I found it quite difficult to walk past Vienna’s glorious coffee shops without a certain temptation crossing my mind – i.e. a nice fat slice with a cup of the coffee that the Viennese do so well… Sadly the queues at Hotel Sacher were too lengthy even for this cake addict to contemplate each time we ventured past, but we did sample one or two slices of what is perhaps Austria’s most famous cake at a couple of other desirable destinations…
This post is thus named “Attempting Sachertorte” because I wanted to have a go at making one myself. And to be perfectly honest with you I think there might be a reason why people choose to go out to indulge, instead of making it themselves – and it wasn’t even the cake part that I had the found the most troublesome… The outer chocolate shell on an authentic Sachertorte is so shiny and smooth that you could possibly do your make up in it. And mine, as you can see is not… I even followed the Austrian Tourist Office’s recipe instructions for this part, melting chocolate into a sugar syrup at a certain temperature and pouring it over the cake, but that was easier said than done (and made one hell of a mess!) so in the recipe below, I have opted for pure melted chocolate instead…
It might be fiddly in parts, and you might find yourself asking why you’ve bothered at various points throughout the whole process, but I think the outcome is worth it. And if people profess to not liking Sachertorte (and you can’t manage it all yourself) then tell them it’s a jaffa cake cake. That worked for me! Failing that, get yourself to Vienna and sample a slice of the real stuff. I think you might thank me for that advice.
For the Cake (8-12 slices depending on how greedy you are!)
110g Dark Chocolate,
115g Softened unsalted butter,
40g icing sugar,
125g caster Sugar,
140g plain white flour.
For the Filling & Topping
180g Apricot Jam,
30ml Dark Rum,
250g Dark Chocolate.
Heat oven to 175degC. Grease a 23cm round spring form tin with butter. Line with baking paper, and grease that too.
Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl set in a pan over boiling water. Set to one side to cool.
Beat the softened butter with the icing sugar, then add the melted chocolate and combine. At this stage add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each one.
In a food mixer beat the egg whites* together with the caster sugar, until you get to stiff peak stage.
Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate/egg yolk mixture, before gently folding in the flour. Pour into the baking tin, and bake for 40-45 minutes (check that it is baked properly with a skewer). Leave to cool completely.
Carefully slice the torte in half. In a pan, melt the apricot jam and the rum together over a low heat, then pass through a sieve to get rid of any lumps. Sandwich the cake together with a generous layer of jam, and then paint the outside of the torte with it, and leave to cool. Melt the chocolate for the covering as above, and gently pour/spread over the cake. Leave to cool completely and set. Serve with a strong coffee and plenty of whipped cream on the side…
*a little tip I learned from my Mum to ensure perfect egg white/meringue creation – add a drop of lemon juice to the empty bowl beforehand and give it a quick wipe around with kitchen paper – does the trick every time!…