The Sacher Torte Story

This famous cake was at the heart of a controversy in Austria for six years. It seems some Austrians took their baking so seriously that an argument over what constituted a true Sacher Torte erupted and had to be decided in court. In the early 1800's, the Congress of Vienna ruled on the matter. It decided that the true Sacher Torte was made of two chocolate cake layers separated by apricot jam with a chocolate glaze over the top and sides of the cake. Justice was served!!

Sacher Torte.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 3 squares (3oz) semisweet chocolate, cut up
  • 4 slightly beaten egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • Sacher Torte Chocolate Glaze
  • Chocolate leaves

In a large mixing bowl bring egg whites to room temperature. Meanwhile, grease and flour a 9x1 1/2" round baking pan. In a medium saucepan melt the butter and semisweet chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally; cool. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla. Set pan and chocolate mixture aside.

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium to high speed till soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add sugar, about 2 TBLs at a time, beating on high speed about 4 minutes or till stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold about 1 cup of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Then fold egg yolk mixture into remaining egg white mixture. Sift flour over egg mixture; gently fold in. Do not overfold.

Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in a 350 deg F oven about 35 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; completely cool cake on the wire rack.

To assemble; cut cake horizontally into two even layers. Press apricot preserves through a sieve. Place first cake layer on wire rack covered with waxed paper. Spread preserves on top. Top with second cake layer. Spoon Sacher Torte Chocolate Glaze over cake. Carefully transfer cake to a serving plate. If desired, garnish with chocolate leaves. Makes 12 servings.

Sacher Torte Chocolate Glaze:
In a saucepan heat 2 squares (2 oz) semisweet chocolate, cut up, and 2 TBL butter over low heat just till melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons hot water till smooth. If necessary, stir in additional hot water to make of drizzling consistency. Makes 1/2 cup.

Source: Better Homes & Garden Old Fashioned Baking, 1990

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