The October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte.
It has been a long time since I have participated in the Daring Baker’s Challenge, but when I saw October’s challenge I knew I could not pass this one up. Not only has the Sachertorte been on my “TO BAKE” list for a very long time, but I actually had a slice of Sachertorte in Vienna during my junior year in college when I was parading around Europe. I was not willing to splurge on the original sachertorte from the Sacher Hotel on my student budget, but I tried a slice from another popular coffee house called Aida. I still consider my year abroad in France the best of my life so this recipe brought back some warm memories.
For step-by-step guidance, check out Korena’s post. Like a lot of the other bakers, I did have trouble with the glaze. I included a different glaze recipe in this post, but feel free to refer back to Korena’s blog if you want to try her version. Although it is a drier European-style cake, I loved the final result. It’s traditionally served with whipped cream, but I thought it was delicious on its own. I will definitely make this again in the future.
- ¾ cup good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (aka icing sugar or powdered sugar)
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature (see note above about egg whites)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour (for volume measurement, spoon gently into
- measuring cup and level top)
- pinch fine grain salt
- 1¼ cup apricot jam or preserves
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate discs
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to moderately hot 375˚F with a rack in the centre of the oven. Butter and flower the sides of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
- Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and heat over a small saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure that the bowl is not touching the simmering water) or in the microwave until just melted. Set aside to cool completely, stirring often.
- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or electric mixer on medium speed until very light and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar on low speed, then increase to medium speed and beat again until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla and beat until well-mixed and very light and creamy,scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- In a scrupulously clean bowl using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with about one tablespoon of the granulated sugar on high speed until foamy. Gradually add in the rest of the granulated sugar and continue beating the whites until they form soft, shiny peaks – they should hold their shape but flop over on themselves.
- Vigorously stir about ⅓ of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula until just a few wisps of egg white remain. Do this carefully so as not to deflate the egg whites.
- Stir together the flour and salt and sift half of it over the chocolate mixture. Fold in with a spatula until almost incorporated. Sift over the remaining flour and fold to combine completely. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared springform pan.
- Bake in the preheated moderately hot 375˚F/350°F fan/190˚C/gas mark 5 oven for 35-45 minutes (mine took exactly 40 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cake will crack and dome in the middle as it bakes but will flatten out as it cools. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan and remove the sides. Carefully invert the cake onto a rack and remove the bottom of the pan and parchment paper, then turn the cake right-side up onto a rack and allow to cool completely.
- Assembly: Turn the cake upside-down so that the perfectly flat bottom of the cake is now the top. Cut the cake horizontally into 2 even layers. Place 1 cake layer on the 8½-inch (22 cm) cardboard cake round and spread it generously with about half of the apricot glaze. Allow it to soak in. Place the second cake layer on top and spread the top and sides with the remaining apricot glaze. Work quickly before the glaze has a chance to set and use a metal offset spatula to smooth the top. Place the cake on a rack set over a plate or baking sheet lined with waxed paper and allow the apricot glaze to set.
- Make the chocolate glaze (it must be used immediately, while still hot) and pour it over the top of the cake, first around the edge and then in the middle. Spread the excess glaze over any bare spots using a metal offset spatula. Before the glaze has a chance to set, move the cake to a serving platter.
- With the writing chocolate, pipe the word “Sacher” in the middle of the cake and add any decorative flourishes you wish. Chill the cake until the glaze is completely set, at least 1 hour.
- To serve: Let the cake come to room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Whip the cream to soft peaks (this is best done in a cold bowl with cold beaters). If desired, sweeten it with icing sugar to taste.
- Cut the Sachertorte into wedges with a large sharp knife dipped in hot water and wipe off the blade between cuts. Serve each wedge of cake with a large dollop of whipped cream