Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Cakes of Salzburg – part 2


And to think there were those of you who doubted me and feared I hadn’t sampled Sacher torte! When we visited Hotel Sacher’s cafe I felt that I was making a pilgrimage rather than simply going for cake. The cafe was everything I hoped it would be – an elegant tea room harking back to the past, with the menu set on turned wooden rods so that it was easier to hold and read.

We settled into our booth and ordered the world famous Sacher torte. This was what arrived:

Wow! Just look at the crispness and evenness of the layers:

The extremely moist sponge might almost fool you into thinking that it had alcohol soaked into it (it hasn’t) and the thin, barely visible, layer of apricot jam added fruitiness. The thick chocolate topping was firm but not hard and tasted like heaven! The dark chocolate was intense without being bitter and the cocoa flavour built in your mouth with every forkful. I found it divine and was relieved as I would’ve been crushed if it wasn’t tip top quality. The CCBF (Caked Crusader’s Boyfriend), in contrast, was a little disappointed as he had hoped that the chocolate would be more bitter and rich. Having said that, here’s his plate about 4 minutes after we were served:

It’s also worth showing the coffee – although it looks more like a dessert! The liqueur glass contains a chocolate liqueur. I had a sip and can vouch that it had a kick to it!

The CCBF is well used to my obsession by now and anticipated that I would head off to the cake counted to photograph everything. Thus, on my return as I enthused about all the delights on offer he suggested that we have another cake. This is why I love him! When you peruse the photos set out below of the cake counter you’ll appreciate why selecting just one cake was tricky, but I settled on the strawberry torte:

This was truly patisserie at its finest. The base was a mix of plain and chocolate sponge, topped with the most refined strawberry mousse I’ve ever tasted – you know how when you make strawberry mousse you sieve it to get all the seeds out...but some always sneak through? This was perfectly smooth – not a seed in sight. The mousse was a loose set and so well judged; firm enough to hold its shape but soft enough to melt in the mouth. The vivid strawberry coulis on top was an amazing colour and tasted as intense as it looked.

As promised here are the photos I took of the Cafe Sacher cake counter. There are quite a few:









We visited the Mirabell Gardens early one morning and I fell in love with the dwarf garden; an area containing what I suppose you’d call Baroque gnomes. Mirabell will be known to you if you’ve seen The Sound of Music as the “Doe a deer” bit was filmed there. Behind the Gardens a food market was in full swing. This wasn’t a tourist market but where the locals were buying fruit, veg, meat and bread. We ventured in and were rewarded with spectacular sights, smells and sounds – it was also packed! Keen to blend in with the locals (who seem to drink beer and spirits at all times of the day) we purchased some goodies and retreated to the dwarf garden to enjoy them. The CCBF went a little more native than me settling on the local beer (a good effort for 10.30am!) and a pretzel:

I selected a chocolate covered bun:

At less than €2 this was a bargain. The bun was huge and, for a yeast-based bun, surprisingly light. The milk chocolate covering was a halfway point between a ganache and a glace icing. Just to prove I can be arty even when filling my face with baked goods, here’s the bun with the beautiful Mirabell Gardens in the background:

We took a boat up the Salzach river to Hellbrunn a palace famed for its trick fountains that squirt the unsuspecting bystander... but this is not a blog about fountains. The restaurant served a most pleasing chocolate nut cake:

Both the chocolate and the nut were clearly defined flavours and the sponge was extremely light. The sponge was flecked with minute chocolate chips and the top was given crunch with chopped nuts.

Luckily, Salzburg is aware of its culinary delights and there are many cookbooks for sale in English with the recipes for all the yummy things you’ll eat whilst staying there. One or two (OK, eight) of these books came home with me – as did my new friend Herr Stiegl. Here he is marvelling at the Salzburg architecture....

We both agreed (that’s the CCBF and me, Herr Stiegl kept his opinion to himself) that Salzburg was a wonderful holiday location and I would recommend it to anyone who likes fresh air and good food. The city is compact and virtually everything is within easy walking distance. For September we were blessed with marvellous sunny weather and I shall always think of the place fondly.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

All the cakes look amazing, i am sad to say I have never had sacher torte, will have to visit sometime! Nikki

Nora said...

That looks like a fantastic trip. So so glad to hear that the Sacher torte lived up to expectations. And Salzburg is going straight onto my holiday wishlist. (Only problem is that it's getting pretty long...)

Anonymous said...

I am drooling all over the keyboard! Thanks for such a good report!

clutterbug said...

Sorry, for the above omission - it's from clutterbug.

trashalou said...

Cake, mmmmm yummm but could we not have a little bit abbout the guerilla fountains???

Katie said...

Wow you certainly fitted a lot in. Everything sounds amazing. I think you made a good choice having a second dessert the strawberry mousse looks divine. You've made me hungry now

Elizabeth said...

Oh. My.

Everything looks fantastic, but I admit I am smitten with the chocolate nut cake (and I'm not a great chocolate lover).

Glad you had a great time... what a fantastic holiday for the CC!

I hope we are going to see all sorts of cakes from those "one or two" (sic) cookbooks. (Only eight?)

pigpigscorner said...

All the cakes look amazing! and I remember the Sacher torte...yum

Wild Boar said...

Salzburg is a really nice place :-) I didn't find the Sacher torte that amazing when I ate it, but was feeling a bit tired and grumpy when I had it so maybe that's why...

alisha said...

Yumm! The coffee looks amazing too - I've heard Cafe Strudel in Mortlake has the best Viennese coffee and cakes in London, and am inspired now to check it out.

Irene said...

I am so, so envious that you were in Salzburg! My sister and I visited for 2 days last year and I have this memory of Salzburg as a completely magical place. Before we went, people told us, "oh, why Salzburg, it's so boring." It ended up being the place we loved the most on our trip. We went on a whim and I can't wait to go back one day.

Soo said...

Sounds like cake heaven!

I still say that your cakes beat anything I had in any of my visits to Austria.

Y said...

Herr Stiegl is so cute! How cool that you got to have Sacher torte at the Hotel Sacher cafe! That's on my to do list.