Monday, December 21, 2009


I’ve had my eye on this recipe from ‘Chocolate’ for some time, so I was excited when the opportunity to whip it up came along. Of course, this is me, so when I say whip it up, I actually mean slowly and meticulously work my way through the recipe until I have a (hopefully) decent approximation standing before me.
Even after the enlightening lessons of baking blind in Botswana, I cannot tear myself from the certainty of absolute measures. This combined with all the waiting and grunge work makes for a lengthy preparation time. Good thing Sachertorte is so worth it.
According to Linda Collister, this Viennese cake was invented in 1832 by the chef at the Hotel Sacher.

  • 175g of Milk Chocolate (grated or finely sliced))
  • 125g of Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 150g of Castor Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs (room temperature)
  • 150g of Plain Flour
  • ½ a teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 4 tablespoons of Apricot Preserve
  • 1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice
  • 125ml of Double Cream
  • 175g of Milk Chocolate (grated)
  • A small amount of white chocolate (optional)

Put the chocolate into a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot and suspend over steaming but not boiling water. Allow it to melt gently, remove from the heat and then leave to cool. Put the butter into a large bowl and using a wooden spoon or (preferably) an electric mixer and whisk until creamy. Add half the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Separate the eggs. Put the six whites into a clean bowl and set aside. Using an electric whisk, beat five of the yolks into the creamed mixture one at a time. Stir in the cooled chocolate. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the mixture and gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then beat in the remaining sugar one tablespoon at a time. Fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three batches.

When the mixture is evenly blended, spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for 1 hour or until a knife plunged into the middle comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn it out carefully onto a wire rack (upside down), remove the lining and let it cool completely.

To make the glaze, put the apricot conserve, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water into a small saucepan, heat gently and then bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and push through a sieve into a bowl. Brush the hot glaze over the top and sides of the cake. Let cool on the wire rack. Meanwhile, to make the icing, put the cream into a small saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Put the grated chocolate into a bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Leave for 2 minutes and then stir until the icing is smooth and glossy.

Put a play under the wire rack to catch the drips, then pour the icing over the cake so it covers the top and sides. Spread the icing to cover any bare patches if necessary. Let it set in a cool place, but not the refrigerator. If wanted, melted white or milk chocolate can be used to pipe the word ‘Sacher’ or just the letter ‘S’ on top of the cake.

For best results when cutting, use a sharp knife and, before making each cut, dip the knife into hot water and wipe it dry. The cake is best eaten within a week (if you can bear to let it last that long!).

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