I’ve never been a very patriotic person but baking Mozartkugel Cakes on 26 October, Austria’s national day, is a wonderful tradition. Not a universally acknowledged one, but it’s my tradition. That in itself makes it wonderful. Also: cake. :)
History lesson of the day: on 26 October 1955 Austria declared its neutrality, following the end of the occupation by the Allies after WW II. Ever since, the Austrians have been independent, neutral(-ish), and taking a day off to celebrate on 26 October.
Chocolate lesson of the day: Mozartkugeln are chocolate balls filled with nougat and marzipan. Buying them may immediately identify you as a tourist in Austria, but the truth is that Mozartkugeln are seriously lovely rich chocolates, so they are eaten by the natives as well.
My Mozartkugel fairy cakes are soft chocolate cakes whose taste is not too intense so that the Mozartkugel (which is NEVER in the centre of the cake but at the bottom, so I’ve decided that’s where it belongs) is the real highlight. This year’s cakes are covered with dark chocolate and decorated with almond slivers; in the past I have used nougat or pistachio icings. Yum.