Sweet Melissa Sundays – Sacher Torte

by Jessica on February 6, 2011

Sacher Torte

First off, let me apologize to the lovely bakers of Sweet Melissa Sundays. Oddly enough, I chose the altered version of the Speakeasy that Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake chose for our January 23 pick. It was such a weird coincidence, but I hope that those who made it were just as impressed with it as I was!

Since it was just me who’d be devouring tasting this, I made a smaller (and taller!) version. The cake ended up about 6-7″ tall with four little layers. It was rich and sweet and absolutely decadent… especially with the apricot preserves sandwiched in the middle. The ganache didn’t turn out as well as I’d expected, but really, when it comes to ganache, who cares what it looks like. It’s chocolate and heavy cream. Um, yes please! If you do make this, just a word of warning: don’t taste the cake batter or ganache before you use it. If you’re anything like me, you won’t have enough left to finish the cake! ­čÖé

Sacher Torte 2

Speakeasy (pgs. 201-203)
Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy

For the cake:
6 oz. best-quality semisweet (58%) chocolate
10 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 c brandy
4 large eggs
1-1/3 c sugar
1 c + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

For the chocolate glaze:
6 oz. best-quality semisweet (58%) chocolate
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tbsp light corn syrup

1/2 c apricot preserves
Whole dried apricots

Before you start:
Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8 x 2-inch round springform pan. Line the bottom with an 8-inch round of parchment paper.

To make the cake:
In a medium bowl set over a pot of simmering, not boiling, water, melt the chocolate with the butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the brandy until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Separate the eggs. Place the yolks in a large mixing bowl, and the whites in an electric mixer bowl. Add half of the sugar to the yolks and whisk to combine. Sift the flour, cinnamon and salt over the chocolate batter and stir to combine. In the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, make a meringue by whipping the egg whites until foamy. In a slow steady stream, add the remaining sugar. Whip until the whites hold stiff but not dry peaks.

Briskly stir one-third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter. Gently fold the remaining two-thirds of the meringue into the batter until no streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Spin the pan to level the batter. Bake for 80-90 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean (do not do the skewer test until the cake has been baking for at least 70 minutes or you will deflate the batter!). Remove to a wire rack to cool before glazing.

To make the glaze:
When the cake is cool enough to glaze, coarsely chop the chocolate and place it in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the heavy cream until scalding, or until the cream is steaming and tiny bubbles have formed along the edges. Do not boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Stir in the corn syrup.

For a Sacher Torte (Melissa’s Way):
Chill the Speakeasy after baking. Then split it in half horizontally and spread about a half cup of apricot preserves on top of the bottom layer. Then replace the top layer and proceed with glazing. Garnish the top with whole dried apricots, if desired.

To complete the cake:
Place the cake upside down on a rack set over the prepared cookie sheet. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting the glaze spread itself. You may have to push it over the sides a bit, and use a small metal spatula or butter knife to smooth the sides. Try not to touch the top though, so it will be glossy and unmarred. Let the glaze set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Once the glaze it set, transfer the cake to a serving plate.

The cake keeps in a cake saver at room temperature for 2 days. For longer storage, refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Sacher Torte 3

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 yummychunklet February 6, 2011 at 1:21 am

Looks insanely decadent! I’m going to try it!

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2 Elaine February 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

Such a pretty little cake! It looks so rich and decadent – just the perfect treat to eat when you want to indulge yourself. You know I want that plate. ­čÖé

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3 Gloria February 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Thanks for hosting Jessica. I actually liked the timing of the Speakeasy and the Sacher Torte. I was able to do both recipes at the same time and I enjoyed them both. Your mini torte looks so lucious and moist. Glad to hear it was a hit.

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4 Hanaa February 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm

That looks really rich and chocolaty. Yum! Sorry I passed on it. I don’t bake with alcohol and wasn’t sure this cake would taste good if I used my usual sub of OJ or water. Thanks for hosting though!

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5 Tracey February 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Your torte is gorgeous Jessica! I’m sorry I didn’t bake along this week. We just had too many sweets around and I couldn’t count on my husband to devour this one since he doesn’t do fruity things ­čÖé

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6 Candy February 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Your torte is beautiful and looks delicious! I love your fork and plate too!

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7 rebecca February 17, 2011 at 8:05 am

Your cake looks absolutely luscious. Dense and moist. YUM!

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8 missy September 12, 2012 at 11:57 pm

hello! I have just made the cake portion of this cake and had to make a few guesses. I wasn’t clear on when the chocolate/butter/brandy liquid or the yolk/sugar paste joins the party! At the end I had bowls of chocolate sauce, yolk paste meringue and dry ingredients and just had to make some educated guesses. It’s in the oven how so fingers crossed! On the plus side, I like baking because you can screw up chocolate, butter and sugar pretty badly before it stops being delicious!

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