The Café Mozart was exquisitely decorated with crystal chandeliers, velvet curtains, plush sofas, and a rich brass and oak interior. The cakes were gorgeous!
Hubby chose the strawberry mousse cake to go with his afternoon tea. Many of the cakes were decorated with chocolate soccer balls to celebrate the Euro 2008 soccer tournament that was going on that week in Vienna. I, of course, had to have the Sacher Torte at least once while in Vienna. Even the Sacher Torte was decorated with a mini chocolate soccer ball. How cute!
I have to say that I was surprised by the texture and flavor of this cake. I've heard that the Sacher Torte is an acquired taste but the combination of the sourness of the apricot with the dark chocolate and the dense flaky sponge is definitely something that I've never had before. After the first bite I was reluctant, but after the third bite I was hooked.
Let me share with you a little bit about this iconic cake of Vienna. Over 150 years ago a 16 year old Viennese pastry shop apprentice named Franz Sacher created this masterpiece.
To make a long story short, the story goes: In 1832 Prince Klemens von Metternich had tired of the usual cream "tortes" that were often served in Vienna at that time. He gave word for his favorite pastry chef to come up with something different for a special occasion. Unfortunately, the chef had fallen ill on the day the pastry was needed, and the task fell to Franz Sacher to fulfill the request. The daring, young baker came up with a totally new pastry -- two layers of a slightly bitter chocolate cake with a puree of apricot jam connecting them, and completely covered in a shiny dark chocolate glaze. For the final touch, he added a dollop of the ubiquitous whipped cream the Austrians call "schlagober" to the side of the cake, and that's the proper way to serve the pastry even today. Needless to say, the cake was an immediate success and has become an iconic cake of Vienna.

Café Mozart
Albertinaplatz 2
1st District
Vienna, Austria
Tel: 01/2410-0210


fumipuriri said...

the soccer ball chocolate is so cute! and the cakes are so pretty~

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, I was in that exact spot in Vienna, a few years ago - love it!! :0)

Rowena said...

Now that was a piece of cool history on the sachertorte. I had no idea about the whipped cream on the side! That place looks gorgeous...will definitely check it out if we are ever in Vienna!

Peabody said...

The soccor balls are making me smile.

Victoria said...

This is a truly wonderful post. The pastries look delicious, but seeing the pictures of Mozart's apartment is fabulous. Thanks for this glimpse (and for sharing your entire trip). If you haven't seen the movie Amadeus, add it to your Netflix list. You won't be disappointed.

milkrobot said...

That looks soooo good. Mozart must've had a fat belly.

Kimberly said...

Yum, Lina! So nice to see you and Meej the other day... :) :) :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I want to go to that cafe NOW! The cakes look so good and the soccer balls are just so cute!

Sophie said...

What a cute story behind that cake :). I love visiting historic spots like these; it's soo cool that you got to visit Mozart's apt.! Those cakes really do look like they were made with a lot of love :).

Kevin said...

Nice looking sweets!

That Girl said...

You were literally around the corner from my classroom! We used to do our reading in the Cafe Mozart after class as we sipped our melange!

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