SACHERTORTE (Austrian Cake)
4 1/2 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at cool room
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)
1 cup Apricot Glaze
Small Batch Chocolate Glaze
Sweetened Whipped Cream, for serving
1. 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
2. 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.
3. Beat the butter in the bowl of a
heavy-duty standing mixer fitted with the paddle blade on medium-high speed
until smooth, about 1 minute. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Make the chocolate glaze (it must
be freshly made and warm). Pour all of the warm chocolate glaze on top of the
cake. Using a metal offset spatula, gently smooth the glaze over the cake,
allowing it to run down the sides, being sure that the glaze completely coats
the cake (patch any bare spots with the spatula and the icing that has dripped).
Cool until the glaze is barely set, then transfer the cake to a serving plate.
Refrigerate until the glaze is completely set, at least 1 hour. Remove the cake
from the refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.
8. To serve, slice with a sharp
knife dipped into hot water. Serve with a large dollop of whipped cream on the
The cake can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight cake
container at room temperature.
• Quality ingredients will really
make a difference in this cake. Valhrona chocolate is perfect because of its
dark, almost bitter flavor. For the most authenticity, look for the Austrian
brand D'Arbo apricot preserves and Austrian Stroh rum for the glaze.
• For the best results, be generous
with the apricot glaze — don't miss a spot, and let plenty sink into the cake
before you pour on the chocolate.
Makes 12 to 16 servings.