Papa Haydn Anniversary Torte



Yesterday was Bastille Day—so we hosted a “Let them eat cake!” evening at our house. Neighbors came over to help consume the sweet goodies I had to test this week. The most impressive of these (in flavor, if not in looks) was the Haydn Anniversary Torte.


This year Mohawk Trail Concerts is celebrating a number of musical anniversaries in addition to its own 40th birthday. The July 24/25 concert will honor the 200th anniversary of the death of Franz Joseph Haydn, known to music lovers as Papa Haydn.


I wanted to pay tribute to Haydn (the father of the string quartet, one of my favorite musical combinations) but I didn’t know much about his taste in food. He HAS been dead for a while, after all. I did a web search using the words “Papa Haydn” and “recipe.”


To my delight I found the innovative, upscale Papa Haydn Bakery and Restaurant in Portland, Oregon.


The owners of Papa Haydn, sisters Evelyn Franz and Heidi Van Dyke, are German. Van Dyke was trained as a pastry chef in Austria so they honored their roots by naming the place after Austria’s patron composer. They have been in business for three decades and seem likely to keep their classic tradition going for years to come.


I sent a plea to the restaurant. Manager Tewin Ettien generously provided the recipe below, which was created just for this year’s Haydn anniversary by Papa Haydn’s lead baker.


You can see that the version made by Papa Haydn (which appears at the bottom of this post) is much nicer looking than mine. Mine was looking fabulous for a while–mostly because of the sterling efforts of my sister Leigh, who has very delicate hands. She was doing a great job assembling the thing and remarked, “No one will believe you made this, Tinky,” because she knows from experience that presentation is not my forte.


Alas, I decided to place the final layer onto the torte myself. The result was first ooze and then collapse! I think that when I make the torte again (and it really is worth the effort and the expense of the ingredients), I’ll put it in a trifle pan. That way the collapse will be contained.


I didn’t have a torch so I tried broiling the fluff—again not one of my finer efforts. Another time I think I’d just use a little more filling or maybe some whipped cream on the top.


I hope I haven’t scared readers away from this recipe; it really is lovely, just a little challenging for those who, like me, lack the ability to put delicate things together. (If you’re one of them, do try it as a trifle!) By the way, the filling is pretty amazing all by itself with fresh fruit.

Papa Haydn (Courtesy of Mohawk Trail Concerts)

Papa Haydn (Courtesy of Mohawk Trail Concerts)




for the syrup (this may make a little extra):


1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons framboise (raspberry liqueur)
1 tablespoon vanilla


for the cake:


2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1-1/3 cups coffee


for the filling:


1 cup mascarpone
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons framboise (raspberry liqueur)
3/4 cup cream


for assembly:


1 pint fresh raspberries (plus a few more if you just can’t resist)
1 cup marshmallow fluff




First, make the syrup. Bring the syrup ingredients to a boil, and then let them cool completely.


Next make the cake. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a half-sheet pan (a pan that measures approximately 8 inches by 13 by 1). (I only had a 9-by-13-by-1 inch pan, which worked very well.)


Sift together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the coffee.


Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 30 minutes in my experience, but check earlier).


Allow the cake to cool completely. Toward the end of the cooling process, make the filling. Put the filling ingredients into an electric mixer and blend at low speed until combined. Turn the speed up to medium and beat until soft peaks form.


To assemble the torte, cut the cake into thirds. Make layers as follows: cake, syrup (“painted” on), raspberries, filling; cake, syrup, raspberries, filling; cake. (Save a few raspberries for the end!)


Put the fluff into a pastry bag and pipe it on top of the cake. Brown the top with a torch, and garnish with fresh raspberries. Serves 8.

The "Real" Torte (Courtesy of Papa Haydn)

The "Real" Torte (Courtesy of Papa Haydn)

My Torte After Collapse and Spooning (Picture it in a trifle dish!)

My Torte After Collapse and Spooning (Picture it in a trifle dish!)

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7 Responses to “Papa Haydn Anniversary Torte”

  1. John Montanari says:

    The recipe looks swell. The photo on top of the page … well, it’s a first
    try. Besides, Haydn’s first symphony was no big deal either.

  2. Susan says:

    Tinky — this was GREAT!

    Susan (one of the official tasters)

  3. Sara Stone says:

    Tinky, I laughed out loud at your description of assembling the torte!

  4. Alice says:

    I had the exact same reaction – LOL, this is Tinky’s swamp cake all over again. Your account was hilarious!

  5. Diana says:

    Interesting that you located a Portland bakery! I always have thought that Portland has/had the best baked goods in the country! Nice recipe!

  6. tinkyweisblat says:

    Thanks, all, for the lively commentary–particularly John, one of my musical (and now I guess culinary!) heroes.

    We laughed quite a bit ourselves. What else could we do?


  7. This is a great torte, Don’t be so hard on yourself; it’s not the easiest dessert to make. You look like you did a fabulous job.

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