Austria is renowned for its delectable desserts, and the history of Austrian cakes is a testament to the country's affinity for sweet treats. These delightful confections have a long-standing heritage, originating in the kitchens of Austrian nobility and captivating taste buds for centuries.
From "Mehlspeisen" to Royal Cakes
Sweet dishes, also known as "Mehlspeisen," have a deep-rooted history in Austria. Historically, Mehlspeisen referred to main dishes made from flour. These dishes emerged due to the strict fasting rules of the Catholic Church, where consuming meat was forbidden on approximately 150 days a year, and fish was often expensive. The tradition of these hearty Mehlspeisen dishes dates back to the 16th century in the Austrian and southern German regions. Mehlspeisen encompassed a variety of dishes, including Schmarren, Strudel, or Knödel (Dumplings).
From Royal Treats to Timeless Delights
The Austrian royals of the Habsburg Monarchy also had a fondness for sweet treats, albeit different from the simple and hearty Mehlspeisen. They preferred exquisite and visually stunning cakes.
Let's journey back to Vienna, where the legendary Sachertorte was born. In 1832, Franz Sacher created this iconic cake that quickly became a symbol of Viennese culinary excellence. As the story goes, Sacher, a 16-year-old apprentice at the time, was tasked with making a special dessert for Prince Klemens von Metternich when the official pastry chef fell ill. Drawing upon his passion for chocolate, Sacher crafted a masterpiece that delighted the prince's palate. This marked the beginning of a sweet journey that would shape the history of Austrian cakes.
Austrian Cakes: Fit for Royalty
What sets Austrian sweets apart is their ability to transform simple ingredients into extraordinary delights. Cream plays a central role in Austrian cakes, imparting a luxurious and indulgent texture. Apricots, another beloved flavor in Austrian patisserie, lend a delicate tartness and a taste of local freshness to these desserts. The skillful combination of flavors, textures, and artistic presentations is a hallmark of Austrian cakes.
Sharing the Sweetness: Austrian Cakes Go Global
Over time, Austrian cakes have gained international acclaim and become beloved treats worldwide. At Kipferl Austrian Restaurant & Patisserie, we proudly continue the tradition of Austrian cakes and pastries, offering a wide selection of these delightful treats at our restaurant in London or for delivery across the UK. From the classic Sachertorte to the delicate Esterhazy Torte or the fruity Apple Cake. Our creations celebrate the rich history and flavors of Austrian patisserie.