Vienna - Sachertorte oh sachertorte, where have you been my entire life?
I had never heard of this cake before! How did this one slip by me? Torte, sure that means cake - from the appearance it just seems like your run of the mill Betty Crocker Chocolate cake, no? NO! This Austrian classic cake is a light fluffy chocolate cake made with apricot jam, covered with a dark chocolate coating. Apparently it has layers of apricot jam in it, but the layers are so thin that I thought the jam was actually baked into the cake. I am into this idea of a super thin cake filling, I feel like we always make ours so thick and custardy and it's a bit much, you know? This one is almost like a secret .. boom where did that flavour bomb come from? Don't let the look on Fred's face confuse you - it was an expression of delight!
Do chocolate and apricot sound like an odd combination to you? Maybe… but it works! Fred and I picked up our first sachertore from this beautiful bakery called Demel in Vienna, where google and everyone claims it to be the best place to give it a whirl. It did not disappoint! Not to mention they smiled at my attempted German. Much appreciated, bitte! Light and sweet from the chocolate with a fruity tangy apricot flavour.. I can get behind this. Sold! Now I am off to get a bigger piece. I must say this cake isn't the best chocolate cake I have had, it isn't a life changing cake, it is just so interesting as it is a unique flavour combination I don't think I have had before.
The sachertorte was invented by a pastry chef Franz Sacher (oh how I wish a cake was named after me. Perkinstorte sounds pretty good) in 1832 in Austria. Sacher was 16 at the time and asked to prepare a special dessert for a guest because the official pastry chef was ill that day. See, you just never know what might happen to you in 1 day.
So apparently the Hotel Sacher in Vienna is the only location that produces the 100% authentic sachertorte because the recipe is trademarked… WHAT! New information for me, I must head over there. Trademarked top secret recipe, this keeps getting better and better. The hotel produced over 270 000 cakes per year.
So although this recipe is in a guarded in a vault in the basement of Sacher Hotel (well in my imagination anyways) here is an attempt at the recipe that should get you almost all the way there!
Cheers to Sachertorte and the flavour combination of Chocolate and Apricot. Now, what can I create and take to The Spice Age with that now?! Hot Chocolate inspiration for next year perhaps?!
By the way.. beware this cake is tricky to make (well in my opinion). Best of luck to you!!
Love, Rebecca + The Spice Age.
Sachertorte Where Have you Been?!
1 cup bittersweet baking chocolate.
8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract.
1/8 teaspoon of salt
¾ cup of sugar
1 cup of cake flour
½ cup apricot jam
1 cup of bittersweet baking chocolate
½ cup water, boiling
1 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray one 9" by 2" round cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Spray the parchment lightly as well. If your pan isn't at least 2" deep, use two pans instead of one.
To make the cake: Over low heat or in the microwave melt the chocolate slowly, stirring well.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the 8 egg yolks. Add the melted chocolate, melted butter, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and satiny, with no lumps or unincorporated yolks.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the 8 egg whites with a pinch of salt until they begin to foam. Slowly add the sugar, then beat on high speed until the whites hold a stiff peak but are still glossy.
Using a wide rubber spatula, mix about 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate/yolk mixture to lighten it. Now, pour the lightened chocolate mixture over the rest of the whites in the bowl. Fold gently, using about 20 to 30 strokes.
Sprinkle the cake flour over the chocolate batter and continue to fold gently until there are no traces of egg white remaining.
Pour the batter into the pan(s). Bake until the cake is puffed and dry looking on top, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean: 40 to 45 minutes for a single pan, 20 to 25 minutes for two pans. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Be sure to peel off the parchment circle while the cake is still warm.
While the cake is cooling, strain the apricot jam through a fine sieve to remove any bits of fruit and make a smooth filling.
To fill the cake: If you used one cake pan, you will need to split the layer before filling. Use a long, sharp serrated knife to split the cake into two even layers. If you used two pans, simply spread the apricot jam between the layers, leaving 1/2 inch around the border so that the jam does not squeeze out over the sides of the cake.
To make the chocolate glaze: Place the filled cake on a wire rack over a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the chocolate, water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently until the glaze is smooth, shiny and slightly thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
As soon as the glaze is smooth, immediately pour over the cake. The excess glaze will drip off of the cake onto the parchment paper. You can scoop up the excess glaze to cover any bare spots on the cake. Use a flexible spatula to help spread the glaze on the top and sides of the cake, but do not overwork the glaze or it will not remain smooth and sleek.
Allow the glaze to set up at room temperature for a few hours before serving. This cake is best served the day it's made. Store any leftovers at room temperature for 1 day.