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In 1832 Austria's minister of foreign affairs, Prince Metternich, ordered his court's kitchen to create a special dessert for a dinner to be attended by high-ranking guests. Dass er mir aber keine Schand' macht, heut' Abend! ("Let there be no shame on me tonight!"), he is reported to have declared. Unfortunately, on the day of the dinner the chief cook of Metternich's household was taken ill, and the task of preparing the dessert had to be passed to Franz Sacher, then in his second year of apprenticeship at the palace. The result was the magnificent chocolate cake devised on the spot by the 16-year-old trainee.
Sacher was born in Vienna and died in Baden bei Wien. He had two sons, Eduard and Carl, with his wife Rosa. Eduard Sacher opened the Hotel Sacher in 1876, near the State Opera House in Vienna. The Sachertorte is said to be instrumental in spreading the fame of the hotel. The exact recipe as created by Sacher himself is a closely guarded secret.