Friday, 21 October 2011

Mary Berry's Sachertorte

I've seen this cake around is a few different cookbooks...but I used to always think if a slice of cake wasn't massive, it wasn't worth having - well how wrong was I? I've soon learnt that a smaller slice can pack a powerfully gorgeous punch!

This chocolate cake is said to be invented in Vienna by the chef Franz Sacher in 1832. It traditionally has one layer of rich moist sponge, topped with a layer of set apricot jam and they covered in beautiful ganache. These cakes have a tough reputation as they can be difficult to master to get the right texture and richness. They're meant to be lovely and moist but not underdone. The Ganache has to be silky and shiny. You also have to be able to pipe 'Sacher' onto the top in milk chocolate which some found difficult on the show.

I followed Mary Berry's rule and piped it in one go like handwriting. I always worry about my handwriting, I scribble a lot because I'm used to writing so quick, so I do try practice when I do stuff like this and try not to rush it. Also I didn't heat the chocolate until boiling so it was thicker and easier to pipe. I was disappointed when I realised this wasn't in the 'How To Bake' book from The Great British Bake Off by Mary Berry, but I soon managed to track it down online, and also I aslo got some great tips from The Masterclass they've been airing on BBC2, Thursdays at 8pm.

To do the piping I used one of my Tala Squeezey bottles you saw in one of my previous Baking Buys posts. I thought this might be easier to use than an actual piping bag and boy was I right.  I had such amazing control with it and found it so easy to write with. I will definitely be using this for all future writing tasks and even just decoration. It was a bit of a pain to clean just due to the nature of bottle, but as it was chocolate I let hot water and washing up liquid stand in it over night, and in the morning gave it a good shake and it washed out clean. 

This cake took quite a long time with cooling time etc,  but I think it was completely worth it. I also wasn't sure how I'd feel about the apricot jam...but in an odd way it reminded me of a Jaffa Cake, that's probably a bad thing to say isn't it? ...but it did! The ganache didn't take long to cool at all and I did put the pan in a sink full of cold water to speed up the process, it does cool fast when on the cake, but if you do need to re-smooth it (like I did!) then just run your pallet knife under hot water, wipe clean an you're ready to smooth over. I'm sure I could have got the top even smoother, this way does look more homemade.

  • 140g/5oz plain chocolate
    • 140g/5oz unsalted butter, softened
    • 115g/4oz caster sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 5 free-range eggs, separated
    • 85g/3oz ground almonds
    • 55g/2oz plain flour, sieved
    For the topping and the icing

    • 6 tbsp apricot jam, sieved
    • 140g/5oz plain chocolate
    • 200ml/7fl oz double cream
    • 25g/1oz milk chocolate

    Preparation method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a deep 23cm/9in round cake tin then line the base with greaseproof paper.
    2. Break the chocolate into pieces, melt gently in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally, then cool slightly. Beat the butter in a bowl until really soft, then gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and the vanilla extract and beat again. Add the egg yolks, then fold in the ground almonds and sieved flour. The mixture will be quite thick at this stage.
    3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. Add about one-third to the chocolate mixture and stir in vigorously. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the mixture
    into the prepared tin and level the surface.
    4. Bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until well risen at the top and the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the paper and finish cooling on a wire rack. Mine was a little to risen, a while it did sink a bit, it wasn't enough so I turned it upside down after 5 mintues to level it, and then turned it back and left it to cool.
    5. To make the topping, heat the apricot jam in a small pan and then brush evenly over the top and sides of the cold cake. Allow to set. (See it does look a bit like the jelly part of a Jaffa Cake!)
    6. Make the icing by breaking the plain chocolate into pieces. Heat the cream until piping hot, remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, then cool till a coating
    consistency. Then pour the icing on to the centre of the cake. Spread it gently over the top and down the sides, and leave to set.
    7. For the ‘icing’ writing, break the milk chocolate into pieces then melt gently in a bowl set over a pan of hot water. Spoon into a small piping bag or bottle and piper the word 'Sacher'' onto the top in one go, not letter by letter.

    Serves 12 Pin It Now!

    1. I had the "real" thing in Austria last year - and didn't like it at all (unusual for me where chocolate is involved!) - I think it was the fact that they used LOADS of yukki jam.

      Yours, on the other hand, looks delicious.

      I'm loving the masterclasses too.

    2. I have to say I didn't use ALL of the jam..more of a thin layer as I didn't want it to overpower the huge layer of ganache! :)

    3. Wow this looks amazing! Your writing looks beautiful here :) I'm thinking of making all the Great British Bake Off challenges when I get the time. I've copied this recipe from the masterclass and put it on my to bake list. I've also been considering buying the squeezy bottles - sounds like it would be worth it.

    4. Yummy!! This look really good, I watched the Bake Off and really want to have a got at some of the things myself. This one looks a bit tricky for me though (cannot write in icing at all!!)

    5. Yum! I've always looked at this cake but have never made one either. It looks so beautiful and moist. I think I like the sounds of the apricot jam.

    6. I thought I couldn't do writing icing but these bottles made it so easy! It really is yummy and looks super fancy too! :)

      Nom! x

    7. This looks brilliant, so rich and chocolatey. I love how thick the ganache looks in your photos. I've also been watching all the Bake Off Masterclasses too, nearly enjoy them more than the actual show!

    8. I love, really love sache torte and yours look delicious!!!love the texture I will try your recipe soon!!! gloria and Im following you!

    9. thank you so much! There's only one piece left of this cake now :) x

    10. I made this cake today. It's a brilliant recipe, just go easy on the jam the thinner the layer the better. The shiny ganache icing makes it look amazing.


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    I love to hear your feedback! Nom! x

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