I’m continuing on the German-speaking theme this week by delving into the complicated and secretive world of Sachertorte. Sachertorte is an Austrian speciality first baked by Franz Sacher in 1832. Nowadays it is made up of two layers of chocolate sponge, separated by apricot jam and topped with a thin layer of chocolate icing. The “Original Sachertorte” recipe is closely guarded by the Hotel Sacher in Vienna and typically looks like the example below.
In order to provide bite-size treats for my colleagues at work and with a lack of a definitive Sachertorte recipe, I decided to attempt Sachertorte cupcakes. I do not pretend that my recipe below is the definitive Sachertorte recipe. It is merely an interpretaion of various recipes I have come across over the years.
For the cake:
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature
80g caster sugar
100g icing sugar
80g plain flour, sifted
40g cornflour, sifted
6 eggs, separated
120g dark chocolate, at least 60% cocoa solids
For the icing:
3 tbsp apricot jam
125g chocolate, at least 60% cocoa solids, grated
125g caster sugar
- Melt the chocolate in a large bowl over a pot of boiling water and leave to cool.
- Once cool, add the butter and icing sugar and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. The chocolate should not be hot enough to melt the chocolate. Separate the eggs and add the egg yolks, beating after each addition.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until fluffly and beat in the caster sugar. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon.
- Mix the two flours together and fold into the mixture as gently as possible.
- Spoon the mixture into baking cases until each is half full. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 200°C or until the cakes have risen and are springy to the touch.
- Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
It has been said that Sachertorte icing is the key to the Hotel Sacher’s secret recipe. Many modern recipes suggest using a mixture of melted chocolate and butter in equal quantities. This would be my personal preference as it’s not too sweet but it may also not be thick enough to cover the sloping surface of the cake. Instead I opted for the recipe below:
- Once the cakes are cool, warm 3 tbsp apricot jam and cover the top of each cake.
- Place the caster sugar and water in a pot and boil for two minutes until syrupy.
- Remove from the heat and add the grated chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth and keep stirring until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Pour approximately 31/2 tablespoon of icing onto the centre of each cake and allow it to spread out over the cake, covering the entire surface.