Sachertorte

24900-sacher

I’ve made Sachertorte before but found it to be a very adult-oriented cake, certainly one that my children wouldn’t particularly enjoy. So, I set about making a sweeter, less bitter version. It still has all the essentials to be a Sachertorte-type cake with the melted chocolate in the mix, the Savoy-sponge method and the melted ganache icing.

Notes

This is one cake where you will definitely benefit from measuring out the ingredients out first. Take your time – you’ll need to not rush this one!

Any leftover ganache icing (scrapped off the baking paper after the cake has cooled) is lovely re-warmed over ice cream or with fresh fruit. So don’t waste it – gather it up and put it in the fridge for another dessert

Equipment

  • A 20-22cm/8in springform tin
  • Pastry brush
  • Cooling rack
  • Baking tray, ideally lined with baking paper/parchment
  • Angled icing palette knife (you can make do with a plain palette knife but it will be trickier. Actually I for one of my angled palette knives, I bought a very cheap palette knife and put two bends in it myself – much cheaper and I got a large version)
  • Icing bag and small round nozzle or a plastic food bag (you can snip the corner off as a nozzle)

Ingredients for the cake

  • 110g plain chocolate (no more than 70% cocoa solids)
  • 65g milk chocolate (a good quality bar
  • 150g caster sugar (ideally vanilla sugar – sugar that’s had an opened vanilla pod sat in it for a few days at least)
  • 120g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 5 eggs (you need to separate yolks from whites) plus 1 extra egg white
  • 90g plain flour
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 30g potato flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Plus: jar of apricot jam (preferably with ‘no bits’ but you can strain it)

Ingredients for the ganache covering

  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 175ml double cream
  • 120g dark chocolate
  • 90g milk chocolate

Ingredients for the writing

  • 30g milk chocolate
  • 1 tbspn icing sugar

Method – for the cake

  1. Put the oven on to 170C conventional or 155C fan
  2. Prepare your tin – either line with parchment or wipe all over with butter/margarine and then dust with icing sugar (or if you’re really paranoid about sticking, you can do both!)
  3. Chop up the chocolate and melt it either with a bain mairie or in the microwave. After it’s reached melting point, stir it to smooth it out and set aside to cool a little
  4. Cream the butter in a large bowl and tip in about half of the sugar and keep beating until it lightens in colour
  5. Add the yolks one at a time and whisk in
  6. When all the yolks have been combined, keep the whisk going and pour in the melted choc
  7. Combine the flours, ground almonds and baking powder and mix lightly
  8. Now tip in flour mix bit by bit as you whisk. Make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together – no streaks. Set this bowl aside for a while
  9. In a very clean bowl (see my blog post on making meringues!) whisk all 6 egg whites to soft peaks (just shy of being stiff peaks) and then whisk in the rest of the sugar from earlier – adding it a spoonful at a time until it is fully combined and the meringue is glossy
  10. Combine the egg white into the cake mix, about a quarter of the meringue at a time. You need to find a balance between incorporating all of the meringue with no streaks without bashing all of the meringue fluffiness into submission. The cake will get its rise mainly from the meringue so go gently
  11. Pour into the cake tin and try to level it off
  12. Bake for around one hour – you may want to turn the cake halfway through. Also, test with a skewer after 50 mins. Keep cooking until the skewer comes out clean
  13. Set aside to cool and then turn out onto a rack. If you have time you can let it cool completely in the tin (then you can turn the cake upside down to ice to ensure a more flattened ‘top’)
  14. If your cake has cooked to a peak (you should be alright with the low oven temp and slow cooking time) you may want to level it off bu slicing it with a bread knife or cake cutter to get a flatter top – or if you’ve cooled it completely in the tin, turning it upside down may work for you. I believe professional patissieres also carve the side of the cake to ensure that’s flat too but I’ve not tried this!
  15. Warm the apricot jam and strain if it is anything less than very smooth (you’ll probably want to do this even if it has no bits)
  16. Gently brush the cake with a clean pastry brush or a clean tea towel to get rid of any bits of loose sponge
  17. Brush the warmed jam all over the cake – if there are any very large holes in your sponge you can fill them with the jam
  18. Let the glaze cool

Method – for the ganache icing

  1. Break up the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl
  2. Put the cake (right way up) onto a cooling rack. Put this over a clean baking tray (you may even want to put a sheet of baking paper in the bottom as you can then catch the spilled ganache icing for another use)
  3. Put the cream and syrup in a pan and put it on a hob. Bring it up until it’s simmering/lightly bubbling and keep stirring for no more than one minute
  4. Pour this all over the chocolate and then stir until it’s all melted together and nice and shiny
  5. Pour this over the top of the cake – tease it out to cover the sides without gaps with the palette knife. Work quickly while it is warm. Try to pour the ganache icing all over the cake – the less you do with the knife, the better. You may need to smooth the ganache all round the sides though.
  6. Once you’re happy that the ganache has fully covered the cake all the way round with no gaps and is as smooth as you can get it leave the cake to cool on the rack over the tray. You may nudge the cake and ruin your hard work if you move it

Finishing off

  1. Once the cake is well cooled – probably at least an hour – use a cake lifter or a couple of palette knives and take it off the rack (gently!!) and onto a plate or stand
  2. Melt the additional chocolate and mix in the spoonful of icing sugar
  3. Put this into the icing bag with the nozzle or the food bag (tip: if you’re using a metal nozzle you should warm it slightly or the coldness of the metal may start to solidify the chocolate and it will clog up the nozzle stopping you from icing. You can warm it under a hot tap, but ensure you dry it thoroughly)
  4. Write ‘Sacher’ or whatever other message you want and add any embellishments you like
  5. Alternatively the cake looks gorgeous with a few fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries instead of the writing
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