If you know me then you will undoubtedly be aware of the fact that apart from cooking and baking I love eating cake. I actually think that my love for cake is in my genes since Austria, especially Vienna used be the center of the so-called Kaffeehausliteratur (coffee-house literature, not sure whether that can really be translated) where authors would spend days in traditional Viennese coffee houses eating cake and writing on their novels or poems for hours on end.
The tradition of enjoying a slice of Torte alongside a Melange is still very important in Austria and we are lucky enough be spoiled rotten with a wide variety of different coffee houses that offer an indescribable variation in cakes and pastries. I am known for my love for cupcakes, sadly these have not yet made it onto the menus of some of the most famous coffee houses, luckily however there are so many other things to try.
Even though Vienna was the center of the Kaffeehausliteratur, you will find traditional Austrian coffee houses scattered along the busy town-center roads in almost every Austrian town and even village. A delicious slice of Sachertorte or the like, is therefore never too far away!
After moving back from Indonesia my family moved to a town called Linz that I was not immediately fond of … until my friend introduced me to one of the famous coffee houses, Konditorei Jindrak, which happened to be world-famous for their Linzer Torte.
No one really knows who first invented the Linzer Torte but its recipe is the oldest-known recipe in the world and holds a special place in so many people’s hearts all over the world which makes me, as an Austrian, really proud. I sometimes don’t understand why so many people say that Wiener Schnitzel and Sachertorte are the most delicious Austrian dishes, they’ve obviously never tried Linzer Torte!!!
Enjoying a cup of coffee and sliver or two of cake are one of the many things I like doing when I’m at home in Linz and so my mom took me to the famous Konditorei Jindrak last week.
As much as I love Starbucks and am thankful to them for given us a reason to enjoy the amazingness of coffee on-the-go, when it comes to eating cake I’m a bit of a traditionalist and prefer an old coffee house with a great selection of cakes. I had the Ribiselschnitte (redcurrent cake topped with meringue) . . .
I actually wanted to order the Linzer Torte to show you guys how good it looks, but the selection of cakes made it impossible for me not to choose something else. Plus, I thought I could always bake it at home and give you the recipe so you can enjoy this heavenly creation for yourself! I even measured out the recipe in cups (as opposed to just grams) for all my American readers and for all those you don’t have kitchen scales!
So here we go. Get ready for a mouth-watering treat!
In a stand mixer whisk together butter (at room temperature), powdered sugar, salt, lemon zest, vanilla sugar and cinnamon until it looks like this …
Then add one egg at a time…
until you are left with this:
Now add flour (I used spelt flour but all-purpose flour will work too), breadcrumbs and ground hazelnuts.
Fold in the ingredients carefully with the egg-butter mixture until the batter looks something like this:
Transfer 2/3 (!) of the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it out evenly. Note: Linzer Torte is actually a cake that should be made in a spring form tin. To simplify things I made it on a baking sheet. Whatever way you choose, the cake will taste exactly the same.
Now get the red current preserve (if not available you can use raspberry jam) . . .
. . . and add a couple of spoons onto the cake batter. Like this:
And spread it out evenly!
Now comes the fun part or what I like to call the “arm workout of Linzer Torte baking” you’ll
see feel why! Fill about half of the leftover batter into a pastry bag
and arrange the batter in a lattice. No need for perfection! Repeat with the rest of the batter. Can you tell that my hands needed a rest halfway through each lattice?
Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake for 40-45min. The cake will be done when your house is filled with a warm, sweet hint of cinnamon! Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea!
And here is the full recipe for you:
adapted from Die Gute Küche (Plachutta, Wagner)
makes 14 delicious pieces
You will need:
- 230g butter (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 300g (2 + 1/4 cups) powdered sugar
- 150g (2 cups) ground hazelnuts
- 200g (2 + 1/4 cups) bread crumbs
- 200g (1 + 1/2 cups) spelt flour (all-purpose flour may also be used!)
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
- a few shakes cinnamon
- about 150 -200g red current preserve (or raspberry jam is other is not available)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (335°F).
- In a stand mixer mix together the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, vanilla sugar and cinnamon.
- Once the ingredients are combined add one egg at time while mixing on medium speed. Mix until everything has fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl if necessary.
- Remove the bowl from the the mixer and add the flour, nuts and breadcrumbs to the batter and fold in the ingredients carefully.
- Transfer 2/3 of the batter to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or into a spring form). Add a few tbsp. of red current preserve onto the batter.
- Then, using a pastry bag arrange the batter into a lattice on top of the preserve.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes!
And this concludes our little history lesson!
What is your favorite dessert/ cake? Do you have a favorite bakery or coffee house that you like going to?