Sachertorte (mit Schlag)
I cannot believe I’m saying this, but this is the last post of 2018!!! It’s been fantastic creating these dishes for you and I hope I’ve inspired you to keep cooking/baking/mixing/roasting/eating! In my celebratory post, I wanted to make something that harkens back to my times in Vienna, Austria: the Sachertorte. I’ll never forget the nights at the opera followed by champagne and cake.
Full disclosure, my baking skills are not nearly as creative as my other cooking skills… thus I give full credit to Epicurious (sellout I am not, it’s legit the best one I’ve tested since my quest of 2013) for the Sachertorte Recipe and (oddly enough) the Austrian National Tourist Office for the glaze.
4 1/2 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (spoon gently into cup and level top)
7 oz dark chocolate coating or cooking chocolate
5.8 oz sugar
about 10 tbsp water
To make the torte: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper. Dust the sides of the pan with flour and tap out the excess.
In the top part of a double boiler over very hot, but not simmering, water, or in a microwave at medium power, melt the chocolate. Remove from the heat or the oven, and let stand, stirring often, until cool.
Beat the butter in the bowl of a eavy-duty standing mixer fitted with the paddle blade on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 inute. On low speed, beat in the confectioners' sugar. Return the speed to medium-high and beat until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the chocolate and vanilla.
Beat the egg whites and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer on high speed just until they form soft, shiny peaks. Do not overbeat. Stir about one fourth of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites, leaving a few visible wisps of whites. Sift half of the flour over the chocolate mixture, and fold in with a large balloon whisk or rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining flour.
Spread evenly in the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (The cake will dome in the center.) 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. Cool completely.
To assemble: Using a long serrated knife, trim the top of the cake to make it level. Cut the cake horizontally into two equal layers. Place one cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round. Brush the top of the cake layer with the apricot glaze. Place the second cake layer on top and brush again. Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining glaze. Transfer the cake to a wire rack placed over a jelly-roll pan lined with waxed paper. Let cool until the glaze is set.
For the glaze, break the chocolate into small pieces. Heat up the water with the sugar for a few minutes. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool down until just warm to the taste (if the glaze is too hot it will become dull in appearance, but if too cold it will become too viscous). Add the chocolate and dissolve in the sugar solution .
Pour the glaze quickly in a single action, over the cake and immediately spread it out and smooth it over the surface, using a palate knife or other broad-bladed knife.
To be very chefy (and semi-authentic), I like to make tempered chocolate pieces for each slice of the cake. I take tempered chocolate and do a little swoosh. Then I garnish each slice with said swoosh.
Service each slice garnished with a chocolate piece and a heaping pile of Schlag (whipped cream).