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Austria celebrates Mozart with chocolates

Scrumptious spectacle honors composer’s 250th birthday
/ Source: The Associated Press

It’s a symphony of sweets, a cantata of chocolates, a fugue of fantastic desserts on display at Vienna’s ornate Hofburg Palace.

The confectioner’s creations of Mozart motifs are part of the yearlong 250th birthday celebrations for Austria’s musical son.

But this chocoholic’s dream comes with a catch — you can look, but you can’t taste.

The scrumptious spectacle, the city’s fourth annual “Austrian Chocolate Master” competition, focused on the boy-wonder turned immortal this year — a given considering the thousands of events revolving around Amadeus.

The concept was simple even if the outcome wasn’t.

Each team could use up to 88 pounds of Belgian chocolate to come up with a concoction linked to the composer. To spice things up, they had to work in a cake made with Grand Marnier liqueur. Non-chocolate props and artificial ingredients were banned.

Lured by wafts of truffles and other delicacies into an exhibition hall set up in the erstwhile city residence of Austria’s Habsburg dynasty, tourists and locals alike marveled at the edible artifacts — oversized violins, larger-than-life Mozart portraits, pianos, treble clefs and themes from different operas.

“They’re superb and each one tells a story,” said Adele Fernandes of Vienna, getting out her glasses to get a better look.

The contestants, professional confectioners from Austria or Germany, created masterpieces that the maestro, known for a sweet tooth, would have savored.

Eighteen-year-old Georg Blaeuel said it took him 22 hours to create a chocolate copy of the first page of notes of Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” opera. He used it to decorate a torte adorned with slivers of edible gold leaf for a creation he called “Falco meets Amadeus,” blending images of the late Austrian pop icon and Mozart.

The first-prize winner, Leopold Forsthofer of Vienna, said it took him three weeks to finish his opus, which among other things featured a dainty milk chocolate figurine dressed in orange flower petals atop the silhouette of a violin.

“I didn’t want to be boring and pick a Mozart head like everyone else,” the three-time winner said.