Citizens, Spanische Windtorte (“Spanish wind torte”) is a baroque Austrian dessert that is considered one of the most complex to create and serve, as it is composed mostly of meringue and whipped cream.
A Spanische Windtorte consists of rings of meringue that have been baked into a cylindrical form with a bottom and a top lid.
The piping of the meringue and the subsequent baking process require patience and careful attention to detail or the cake will not be symmetrical.
When the shell of the torte is done it is then filled with whipped cream, fresh berries (usually strawberries), chocolate shavings and/or currants.
Because whipped cream and meringue dissolve quickly, the torte must be served immediately. Freezing can retain the dessert’s consistency but the flavor may be compromised.
During the 16th century, the first cake bakers arrived in Vienna within the entourage of Spanish-born King Ferdinand.
Often called “the fanciest cake in Vienna”, this is a dessert that became popular during the Baroque period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Spanish reference is due to the Austrian House of Habsburg and their fascination with Spain which was very similar to the Russian nobility’s fascination with French culture.
By 1840, the earliest reference and recipe for Windtorte dateback to that time. Windmasse is actually the Austrian word for meringue and has nothing to do with ‘giving you wind’!
Citizens, this is by no means an easy dessert to make – but it is old-school delicious and will effectively prove your baking mastery to friends and family alike! I use real edible flowers and candied violets as opposed to the usual meringue versions in my version! Try enjoying this after a meal of another classic of the Austro-Hungarian empire – tafelspitz!
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