Of all Austria's luscious desserts, this may be the best known.

Makes one 10-inch cake, about 12 servings


12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
8 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Currant Glaze

3/4 cup currant jelly

Chocolate Glaze

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

One 10-inch round pan, 2 inches deep, buttered and the bottom lined with a disk of parchment

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the butter and confectioners' sugar on an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape in the chocolate and beat smooth.
  3. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and set aside.
  5. Pour the egg whites into a clean, dry mixer bowl and place on mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until white and opaque and beginning to hold a very soft peak. Increase speed and add granulated sugar in a stream, continuing to whip the egg whites until they hold a soft, glossy peak.
  6. Fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate batter with a large rubber spatula. Sift over and fold in about half the flour. Repeat with another third of the egg whites, then sift over and fold in the remaining flour. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake until it is well risen and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges dry, about 45 minutes.
  8. Unmold the cake to a rack and leave the paper on the bottom. Invert, using another rack and cool the cake, right side up, until it has completely cooled to room temperature.
  9. After the cake has cooled, trim the top of the cake even and invert it onto a cardboard. Remove the paper from the top of the cake.
  10. Bring the currant jelly to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow it to reduce until it is no longer watery, 3 to 4 minutes. Paint the glaze all over the outside of the cake.
  11. Place the cake on a rack set over a jelly roll pan.
  12. For the chocolate glaze, stir together the water, corn syrup, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a full rolling boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Shake the pan gently to submerge all the chocolate and allow the pan to stand for 3 minutes to melt the chocolate.
  13. Gently whisk the glaze smooth, then allow it to cool for 5 minutes, so that it thickens slightly. After 5 minutes, gently whisk the glaze again and pour it over the cake, starting in the center and pouring in a narrow spiral, covering the top of the cake and pouring the last of the glaze right at the top edge of the cake so that the sides of the cake are covered. Quickly touch up the sides of the cake, if they need it, with a metal spatula and the glaze that has dripped onto the pan under the cake.
  14. Let the cake stay on the rack for at least 30 minutes, so that the glaze sets completely before you try to move the cake.
  15. Use the point of a paring knife to loosen the bottom of the cardboard from the rack, then transfer the cake to a platter.