Hotel Albris stories

How the Ibex got his cake

Hotel Albris, how the ibex got his cake

It was practically exterminated until the first successful resettlement in Pontresina. Reason enough for the pastry shop Kochendörfer to dedicate a fine cake to the ibex.

The name Albris and the ibex are closely linked. Because on the slopes of Piz Albris, high above Pontresina, the first successful reintroduction of the ibex in Switzerland was achieved in the 1920s-. Today the Albris- colony comprises around 1,800 animals and is therefore one of the largest ibex- colonies Alpine Space.

There is hardly any other area where you can observe the “King of the Alps” as well as in Pontresina.. Numerous ibex live in the mountains around the popular hiking area Alp Languard-Muottas Muragl. And in spring the ibex even venture down to the village, where you can marvel at it without much effort. However, visitors should always keep their distance from the less shy animals.

Hazelnuts and chestnuts
Claudio Kochendörfer, director of the Hotel Albris and father of three children, is also fascinated by the mighty but gentle ibex: "Going on an observation tour with the family is a highlight every year. The children are particularly enthusiastic about the climbing skills of the fawns." During one of these ibex encounters, the owner of a pastry shop came up with the idea of dedicating a cake to the Graubünden heraldic animal. The right ingredients immediately occurred to him: "It has to be something with hazelnuts and chestnuts."

The creation of cakes is a tradition in the Kochendörfer family. Claudio's grandfather, Oscar Kochendörfer senior, invented the Engadine cake almost 90 years ago, making it a real hit. The multi-layer cake made from shortcrust pastry bases, butter-M almond cream, cherry schnapps and Florentine lids is one of the most popular specialties in the Engadine Known across the valley. The Kochendörfer pastry shop sells around 22,000 pieces per year.

The tinkering was worth it
Will the ibex cake made from Japonais crust, hazelnut cream, chestnut biscuit, hazelnut schnapps and Florentine lids also be as successful one day? Claudio Kochendörfer hopes so, but notices that it was not that easy to create a new cake. He and his master confectioners had to fiddle a long time before the Pontresiner Steinbocktorte met Kochendörfer's high standards. “The cake not only has to taste good, but also be stable for at least two weeks and be stable for transport and shipping », says the specialist. It was worth trying a lot: The ibex cake tastes light and nutty, has a subtle note of schnapps and is crispy in the bite. It is best eaten chilled. Since then In autumn 2016 it is on the shelves and is becoming more and more popular

He was almost exterminated
Because the ibex's horn was said to have healing powers, it was hunted relentlessly until all ibex had disappeared from the Alpine region by the end of the 19. century. Only the Italian king still had some animals in his hunting area in Gran Paradiso. In a night- and -Mist-A poachers managed to get some fawns from him to steal and smuggle into Switzerland. All ibexes living in the Alps today come from these animals. In the meantime the ibex is hunted again, but only under strict conditions. Fortunately, allegedly healing ibex preparations are no longer made – instead the fine Pontresin ibex cake.

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