Sachertorte Recipe

Description

A delicious fine moist very chocolaty cake that is one of the famous historic foods from Wien (Vienna), the capital of Austria.

Summary

Ingredients

Cake Body Chicken Eggs 6
Caster Sugar 200 g
Dark Eating Chocolate 125 g
Plain Flour 125 g
Butter 100 g
Vanilla flavouring  
Greaseproof paper  
Filling Apricot Jam 150 g
Glaze Golden Syrup 150 g
Dark Eating Chocolate 150 g

Note that chocolate appears twice in the list (in both the cake & the glaze) making 275 g in total.

Equipment

Oven. 2 mixing bowls. Electric whisk (or hand one if you have lots of time). Knife. Scales (or just estimate). Microwave oven with microwaveable bowl (or a hob & saucepan but that is more hassle). Round cake tin (preferably with push-out bottom) about 20 cm diameter & 10 cm high. A cup (or similar as temporary egg yolk container). Baking paper (or reusable equivalent).

Detailed Instructions

  1. Split each of the 6 eggs putting the whites in a mixing bowl. (This is the stage that requires most care. Split each egg three ways: into yolk, white & shell. Discard the shells of course. Err on the side of purity of the egg whites as even a minute amount of fatty egg yolk in the whites mixture can seriously reduce their ability to foam when whisked but a little white in the yolk mixture causes no problem.)
  2. The cake body:
    1. The egg white foam:
      1. Put the egg whites in a mixing bowl.
      2. Whisk until fairly stiff & foamy. (Do not get any fat in this mix from the yolks, butter or chocolate because it will go flat.)
      3. Add three quarters (150 g) of the sugar.
      4. Whisk until fully stiff & foamy. (It is the air in this which inflates the cake so make sure there are as many little bubbles in there as possible.)
    1. The butter foam:
      1. Give the 100 g of butter a short blast in the microwave to get up to soft, but not molten state (not vital but it saves time whisking & deters the whisk firing out lumps of butter across the kitchen).
      2. Put the remaining 50 g of sugar in a mixing bowl.
      3. Add the 100 g of butter.
      4. Add some vanilla flavouring.
      5. Put the first load (125 g) of chocolate in the microwave bowl & melt the chocolate in the microwave.
      6. Meanwhile, return to the butter/sugar mix & whisk until it goes pale & creamy looking.
      7. Add the egg yolks.
      8. Add the molten chocolate.
      9. Gently (not whisking because whisking something this sloppy would knock the bubble back out) mix the ingredients in the bowl.
    2. Add the 125 g of plain flour to the butter/yolk/sugar mixture via a sieve (because lumps of white flour show up badly in this brown cake).
    3. Add the whites foam to the butter/yolk/sugar/flour mixture (not the other way around or you will have two horribly greasy bowls to wash up instead of one).
    4. Mix very gently folding the ingredients together (actually it does not matter if the mixing is imperfect because the resulting marbled effect is quite attractive, although definitely not traditional, but ensure the heavy chocolate does not all end up at the bottom of the bowl because it end up in the middle of the cake making that bit too dense to cook fully before the top burns).
    5. Line the cake tin with greaseproof paper.
    6. Fill cake tin with the mix.
    7. Bake at 170°C (Gas Mark 3.5) for about 70 min.
    8. Allow to cool in the tin (so it does not slop) upsidedown (so that the more noticeable top of the cake ends up flat at the expense of the bottom) until at room temperature (about 30 min).
  3. The filling:
    1. Microwave the 150 g of apricot jam until it melts.
    2. Cut the cake body in half horizontally & place the halves with inner (cut) faces uppermost.
    3. Pour the molten jam onto both halves of the cake.
    4. Allow it to soak in.
    5. Reassemble the cake.
    6. Allow the surface to cool again.
  4. The glaze:
    1. Microwave the 150 g of golden syrup (NB: 150 g of syrup is about 100 ml and therefore about 5 heaped dessertspoonfuls.) & the remaining 150 g of chocolate together until the syrup just starts to bubble (it does not need not be quite this hot but the first bubble is a convenient temperature indicator). Do not let the mixture seriously boil as that cooks the chocolate causing the glaze to go grainy.
    2. Stir it until they are smoothly mixed.
    3. Allow it to cool to about 25°C.
    4. It should now be spreadable and able to support a thickness of about 2 mm on a vertical surface (test on the wall of the bowl) yet return to shiny soon after being spread. If it is too hard or soft, add more golden syrup or chocolate and go back to the microwaving stage. (The exact amount of syrup needed depends on the sugariness of the chocolate. About equal weight of syrup & chocolate for normal UK plain eating chocolate (which is 50% cocoa solids) but more syrup if using darker (e.g. 70%) chocolate.)
    5. Spread cake body with the glaze.
    6. Leave it to set.

Freezing

The cake is quite long lasting, especially before its protective glaze is breached, and can easily remain at (normal UK) room temperature for a week before use. However it also freezes well:

Miscellaneous

Nutrition

Energy 23 MJ = 5500 kcal
Fat 220 g
Carbohydrate total 900 g
sugars 800 g
Protein 75 g

(This is an approximation from adding up approximate values for the ingredients.)

Origin

Sachertorte was originally invented by Franz Sacher at the 1814-5 Congress of Vienna.

This is a simplified version of a version of a recipe based on one from the 'Sacher-Kochbuch' which I got from a friend of a friend. My main simplifications have been whipping the whites mixture before the yolks mixture to avoid getting fat in the egg white foam without having to wash up the whisk twice and replacing a difficult boiled sugar-water solution (slightly too little water causes the glaze to rapidly set and apply lumpily whereas slightly too much water causes the glaze to take a day to set and runs off cake) with twrivially easy golden syrup. Three years after publishing this, I accidentally put most of the sugar in the first bowl, instead of dividing it equally as intended, and found that both increased the egg white foaminess and reduced the butter whisking time so I incorporated that uneven sugar allocation in the recipe. Seven years after publishing this, I accidentally put the flour in before the whites foam instead of the other way around and it worked better (less mixing needed so loss of air from the foam) so I adapted the recipe to that order.