Sacher Torte

 

I’ve made a Sacher Torte a few times now, but I’ve been too afraid to make the traditional chocolate glaze that goes over top, so I’ve generally used a chocolate ganache to coat the cake at the end.  Well, this time I decided I would give it a go and try the traditional chocolate glaze.  It was surprisingly simple.  Though, you do need a digital thermometer, as you do need to keep track of the temperature of the sugar syrup.

I’ve used candy thermometers in the past, the ones that clip to the side of the pot, and those things are so annoying, they slip, they move, lets just say I have an extreme dislike for them.  As noted by the fact that I’ve gone through about 4 and I no longer have any in my possession.  I do however, have a few digital probe thermometers.  These are relatively inexpensive ($10 to $15) each and they read temperatures up to 450°F.  We only need to go to 230 to 234°F with this, so these work great.  I also use these for checking the temperature of chicken and turkey.  This is why I have a few.  One for bread and baking type stuff and one for cooking and poultry.  And an extra just in case one breaks.

Now I started off by pre-heating my oven, which is the way to go.  Then prepare your pans, this recipe calls for 2 – 7″ cake pans.

Then I decided I would melt my chocolate and then start separating my eggs.  Don’t do this!  Separate your eggs first, as there are 9 of them, and this could take a bit of time.  My chocolate ended up cooling too much and started solidifying by the time I got back around to it, so I had to try re-heating it and well, I ended up with tiny bits of chocolate throughout my cake batter – though this was not a bad thing, just a warning, separate your eggs first and then melt your chocolate and set it aside to cool.

So to start off – separate 9 eggs, making sure you don’t get any yolks in the whites.  I tend to separate the whites into a smaller bowl and then pour into a larger bowl, just to ensure if a yolk breaks, it doesn’t contaminate the rest of the whites – which happened to me and luckily I didn’t have to throw all the whites away, just the one.  Then set the two bowls of egg whites and egg yolks aside.


Next up, over a small pot of simmering water, using a metal or glass bowl, melt your chocolate, stirring to ensure nothing burns.  Set this aside to cool, stirring occasionally.


In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream your butter for about 1 minute.  Scrape down the bowl.


Add in the powdered sugar and beat the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes, until it gets light yellow in colour.  Scrape down the bowl.


Then, add in your egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after every third egg.

Finally, with the mixer on low speed, add in your vanilla bean paste and cooled melted chocolate.  Scrape down the bowl and mix again to ensure everything is evenly mixed together.  Set this aside.


If you have a second bowl for your stand mixer, use this.  If not you can use a hand blender or even a whisk, and whisk your egg whites, adding the grandulated white sugar slowly until you get soft peaks.


Mix in about 1/4 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture, this is simply to lighten the chocolate mixture so it’s easier to fold in the rest of the whites.

Then fold in the rest of the egg whites, gently, until they are amost folded in.  You still want streaks of white going through.


Next up, start folding in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  **you can sift the flour, but it’s not essential**.  Continue folding until all the flour has been completely folded in and there are no more streaks of flour remaining.


Divide the batter between your two pans, smoothing out the top of the batter evenly.


Bake in your pre-heated oven for between 45 to 55 minutes, using a skewer or tooth pick to test to see if it is done.  If the skewer comes out clean, its done, if not, leave in a few more minutes.

Remove the pans to a cooling rack and let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the cooling rack and flip back over so they are right side up and allow to cool completey before proceeding.


Once the cakes have cooled completely, you want to level the cakes, removing the domed part of the cake.  Sometimes you will get lucky and the cakes will bake evenly, but most of the time they will dome.  Once you have the dome leveled off, you are going to want to split your cakes into two layers each.  Remember to use a serrated knife to do this, going carefully around the edge of the cake marking your line firstly, and then slowly, while turning your cake, start to cut in towards the centre, while turning the cake so you ensure you get even layers.


Once the cakes are leveled and layered, prepare a baking sheet, but covering it with aluminum foil, to make clean up easier once you are all done.  Then place a rack over the sheet pan and place the top layer of each cake on the rack (this will now become your bottom layer of your cake and the bottom layer will then become the top layer).


In a small sauce pan, combine the apricot jam and rum, stirring over medium heat, bring this to a boil an boil for 2 to 3 minutes.  Strain the apricot sauce to remove all the solids, pressing on the solids to get all the liquid out.  Use this immediately.


Pour about 1/3 of the apricot glaze on the layers already on the rack, using a pastry brush to evenly coat the layer.  Don’t be afraid to pour a little more on if you feel it needs it.


Then place the bottom (now top) layers on top, bottom side up, so you now have a nice flat top to your cakes.  Pour the remaining apricot glaze over the two cakes (reserve a little bit just in case you need to fill in on the sides) and using a pastry brush, evenly coat the outside of the cakes.


Allow the apricot glaze to set up – this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Once the apricot glaze has set up – meaning you can touch it and it’s tacky but not wet, you can start making the chocolate glaze.

Get your chocolate weighed out and ready.  In a small sauce pan combine the white sugar and water, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, bring this to a boil.  Continue to boil this mixture, swirling the pan occasionally, until the temperature reads between 230 to 234°F.  This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.


Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate, stirring constantly for 30 to 60 seconds.  If you notice it’s starting to set up, slowly add in a little (maybe 1/4 cup) warm water.  You may need more – I probably should have added a bit more as my glaze still set up quite fast.  If it’s not getting thick enough to coat, you can put the pot back on the burner for a few seconds, bringing it back to a boil, as it may not have gotten hot enough.


Then quickly and carefully, pour the chocolate glaze over the cakes, starting with the outside and moving your way inwards.  Then using a small offset spatula, carefully ensure the sides of the cake are evenly coated.


Allow the cakes to set at room temperature for 30 minutes, then move them to the fridge for at least 1 hour to completely set up.

**This cake will last for up to 2 weeks, uncut**

You can serve the cake just as is (which is the way I have always liked it) or you can serve it with some whippled cream.


**I know this seems like a lot of steps – but the cakes can be baked up to 2 days in advance and wrapped tightly before assembly of the rest of the steps**

Enjoy!

 

 

Sacher Torte

(Makes two 7″ cakes)

(Modified from the original recipe found here)

 

6 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

13 1/2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

9 eggs, separated

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups flour, all purpose

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Grease and line two 7″ cake pans with parchment paper.
  3. Separate your eggs, making sure that no yolks get into the whites.  Set aside.
  4. In the top of a double boiler or with a metal or glass bowl set over a small pot of hot simmering water, melt the chocolate.  Remove from the heat and let stand, stirring often, until cool.
  5. Beet the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer for one 1, using the paddle attachment.    Scrape down the bowl.
  6. On low speed, beat in the powdered sugar.  Once incorporated, turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until light in colour – approx. 2 minutes.    Scrape down the bowl.
  7. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after every third yolk.
  8. While on slow speed, incorporate the vanilla bean paste and the melted chocolate.  Scrape down the bowl, and then quickly mix again to ensure everything is combined thoroughly.  Set aside.
  9. In a separate bowl (should you have a second stand mixer bowl use this) whip your egg whites with the granulated white sugar, on high speed until they form soft peaks.  Do not over beat.
  10. Stir in about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, to lighten this mixture.  Then fold in the remaining egg whites all at once.  Once you have the egg whites almost completely folded in, start add in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and gently fold this in.  Continue folding until there are no visible streaks of flour remaining.
  11. Divide batter evenly between the two pans, smoothing out the top.
  12. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  (The cake will dome up in the centre).
  13. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool until room temperature, right side up.

**Assembly instructions are noted below**

 

Apricot Glaze:

2 cups (500 ml jar) apricot preserves (jam)

3 Tbsp. rum

  1. Place apricot jam and rum in a small sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat until boiling.  Allow to boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Strain to remove all solids, pressing on the solids to ensure you are getting all of the liquid out.
  3. Use immediately.

 

Chocolate Glaze (this is made at the last minute):

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups sugar, white

3/4 cup water

  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionaly.
  2. Continue boiling for 5 to 10 minutes, swirling the pan occasionaly, until the temperature reachs 230 to 234°F.  Use of a digital thermometer is essential here.
  3. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate, stirring constanting for 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Use immediately.

 

To Assemble the Cake:

  1. Level the cakes, removing the domed part of the cake.
  2. Split the cakes into two layers each.
  3. Place a rack over top of a sheet pan (wrap your sheet pan in foil to make for easier clean up afterwards).
  4. Place one layer of each cake on the rack over the sheet pan (place the top layer, which will now be your bottom layer – so that once you are finished, the bottom of the cake will now be the top, so you get a nice flat top to your cak).
  5. Pour about 1/4 of the hot apricot sauce over each of the cake layers on the rack, spreading to the edges to completely cover this layer.
  6. Place the top (bottom side up) layer on the cakes and pour more apricot sauce over each of the cakes (keep some reserved to ensure you coat each cake evenly).  Using a pastry brush, ensure every inch of the outside of the cake is thoroughly coated in apricot sauce.  **This will ensure the cake stays moist and can essentially be kept for up to 2 weeks without being cut**.
  7. Allow the apricot sauce to set up (this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Once the apricot glaze has set up, start making your chocolate sauce.  **Should notice that your chocolate sauce is setting up too fast, add some more hot water to it, small amounts.  Should it not be setting up at all, simply place it back on the heat for a few seconds.
  9. Pour your chocolate glaze over the cakes, starting with the edges, and moving towards the centre, then using an offset spatula ensure all edges are covered in the chocolate glaze.
  10. **mine was setting up too quickly so I didn’t quite get as nice of a finish as I wanted**.
  11. Let the cakes set up at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

You can serve the cakes with whipped cream, though I prefer them just the way they are.

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