The story of the Sacher Torte takes place in Vienna in the early eighteen hundreds. Prince Metternich was preparing for an exceptionally important visit and ordered a fitting dessert. The main chef was taken ill and his apprentice, the young and skillful Franc Sacher took the opportunity to prove himself to the Monarch and decided to make the most chocolaty cake he has ever made. He combined flour and cocoa powder in equal proportions and coated the cake with a generous chocolate glaze. The basic principle was daring and inserting a layer of apricot jam was revolutionary. The cake was huge success and soon the Viennese high society asked for more of the Sacher Torte. Soon after he opened his own shop to supply the ever growing demand. Money followed his success and his eldest son Edward refined the recipe and established Hotel Sacher in Vienna, but third generation of the family, his grandson also named Edward, found himself in financial difficulties and had to sell the original recipe to pâtissier Demel. The problems started once Demel altered the recipe and instead of multiple layers of cake topped with apricot jam, changed it into one single layer right under the chocolate glaze. The heirs did not like this alteration that carried the name Sacher and sued the pâtissier. It lasted “only” seven years and the media called it “The sweet seven years war”, but the judge finally ruled that Demel can continue making his version under the name Sacher as well as that Hotel Sacher could proceed with the multilayer version and call it Sacher as well.
This is Demel’s version as it is less sweet and incredibly easy to make…
Serves 8 big or 12 smaller pieces
Ingredients for the biscuit:
180g dark 70% chocolate
160g soft unsalted butter
70g powder sugar (sifted)
7 eggs (separated)
130g superfine granulated sugar
160g all purpose flour (sifted)
200g apricot jam
Ingredients for the glaze:
140g still water
400g superfine granulated sugar
200g 70% dark chocolate
Butter and flour a 24cm baking ring
Line it with parchment paper so that it sticks a little bit out, in case it leaks a little.
Chop the chocolate and melt it over a pan of simmering water.
When the chocolate has melted, set it aside to cool a little.
Beat the butter with powder sugar until you have creamy mixture.
Add melted chocolate to the butter mixture and beat for a few minutes.
Add the egg yolks one by one and once incorporated set aside.
Clean the whisks well to make sure that egg whites and superfine sugar whip into stiff peaks.
Add one third of whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture.
Stir in and gently fold the rest of beaten egg whites.
After the egg whites have been incorporated, fold in the sifted flour.
Pour it into the prepared baking ring and bake for 45 minutes in a fan oven preheated to 160 degrees Celsius.
Let cool and remove from the ring.
Spread a thin layer of apricot jam on top and let it absorb for 30 min.
Prepare the chocolate glaze
In a pot combine the water, sugar and chocolate chopped into pieces.
Let it melt and once it reaches 108 degree Celsius temperature, remove from the stove and stop stirring!!!
Let it cool for 5 min — it will turn slightly shiny.
Pour it over the cake in one go.
Let the glaze set for at least 30 min before serving it.
It is best eaten at room temperature with some whipping cream on top.
It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This recipe is loosely based on the Pierre Herme’s recipe.