I was searching for a chocolate recipe belonging to my family tradition to post for Christmas. I’ve had to think a bit about it because we do not have a chocolate cake that represents Christmas in our imagination. Let’s say that, since I get the dessert realm from mom, it is a continuous experiment, though, actually, they are cakes made of chocolate.
However, if you flip through my recipe notebook there’s a cake, the first one I wrote to renew it, one of those recipes you write with a good pen, putting commas and the dots on the is… it is the ultimate chocolate cake, it is the Sacher Torte.
I was at University, it was the first year. Italian composition class, top floor of the former headquarters of the Faculty of Letters, I still remember. I was waiting for the lesson to begin, leaning against the banister, when a girl came to me. She inspired me an instant and instinctive sympathy. To cut a long story short, she has become my best friend, and she has been my best friend for more than 10 years now. We shared conversations and passions, from cinema to chocolate (how to forget that we saw Chocolat together for the first time?). And it was Laura who gave me the recipe for the Sacher Torte. On my notebook it is marked as Laura’s Sacher Torte. Previously, it was Susanna, another extraordinary girl in cooking, who passed her the recipe, which in turn she had received from her mother. My mental journey through women traditions – Isabelle Allende’s style – stops here. But, since this is an almost epic hand down, which has an antique flavor of women talks and sweet advices, let me tell you the recipe. I hand on the baton, so that you too will have the chance to try our own personal version of Sacher Torte.
I want to play it safe, this is not the classical version of the Sacher Torte, there is no cocoa butter or complex preparations, this is our version, one of those cakes that are made with yogurt cups to weigh all the ingredients. So it’s easy, very quick to make (not more than five minutes will pass from I feel like Sacher Torte and put in the oven) and above all it calls for easy to find ingredients. Even tiny beginner chefs with an apron long as a dress and a wooden spoon wielded like a sword of a Knight of the Round Table can do that. This is our recipe and we are pleased to share it with you!
Ingredients to make the cake:
- 1 jar whole plain yogurt (125 ml) that you will use as a scale
- 1 jar seeds oil
- 1 jar unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 jars caster sugar
- 3 jars plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 15 g baking powder
The process is simple: mix together all the ingredients with a whisk. The dough is very soft so there is no need to make great effort. A tip: sift flour and cocoa powder, it will make easier to mix all the ingredients. Grease a 24-25 cm round cake mould, pour in the mixture and bake in preheated oven to 180°C for 40 minutes.
Once the cake is ready (always check it with a toothpick), remove from the oven, turn out the cake and let it cool down on a wire rack. In the meantime, the filling and the frosting.
Ingredients to make the filling:
- 1 jar peach or apricot jam (not too sweet)
- 4-5 tablespoons of Maraschino this time I used brandy
Put liqueur and jam on a small pan over low heat and warm up. Split the cake in a half and spread with jam down to the edges, that could be a little harder, so that the jam can soften the cake.
Ingredients to make the frosting:
- 200 g dark chocolate 70%
- 200 ml whipping cream
Melt in a bain marie 200 g of dark chocolate. Once melted, add 200 ml of whipping cream. Mix together and pour over the cake, previously placed on a wire rack to drain excess coverage.
Tasting Test. A Sacher Torte. Yes, just like the real Sacher Torte, but not too sweet. A reflective cake, deep, intense, perfect for a winter afternoon break served with a cup of Sacher tea. I found this infusion in my favourite tea shop, it seems to be the tea that is served in the Sacher Hotel in Vienna with this dessert. It’s a blend of Earl Grey tea enriched with jasmine flowers, which blends beautifully with the Sacher Torte.
Another Christmas idea, then: why not to give a small Sacher Torte as a present (you can store it in the fridge for a few days) wrapped in glossy paper with a nice blue ribbon, with a bag of a precious tea of your choice? It’s a bit like inviting yourself for a cup of tea, don’t you think?