Where to eat Sacher cake? – the big Budapestian roundup
06/2/2014, 2:06 PM●7-minute article
Sachertorte is a real survivor: it isn’t only the most well-known dessert of the Viennesse cuisine since the nineteenth century but also a cake with mythical stories surrounding it’s original recipe. Nowdays, pastry chefs at Budapest bake it in a wide variety of ways: with or without apricot jam, chocolate mousse, cinnamon, marzipan…instead of arguing about the recipes, we’ve tried the outcomes.
In 1832, Prince Wenzel von Metternich charged his personal chef with creating a special dessert for several important guests. The head chef, having taken ill, let the task fall to his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Franz Sacher, who – according to the sages – improvised a special cake for the special occasion. In the early decades of the twentieth century, a legal battle over the use of the label ‘The Original Sacher Torte’ developed between the Hotel Sacher (founded by Franz Sacher’s son, Eduard) and the Demel bakery.
But Viennesse chefs weren’t the only ones, battling over Sacher. Many Budapestian chefs found the cake boring, too sweet or too bitter. Some of them were holding to the original recipe, the others gave the well-known Sacher a twist and took it to another level. Here’s a list of our favourite Sacher-positive patisseries:
Auguszt Patisserie - feels like home
We believe that Auguszt’s Sacher-recipe starts with the following indegriments: ‘a welcoming atmosphere and a place where you can feel at home‘. Years of tradition, professionality and home-grown peach guarentees the memorable dessert – not to mention the homemade whipped cream, which is really the icing (or the cream?) on the cake. Their version is the ‘classical’ Sacher, which everybody tried and tasted at least once in his/her life – but you can be easily surprised that you could miss this life-sweetener for so long.
Adress: 1053 Budapest, Kossuth Lajos street 14-16.
Ruszwurm Patisserie, founded in 1827 by Schwabl Ferenc is always a good choice when it comes to discovering the hidden treasures of the Buda Castle. Bieder furniture, the historical vibes and the passion for desserts will surely result in good memories. Their Sachertorte comes with two layers of peach jam, fifty-eight percent plain chocolate and a cinnamon-y flavor. The current owner, Szamos Miklós told us, that they prefer the original, drier version – which literally asks for the whipped cream, so don’t hesitate to obey the call!
Koch-Danica Patisserie - the best value-price ratio
To have a Sacher at Koch-Danica is like being teleported back to your grandmother’s kitchen, where you can see her melting the chocolate and the smell of the soon-to-be-ready cake fills the air. But before you would travel back in time, take a slice of their tasty treat with you: the sponge cake parts contain walnut- and lemon shell-parts – and the homemade peach jam, the twenty-two percent cacao and the chocolate takes the dessert to a level, where we don’t hesitate to say: for it’s price, Koch-Danica’s Sacher is a choice you surely won’t regret.
Adress: 1035 Budapest, Vörösvári street 41.
Opening hours: during winter – Monday-Sunday: 10-18, during summer – Monday-Sunday: 10-19
Zila Coffee House - Krisztina Patisserie & Restaurant - the outsider
Zila László and his patisserie was the duo between the birthday cake of Hungary for many years, so it’s not a surprise that their desserts worth traveling for. Zila László told us, that he found the original version too dry and choking, so he came up with a homemade peach jam-fueled version. Apart from the jam, you can taste fifty-five percent Belgian chocolate and the cinnamon with hints of cacao.
Napfényes Patisserie bakes really good and vegan-friendly Sacher – but you have to order it first, at least three days earlier. The minimum is an eight-slices-big cake (3900 HUF). The whipped cream is made with soy milk, and the cake is baked with cane sugar, spelt flour, carob powder instead of cacao, phosphate-free baking powder instead of eggs and of course, homemade peach jam. Even though we were a bit skeptical, we had to admit: Napfényes’s Sachertorte is a sweet temptation – not only for vegans.
Order-Only: the smallest cake is 3900 HUF (8 slices)
Budapest’s legendary coffe house, located near the opera house, in Andrásy street went through a big transformation during the past few years. Nowdays, they serve desserts that lives up to the place’s name – not a surprise, if we consider that the chefs were inspired by the legendary desserts of the famous Alain Ducasse. Művész’s Sachertorte is served with vanilla sauce instead of whipped cream and balances between French and Viennese traditions: seventy percent chocolate mousse, marzipan and only hints of pearl jam. A real masterpiece!
Being adventurous is always more rewarding, and Desszert. Neked (Dessert. For You)’s Sacher is one hell of a culinary adventure which ends in the gastro heaven. The chef, Korponai Péter is the more than passionate about sweetening everyone’s life with his creative desserts. His Sachertorte left us speechless.
Péter’s Sachertorte (or Sacher 2.0) is baked with fifty-three percent chocolate mousse, Normandian butter and crowned with a crispy candy (fermentated cacao beans, a little bit of dried appricot and twenty-four carat gold fume) – once you taste it, you will never forget this light dessert.
The slice on the picture costs 600 HUF, the bigger version costs 1000 HUF – it may sound expensive, but believe us, after a try, you will agree that this Sacher worths every forint. Meet your new addiction!
‘I love the smell of TortaBolt (CakeShop)’s Sacher in the morning…it smells like, victory.’ – okay, maybe we changed the classic line a little bit, but still: the chocolate ganache (the two main components are fourty-eight percent plain chocolate and whipped cream mousse) that covers the cake, smells really good. Because of the chocolate ganache and the sponge cake, which is made with sour cream, butter and a special cacao, containing twenty-two percent cacao butter, this Sacher literally melts in your mouth.
Order Only: the minimum is a twelve-slices-big cake (4200 HUF)
István Patisserie - the nostalgic
István Patisserie, founded in 1957 is not a revolutinary, trend-dictating place, more like a good old friend, from who you can always expect the same thing. Even though they used to experiment with the well-known dessert, the regulars kept asking for the ‘original’ version – which means sponge cake with walnut and cacao powder and the famous pearl jam of Gönc.
Even though Korponai Péter (see: Desszert. Neked) is no longer the chef here, he left his mark on the desserts of Centrál – which is easily the guarantee of good Sacher. Not too sweet, not to bitter, a perfect choice if you are taking the first steps on the chocolate-brown brick road.
deszzGerbeaud Patisserie - the chocolate on the cake
Gerbaud is not only famous because of their dessert with the same name, but because the place and it’s cakes, macarons and coffees represent the mountaintops of Budapest’s gastronomy. Kolonics Zoltán’s Sacher is a really tasty treat: chocolate sponge with marzipan, filled with homemade apricot jam, encased in Valrhona chocolate frosting! We felt Vincent Vega: we don’t know if it’s worth 1950 forints, but it’s a pretty – erm – good Sacher cake! But we should warn you: after you’ve tried it, it can easily happen that every other Sacher will taste worse.