The Cakes of Vienna part 3 – Mozart torte at Mozart Cafe Vienna

Do you remember how in my last Cakes of Vienna article I said that the next post would be about the Kardinalschnitte? Well, I was lying. Or, at least, I was being unintentionally deceptive. Having just gone through my Vienna notes again, this time with a noticeably improved attention to detail, I realised that I’d overlooked the cake experience preceding the Kardinalschnitte one – namely, Mozart torte at Mozart Cafe Vienna. Since the basic structure of this series is chronological, I will have to do the right thing, i.e. put off the Kardinalschnitte until next time in order to give the Mozart torte its rightful place. Because without order there is nothing – and least nothing orderly.

The Cakes of Vienna

Part 3 – The Mozart torte at Mozart Cafe, Vienna

Albertina Museum, Vienna

The towering horseman

It is a sulphurously hot evening in Vienna and I have reached the second station of my epic cake journey – Mozart Café. Although, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t got far from Café Sacher yet – Mozart Café is just round the corner, literally in the same building. I am taking baby steps here, but baby steps can take one far, providing that one takes many of them. And that I intend to do.  Due to the boiling hot weather and generally stuffy atmospheric conditions, I sit outside, where I can not only enjoy a faint breeze, but also take advantage of a splendid view of the Albertina Museum and a statue of a guy on a horse.

Since my mission is to conduct field study of the most representative kinds of Viennese cake, selecting the right  cake from the menu feels like a great responsibility. Which cakes on the Mozart Café menu can be considered most representative of Viennese cake in general? Which one of the most representative cakes is served in the most representative way in this café? There are many factors to be considered in this equation. As an aside, the Mozart Café menu looks a lot like a brochure. This doesn’t tie in with the present issue at all, but does retroactively readjust the magnitude of my awe with the Café Sacher brochure.

Mozart Cafe, Vienna

Outside of Mozart Cafe, including the ambiguous display

After some deliberation, I decide on the Mozart torte. My reasoning is that something called the Mozart torte has to be representative of something called Café Mozart (or is it Mozart Café? – I am not entirely sure which version is correct, since the awning outside the café displays the words “Mozart” and “Cafe” in a repeating string, which could be interpreted either way). On second thought, this kind of reasoning might be simplistic, but it is very hot and I am not capable of going into too much depth at the moment. Also, the cake looks really nice on the menu or, should I say, “brochure”. And, on top of everything, it’s a mystery cake, since I have no idea what it’s made of. It should be fun trying to decipher its ingredients.

I order a slice of the Mozart torte and it arrives fairly quickly. The cake looks exactly as it did in the picture, although the chocolate seal with a silhouette of Mozart’s face looks eerily realistic in real life and thus somewhat off-putting – surely portraits of Classical composers shouldn’t be edible? Also, it drives the whole Mozart theme a bit too far.

A slice of Mozart torte

A slice of Mozart torte with a miniature edible portrait of Mozart

But all of my complaints disappear when I try the cake. The cake tastes good and its texture is incredibly light. It’s also not too sweet. As for trying to identify its ingredients, it’s actually not that hard:

  • Two layers of dark chocolate sponge
  • Two layers of whipped-cream-based filling (probably with some gelatine to keep it in place)
  • A very fine layer of chocolate on top of the bottom sponge plus chocolate decorations on top and on the side

The cake also tastes pleasantly boozy, but it’s hard to tell whether the booze (probably rum) is in the sponge or the filling – it might be in both. For some reason, I was expecting this cake to contain marzipan, but there is none to be found. What can be found,  however, is a faint minty aroma permeating the cake. I am generally no fan of mint as it makes everything taste like toothpaste, but in this case it doesn’t hurt.

All in all, the Mozart torte is a very decent cake indeed and I honestly don’t know what Mozart has done to deserve having his name attached to it.

Check out the next part of Cakes of Vienna for a detailed report on the Viennese Kardinalschnitte – this time for real!

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About Sonja Kudei

Sonja Kudei is a writer and web developer based in London.

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