I was searching for a chocolate recipe belonging to my family tradition to post for Christmas. I had to think longer than I would expect about it as we do not have a chocolate cake that represents Christmas in our family tradition. Since I stole my mum’s control in the kitchen, it has been a continuous experiment, though, and chocolate is always one of the main subjects of my experimentations.
However, if you browse through my recipe notebook, you would find the recipe for a cake, the first one I’ve written on the very first page in good handwriting, and it is the ultimate chocolate cake, 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 introduced herself. It was friendship at first sight. She became 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 not to mention that we saw Chocolat together for the first time?). And it was Laura who gave me the recipe for this Sacher Torte.
On my notebook it is labelled as Laura’s Sacher Torte. Previously, though, it was Susanna’s cake, who had received the recipe from her mother and had passed it down to Laura. My mental journey through women’ scrapbooks and chats – just like in one of Isabelle Allende’s novels – stops here.
Now it is my turn, I’m sharing the recipe with you, so that you’ll have the chance to bake our own personal version of a Sacher Torte, keeping with the tradition of passing it down, from friend to friend.
A chocolate cake dressed like a Sacher torte
Let me be honest, 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 beginner chefs with an apron as 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!
- 1 jar of whole plain yogurt (125 ml) that you will use as a measurement cup
- 1 jar of cold pressed seeds oil
- 1 jar of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 jars of caster sugar
- 3 jars of plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 10 g of baking powder
- 1 jar of peach or apricot jam (not too sweet)
- 4-5 tablespoons of Maraschino (this time I used brandy)
- 200 g of dark chocolate
- 200 ml of whipping cream
- The process is simple: mix together all the ingredients with a whisk. A tip: sift flour and cocoa powder together, it will make it easier to mix all the ingredients.
- Grease a 24-25 cm round cake mould, scrape in the batter 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, prepare the filling and the frosting.
- Pour the liqueur and the jam on a small saucepan over low heat and warm it up.
- Cut the cake in a half lengthwise Spread half of the cake with the jam, then sandwich with the other half cake.
- Melt in a bain-marie the dark chocolate. Once melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. Mix thoroughly and pour it over the cake, previously placed on a wire rack.
- Let it rest in the fridge for an hour before slicing it.
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?