Considered the pinnacle of Viennese pastry, sachertorte first emerged in the 1700s. Since then, the dense chocolate cake has landed in court, with an Austrian bakery and hotel both claiming rights to the title “Original Sacher Torte.” The case turned on slicing styles, butter content and number of jam layers, which hints at the ways in which the rich and iconically shiny dessert has evolved.

Lisa Barclay’s recipe, inherited from her Aunt Jenny, is unusual in its inclusion of nuts and lack of flour. But it upholds the “mit schlag,” or “with whipped cream” tradition that’s central to the cake’s coffeehouse history.

— Hanna Raskin

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.