Saturday, March 3, 2012

Something for the weekend- Bake.

Sachertorte and Lemon Tea

A fancy chocolate cake for afternoon tea? ooo yes, that will do nicely, thank you.
A couple of weeks ago it was my Granny's 99th birthday (look out for some pictures soon) and as I was doing the catering, I thought I would try my hand at baking a Sachertorte, seeing as it was one of my late grandfather's favourites. The picture above is a leftover slice!
Sachertorte is a crazy rich and intense chocolate cake covered in more chocolate and layered with apricot jam so it becomes more and more fudgey the longer you leave it. The cake was discovered by accident in 1832 in Vienna, Austria and as all these things the recipe is a closely guarded secret.. Luckily, as I didn't fancy put any pastry chefs into thumb screws, I just had a quick peruse on the interwebs and thought I would give Mary Berry's recipe a go as it did seem less complicated than others!

For the cake-
140g/5oz plain or dark chocolate (I used dark for even more of a chocolatey hit)
140g/5oz soft unsalted butter
115g/4oz caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
5 free range eggs, seperated
85g/3 oz ground almonds
55g/2oz plain flour

For the Ganache and filling:
6 tbsp apricot jam
140g/5oz plain or dark chocolate
200ml/7oz double cream
25g/1oz milk chocolate (or more plain chocolate if you don't have)

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease 23com/9 inch cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Melt the chocolate by placing small pieces (or those handy chocolate dots) in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering hot water. Don't let the water boil too ferociously as this will do funny things to the chocolate. Stir it occasionally to speed up the melting. When this is done, pour the chocolate into another bowl to cool down. You can fill the sink with cold water and put it in there to speed the process up, or in the fridge. But don't forget it!
Whilst this is happening, cream the butter and sugar together in a processor or with a wooden spoon and elbow grease! When it's light and creamy (like clotted cream) add the cooled down chocolate and vanilla extract, and mix in. Separate your eggs, this is a messy job, I sloosh them between the shells so the whites drain away, fold the yolks into the mixture and then add the ground almonds and flour.
In another bowl, whisk up the whites till they are forming peaks and then add one third to the mixture. Stir this with wild abandon. And then with the rest of the eggs, fold in as gently and delicately as you can, it's all about keeping the air in apparently. It takes a fair bit of patience, but just look at it as meditation and be zen like!
Dollop the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface so it's evenly spread and pop it in the oven for 40/45 mins. Have a peek around the 35 minute mark and check it's done by seeing if you press down gently with your finger and it bounces back. The cake, not your finger.

Once the cake is cold, slice in half and spread with the apricot jam between the layers, spread the rest of the jam over the entire surface and sides of the cake. Leave this to set while you make the ganache.
Heat the cream in a pan until it's hot but not boiling, again break the chocolate into small pieces and place into the bowl and stir until gooey chocolate loveliness. Leave it to cool, but make sure it is still pourable.
To coat the cake, pour the ganache on to the centre of the cake, it should run nicely and then smooth it over the entire cake. Leave it to set.

If you want to decorate use, melted white chocolate and write Sacher for an authentic touch, or just swirl it around a bit.. Or place fresh raspberries on top.. the world is your lobster. We don't advise using shellfish.

The cake is AMAZING the next day, and even better the day after as the cake become super moist and fudgey as it soaks up all the jam. Serious yums..So if you bake it today, it will be perfect for Sunday afternoon tea.

A cup of fresh lemon tea compliments the rich chocolate hit.. Use a light tea with slices of lemon in. If you want to serve it like the Hotel Sacher, squidge a dollop of cream on the side (none of that aerosol stuff, mind).. Imagine you are in Vienna and about to go waltzing..

(picture from here and vintage postcard here)


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