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According to Sacher's son Eduard, in 1832 Austria's minister of foreign affairs, Prince Metternich, ordered his court's kitchen to create a special dessert for a dinner to be attended by high-ranking guests. Dass er mir aber keine Schand' macht, heut' Abend! ("Let there be no shame on me tonight!"), he is reported to have declared. Unfortunately, on the day of the dinner the chief cook of Metternich's household was taken ill, and the task of preparing the dessert had to be passed to Franz Sacher, then in his second year of apprenticeship at the palace. The result would be the chocolate cake devised on the spot by the 16-year-old trainee. The story was probably invented by Eduard many years later, to appeal to "Viennese nostalgic for their imperial past".
Sacher was born in Vienna and died in Baden bei Wien, where he was laid to rest in the Catholic Helenenfriedhof (Saint Helena Cemetery). He had two sons, Eduard and Carl, with his wife Rosa. Eduard opened the Hotel Sacher in 1876, near the State Opera House in Vienna. The Sachertorte is said to be instrumental in spreading the fame of the hotel; or perhaps the other way around. The exact recipe as created by Sacher himself is a closely guarded secret.
- Funeral notice. In: Badener Zeitung, 13 March 1907, p. 7 (Online at ANNO)
- Michael Krondl, Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert, ISBN 1569769540, 2011, p. 290-291: "my best guess is that the Metternich creation story originates with Eduard Sacher"
- "Franz Sacher's 200th Birthday". Google. 19 December 2016.