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World's Favourites: Sachertorte

By Bake Club

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Preparation time 1 hour (plus cooling and chilling)

Cooking time 25 minutes

Servings SERVES 10-12

This deliciously dark cake with its silky smooth coating of chocolate icing was invented in Vienna in 1832 by an Austrian chef named Franz Sacher. The precise recipe that Sacher created is a closely guarded secret but we’re sure you’ll agree our version is every bit as good as the original.

  • For the cake mixture
  • 125g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 140g (4½oz) dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, melted and cooled
  • For the dark chocolate ganache
  • 250ml (9fl oz) double cream
  • 25g (1oz) clear honey
  • 150g (5oz) dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, melted
  • 50g (2oz) unsalted butter
  • For the filling and icing
  • 150g (5oz) apricot jam
  • 75ml (3fl oz) double cream
  • 25g (1oz) clear honey
  • 50g (2oz) dark chocolate with 60% cocoa solids, melted
  • 25g (1oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Edible gold leaf
  
  • Making the cake

     

    5 steps

  • 1

    Making the cake Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/gas 4. Grease a 20.5cm (8in) round cake pan and line with baking parchment, if necessary.

  • 2

    Making the cake In a mixing bowl, beat together half the sugar with the butter and vanilla, whisking until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the melted chocolate. Set aside.

  • 3

    Making the cake In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until standing in soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the remaining sugar until the whites are stiff and shiny.

  • 4

    Making the cake Briskly stir a quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture. When mixed in, carefully fold in the remaining whites, one third at a time, using a spatula. When all the whites have been incorporated, sieve the flour over the surface and fold this in too.

  • 5

    Making the cake Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Making the chocolate ganache

     

    2 steps

  • 1

    Making the chocolate ganache Bring the cream and honey to the boil and, using a spatula, stir into the melted chocolate, one third at a time.
    How to make chocolate ganache

  • 2

    Making the chocolate ganache Cut the butter into small pieces and stir into the chocolate mixture until melted.

  • Assembling the cake

     

    2 steps

  • 1

    Assembling the cake Split the cake in half. Spread one cut side with the apricot jam and the other with some of the ganache. 

  • 2

    Assembling the cake Sandwich the two halves back together and spread the rest of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake in a smooth, even layer. Chill to firm up the ganache.

  • Making the icing

     

    5 steps

  • 1

    Making the icing Before starting to make the icing, transfer the cake to the freezer. Bring the cream and honey to the boil and fold into the melted chocolate, one third at a time, with a spatula. Cut the butter into small pieces and stir in.

  • 2

    Making the icing Leave the mixture to cool to between 35 and 40°C on a chocolate thermometer. Remove the cake from the freezer and stand it on a wire rack over a baking sheet to catch any drips.

  • 3

    Making the icing Pour the icing over the cake and let it run down the sides. Leave for 15 minutes at room temperature before decorating the cake with tiny pieces of edible gold leaf, lifted into position on the point of a knife.
    How to use edible gold leaf

  • Expert Tip

    Use chocolate with slightly less cocoa solids to make the icing so it is not too strong and bitter.

  • Expert Tip

    The chocolate icing needs to be cooled until it is starting to thicken but not become firm. Pour it over the cake, easing it down the sides with a palette knife. Once coated, leave the icing to firm up before moving the cake so the icing doesn’t crack.

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