Hello Austria

Reader Tom writes in from Vienna:

The Rehrücken is traditionally part of the Austrian confection of pastry, like Sacher Torte. Yet I have no evidence to prove it except it is really traditional. [Your recipe] is kind of strange because of the ginger, which is definetly not part of any Rehrücken-recipe here. Same goes for raspberry or apricot jam. Same for instant coffee. And we don’t “fill” the Rehrücken with any jam. We glaze the *whole* thing with (a rather sour tasting) red currant jam and then one more time with chocolate, and we insert the almonds always after glazing… otherwise the almonds will look dirty, and they have to be pearly white. Oh, by the way… we insert whole white almonds, not slivered ones.

Other than that, my version was 100% authentic.

3 thoughts on “Hello Austria”

  1. My husband is Austrian (Linz) and I have been trying to replicate my MIL’s Rehrucken for a few years. Mine’s good, but never as good as hers. I can second some of Tom’s comments about all the extra ingredients. Austrians do tend to favor red currant jelly and use it in Sachertorte, Linzertorte, and other Nusstorte. We don’t use any jam in our version of Rehrucken, but we do poke the almond slivers in after the glaze. I have heard of some people piping one line of jam down the central depression on the top of the cake. So, variations abound.

    My biggest Rehrucken problem is moisture. My MIL separates her eggs and folds the beaten whites into everythign else in the end, yet her cake is very moist and not sponge-cakey. She gets to use big farm eggs with vibrant orange yolks, so I’m constantly trying to adjust. Next time, I think I’ll add an extra yolk. My husband thinks the flour is different here, and some of your comments elsewhere on the site suggest it might even be the butter. Some of my more successful attempts used better quality chocolate or baking the cake in a water bath.

    1. Just so I know I’m understanding you, your problem is not enough moisture rather than too much, correct?

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