Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food Styling and Photos by Kelly Hong © 12-19-2106 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
The story of the world-famous Original Sacher-Torte began in 1832, in Vienna, when the all-mighty "coachman of Europe", Wenzel Clemens Prince Metternich, ordered the creation of a particularly palatable dessert for spoiled high-ranking guests. The head chef having taken ill, the task was reassigned to a 16-year-old apprentice in his second year, the quick-witted chap Franz Sacher. The cake consists of two layers of a soft, light and slightly bitter chocolate cake with a puree of apricot jam in between. This is completely covered in a shiny dark chocolate glaze. He added a dollop of whipped cream Austrians call "schlagober" to the side of the cake, and that's the proper way to serve the pastry even today. Traditionally, the word “Sacher” or a large “S” is piped on the top of the Sachertorte with melted chocolate. It is best to use a parchment cone to do this; Learn how to make one. We chose to adorn our Sachertorte with a modern crown of handmade white chocolate leaves; Learn how to make them!
CAKE RECIPE HELP
How to melt chocolate - I melt my chocolate in the oven while it preheats. Place finely chopped chocolate on a cupped sheet of aluminum foil and place on middle shelf. When the chocolate melts, make sure it does not drip over the sides of the foil. It should take about 2 to 3 minutes at most.
Another way to melt the chocolate is to microwave it in a medium size, microwave-safe bowl on 50% power for 30 seconds at a time until chocolate is almost melted. It takes about 2 to 4 minutes.
Looks are deceiving -- when done, the chocolate piece collapses slightly, but has a recognizable shape and will look shiny. When you touch the top with the tip of a knife (not your fingertip because its hot), you'll see that it's melted. Take care the chocolate doesn't burn which happens quickly. Remove from oven and stir.
The chocolate must cool down to slightly warm about 72 - 74 degrees F, until needed in recipe. Do not use it HOT.
For the Chocolate Cake:
4 1/2 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, melted and cooled to tepid
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted; measure and then, sift
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level top
For the Apricot Glaze:
1 1/4 cups apricot preserves
2 tablespoons golden rum or water
For the Chocolate Glaze:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
6 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
For the Letter "S":
2 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the White Chocolate Leaves:
Tutorial. About 20 - 24, depending on size. Pre-determine amount needed in advance by sizing one around an empty pan. Make extra due ton breakage.
STEP I: BAKE THE SACHERTORTE CHOCOLATE CAKE
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick oil spray. Line the bottom with a greased round of parchment paper.
Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Set pan aside.
2. Beat the butter with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium-low speed until softened, about 1 minute.
3. On low speed, beat in the powdered sugar. Add the salt.
4. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes.
3. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. After the eggs have been added, add in the vanilla.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the mixture for 2 minutes. At the end of mixing, the mixture will become fluffy and aerated.
4. Add melted and cooled chocolate: Temper the chocolate by adding a teaspoonful of the butter/sugar/egg mixture at a time to the cooled chocolate and mix thoroughly after each addition.
SARAH SAYS: Tempering the chocolate properly is a very important step. If the chocolate is too warm, and added to the batter, it will seize, creating small bits of hardened chocolate in the batter. These bits will never melt and incorporate into the batter when the cake bakes; they will remain as hardened pieces of chocolate in the final cake.
You can increase the amount of cake batter added to the chocolate after the initial first few teaspoons to tablespoons.
Add about 1/2 cup or more of butter/sugar/egg mixture to the melted chocolate before returning it to the main mixing bowl.
5. Mix all the ingredients on low speed until combined and creamy.
6. In a clean, spotless large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and granulated sugar with a handheld electric mixer on high speed just until they form soft, shiny peaks. Do not overbeat.
7. Stir about one fourth of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites, leaving no visible wisps of whites.
8. Sift half of the flour over the chocolate mixture, and fold in with a large rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining flour.
9. Spread the batter gently and evenly in the prepared pan.
10. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes with few moist crumbs attached, but not batter, about 35 - 40 minutes. (The cake will dome in the center.)
SARAH SAYS: Chocolate cakes are hard to tell when done and it’s easy to overbake them. You can still hear a few air bubbles popping. A small amount of cracking on the top is normal.
11. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan, and invert the cake onto the rack. Remove the paper and reinvert on another rack to turn right side up.
STEP II: TRIM AND TORT THE SACHERTORTE CHOCOLATE CAKE. GLAZE WITH APRICOT AND CHOCOLATE GLAZES.
Trim and tort the Sachertorte Chocolate Cake:
1. Using a long serrated knife, trim the top of the cake to make it level.
2, Cut the cake horizontally into two equal layers. Place one cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round.
Make the apricot glaze:
1. Bring the preserves and rum to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often.
Cook, stirring often, until the last drops that cling to the spoon are very sticky and reluctant to leave the spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Strain through a wire sieve into a small bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Use warm.
Glaze the cake:
1. Transfer the cake to a wire rack placed over a jelly-roll pan lined with waxed paper.
NOTE: If there are any large holes on the top layer, take some cake trimmings and mash them with a little of the apricot glaze to make a paste, and use a metal icing spatula to "spackle" the holes with the mixture."
2. With a clean pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the cake layer with the warm apricot glaze. Place the second cake layer on top and brush again.
3. Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining warm glaze.
4. Let cool until the glaze is set.
Make the Chocolate Glaze and Glaze the Cake:
NOTE: The chocolate glaze must be freshly made and used warm
1. In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan (no larger than 2 quarts, or the mixture will reduce too rapidly and burn before it reaches the correct temperature) over high heat, bring the sugar, water, chocolate and salt to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Attach a candy thermometer to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring, until the mixture reaches 234 degrees F, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and stir to cool and thicken slightly, about 1 minute. Use immediately.
3. Pour all of the warm chocolate glaze on top of the cake. Do NOT scrape the bottom of the pan.
4. Using a metal offset spatula, gently smooth the glaze over the cake, allowing it to run down the sides, being sure that the glaze completely coats the cake (patch any bare spots with the spatula and the icing that has dripped).
5. Cool until the glaze is barely set, then transfer the cake to a serving plate.
6. Refrigerate until the glaze is completely set, at least 1 hour. Do NOT store the Sachertorte in the refrigerator because it will dull the glaze.
NOTE: If you wish to remove the cake from the cake board, simply insert a thin spatula between the cake and the board and lift the cake off.
You can smooth out the glaze on the bottom edge of the cake with a damp finger, then center the cake on your cake stand.
Place the white chocolate leaves equidistant around the perimeter of the cake.
Pipe a chocolate "S" on top of the glazed cake:
1. Lay the white chocolate leaves equidistant around the perimeter of the cake.
1. Make sure the Sachertorte is at room temperature before serving. If previously refrigerated to set the glaze, remove and let sit at room temperature for an hour.
2. To serve, slice with a sharp knife dipped into hot water.
3. Serve with a large dollop of whipped cream on the side.
The Sachertorte can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight cake container at room temperature.
Storage in the refrigerator is not suitable; the chocolate glaze will dull.