This month's Daring Baker's challenge was calling my name. It's a challenge all about baking, filling cakes, coating them in ganache. Oh, and it's about chocolate. It's like this challenge was written just for me.
The October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte.
This is a classic Austrian dessert. A decadently rich chocolate cake, filled with apricot glaze and topped with chocolate ganache. It's decorated with a simple piping of chocolate and served with a side of unsweetened whipped cream.
Here's a little more history on the sachertorte-
The Sachertorte was first created in Austria in 1832 when Prince Metternich requested a fancy dessert for his dinner guests. His pastry chef was ill that night, so the task fell to the apprentice, Franz Sacher, who came up with the now famous cake that bears his name. Franz built a career on that cake, and his son Eduard later opened the Sacher Hotel in Vienna where Franz’s cake, made according to the hotel’s original and closely-guarded secret recipe, is served to this day (and can also be ordered online and shipped worldwide). The cake is so popular in Vienna that it has become an integral part of the city’s kaffeehaus tradition, with local bakeries and cafés serving up their own versions along with a dollop of schlag and a cup of steaming hot coffee.
I had so much fun with this month's challenge. Not only did I get to fix my chocolate craving, but I also got to try different type of cake and flavor combination that I probably would not have tried otherwise. So the next time you need a cake or just want to try a different dessert, make this Austrian sachertorte.
DB: Austrian Sachertorte
3/4 Cup bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
9 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup powdered sugar
6 Large eggs, room temperature, separated
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and dust with flour. Line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
Fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Once the water begins to simmer place a heat-proof bowl over the simmer water and add the chocolate. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring often.
Meanwhile, place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until light, pale in color and creamy. Reduce mixing speed to low, slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until completely incorporated then increase the mixing speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Once completely incorporated add the vanilla and cooled chocolate and beat well until light and creamy.
In a separate bowl, add the egg whites and one tablespoon of granulated sugar and beat on high until foamy. Gradually add the remaining granulated sugar and continue beating the egg whites until they form soft, yet stiff, shiny peaks.
Add about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and whip vigorously into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula until just a few bits of egg whites remain. Be sure to be gentle through the process so the egg whites are not deflated.
In a separate bowl combine flour and salt and whisk to combine. Sift half of it over the chocolate mixture and fold in with a spatula until almost incorporated. Sift the remaining flour over the chocolate and fold until completely combined.
Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake will crack and dome as it bakes but will flatten as it cools.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen and remove the outside of the pan. Carefully invert the cake onto a cooling rack and remove from the bottom of the pan and remove parchment paper. Turn the cake right side up and allow to cool completely.
To assemble, turn the cake upside-down so the flat bottom is now the cake top. Cut the cake horizontally into 2 even layers. Place 1 cake layer on a cake board or cake plate and spread it generously with about half of the apricot glaze. Allow it to soak in. Place the second cake layer on top and spread the top and sides with the remaining apricot glaze.
Working quickly before the glaze sets, use an offset metal spatula to smooth the top and sides. Place the cake on a rack and set over a plate or baking sheet lined with wax paper and allow glaze to set.
Make the chocolate glaze and immediately pour over the cake, first around the edge and then the middle. Spread the excess glaze over any bare spots using the offset spatula. Before the glaze has a chance to set, move the cake to a serving platter.
Fill a piping bag with the writing chocolate and pipe the word "Sacher" in the center of the cake and add any decorative flourishes desired. Chill the cake until the glaze is set, at least 1 hour.
Allow the cake to come to room temperature, let sit out at least 1 hour. Whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. If desired, sweeten with powdered sugar to taste. Using a large, sharp knife dipped in hot water (and wiped off) cut cake and repeat process between cuts.
Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.
For the apricot glaze-
1 1/4 Cup apricot jam or preserves
2 Tbsp rum or water
Bring jam and rum/water to a boil. Keep mixture over medium heat, allowing to cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and drips slowly from the spoon. Strain through a wire, mesh sieve, pressing firmly on the solids. This should yield about 1 cup of glaze.
For the chocolate glaze-
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup water
4 Oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
Place sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Attach a candy thermometer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 234 F.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. It might thicken up quite a bit. if it does, return to low heat and add a few drops of water if necessary to thin it out to a runny, pourable consistency. The glaze should be smooth and shiny.
Remove mixture from heat, stir the glaze for 30-60 seconds to cool slightly. Immediately use it to glaze the cake.
For the writing chocolate-
1/4 Cup chopped chocolate
1/2-1 Tsp vegetable oil
Heat the chocolate until just melted, then stir in enough vegetable oil to get a pipeable consistency. Place the chocolate in a piping bag and pipe design on the cake.
Recipe source: Kaffeehaus: The Best Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague by Rick Rodgers, via Epicurious.
Writing chocolate from WickedGoodies.net