Austrian Temptations: Discovering the Delights of the Alps

Randy Quill

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Welcome back, food enthusiasts, to another delectable chapter of The Radical Scholar’s blog series on Radical Eats (formerly the tongue-twister Exploring Global Gastronomy)!

In this edition, we invite you to join us on a culinary expedition to Austria, a land known for its breathtaking alpine landscapes, captivating history, and, of course, its mouthwatering cuisine. Nestled in the heart of Europe, Austria boasts a rich culinary heritage that blends influences from neighboring countries and an array of regional specialties.

So, let’s strap on our aprons and embark on a delightful journey to uncover the temptations of the Austrian kitchen.

a look at Wiener Schnitzel

We begin our Austrian gastronomic adventure with the iconic Wiener Schnitzel. This beloved dish has become synonymous with Austrian cuisine worldwide.

A true masterpiece of simplicity, Wiener Schnitzel is a breaded and pan-fried veal cutlet. The golden and crispy exterior encases tender meat that practically melts in your mouth.

  • Served with a squeeze of lemon and a side of potato salad or cranberry sauce, this classic Austrian dish is a testament to the country’s culinary prowess.

Here’s our favorite Wiener Schnitzel recipe:

All recipes in this blog are courtesy of our affiliate partner Hardwood Chef:

Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Total Time: 33 mins
Servings: 4
4 (5-ounce) veal cutlets (or chicken or pork cutlets)1. Place the cutlets between sheets of plastic wrap and use a heavy, flat-surfaced pan, rolling pin, or meat mallet to pound the meat evenly to 1/4-inch thickness.
1/4 cup all-purpose (or brown rice) flour2. In three separate shallow dishes, set up the flour mixed with salt in the first dish, beaten eggs in the second dish, and breadcrumbs in the third dish.
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt3. Heat at least 1/4-inch of oil in a large skillet to 350°F (175°C).
2 large eggs4. Working one at a time, dredge the cutlets in flour, then dip them in beaten eggs, and finally coat them with breadcrumbs.
1/2 cup breadcrumbs5. Immediately place the breaded cutlets in the hot oil and fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).
Oil or lard, for frying6. Remove the cooked cutlets from the pan and let the excess oil drain off. Serve with lemon slices.
4 slices lemon, for garnish

Enjoy preparing and savoring this delicious and authentic Wiener Schnitzel!

Day Dreaming of Sachertorte

As we delve into Austria’s sweet side, we encounter the legendary Sachertorte. This chocolate cake is a national treasure and a source of pride for Austrians.

  • Created in 1832 by Franz Sacher, the Sachertorte features layers of dense chocolate cake separated by a thin apricot jam filling.
  • A smooth and glossy chocolate glaze coats the entire cake, exuding decadence and irresistible allure.
  • Paired with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, each forkful of Sachertorte transports you to chocolatey bliss.

Sachertorte Recipe

Difficulty Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serves
Intermediate 30 minutes 1 hour 1 hour 30 minutes 12 servings


  • 200g (7 oz) Dark chocolate
  • 200g (7 oz) Unsalted butter
  • 150g (1 cup) Granulated sugar
  • 6 large Eggs, separated
  • 150g (1 1/4 cups) All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 200g (7 oz) Apricot jam
  • 150g (5 oz) Dark chocolate (for glaze)
  • 150ml (2/3 cup) Heavy cream (for glaze)
  • Whipped cream (for serving)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy.
  5. Gradually add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture and mix well.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold them gently into the chocolate mixture.
  7. Sift the flour and salt into the batter and fold until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Slice the cooled cake horizontally into two equal layers.
  12. Spread apricot jam evenly over the bottom layer and place the second layer on top.
  13. Melt the dark chocolate and heavy cream together for the glaze. Pour it over the cake, allowing it to set.
  14. Serve the Sachertorte slices with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on the side.

Enjoy baking and sharing the delicious Sachertorte with others! A great dessert after you’ve roasted some elk.


Turning our attention to the alpine regions of Austria, we discover Käsespätzle, a comforting dish that warms the soul. Käsespätzle is a delightful marriage of soft egg noodles, melted cheese, and caramelized onions.

  • The spätzle, a type of soft egg noodle, is cooked until tender, then layered with grated cheese and sautéed onions.
  • Baked to golden perfection, this cheesy delight is often served as a main course or as a side dish to accompany hearty meats or stews.
Käsespätzle Recipe

Käsespätzle Recipe

Ingredients Instructions Tips
400g (14 oz) Spaetzle noodles 1. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook the spaetzle noodles according to the package instructions. – You can customize the cheese combination according to your preference.
250g (9 oz) Emmental cheese (grated) 2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. – You can add caramelized onions or sautéed mushrooms for extra flavor.
250g (9 oz) Gruyère cheese (grated) 3. Add the cooked spaetzle noodles to the skillet and toss them with the melted butter. – Be generous with the cheese. It should be nicely melted.
1 medium onion (thinly sliced) 4. Optional: In a separate skillet, sauté the sliced onion in a little butter until caramelized. – Sautéing the onions until caramelized adds extra sweetness and flavor to the dish.
Salt and pepper (to taste) 5. Season the Käsespätzle with salt and pepper to taste. – Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
Chives or parsley (chopped) (for garnish) 6. Garnish the Käsespätzle with chopped chives or parsley. – Chopped chives or parsley make a nice finishing touch.

Austrian cuisine tantalizes the taste buds with its diverse flavors and satisfying creations. From the elegant simplicity of Wiener Schnitzel to the indulgent pleasure of Sachertorte and the comforting embrace of Käsespätzle, Austria’s culinary treasures showcase the country’s commitment to culinary excellence.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this delightful expedition into Austrian cuisine. Join us next time as we continue our global gastronomic voyage to Azerbaijan, a country nestled between Europe and Asia, where rich flavors, vibrant spices, and unique culinary traditions await.

Until then, keep exploring, keep savoring, and keep embracing the diverse flavors that unite us all.

Guten Appetit!

  • The Radical Scholar

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Here at The Radical Scholar we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Hardwood Chef, a company known for their exceptional craftsmanship and dedication to quality.

Just like the precision and artistry required to prepare Austrian cuisine (or elk), Hardwood Chef brings the same level of care and attention to their high-quality butcher blocks.

By clicking on the above steak, or by the following referral link below, and choosing Hardwood Chef Butcher Blocks for your kitchen or loved one, not only will you be investing in a top-tier kitchen essential, but you’ll also be supporting us in providing valuable food-elk-wine-and travel-related content!

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