Sacher Torte

According to the Sacher Hotel website, the story of the legendary chocolate cake filled with apricot jam began in 1832 in Vienna. Franz Sacher was a 16-year old apprentice at the court of Prince Metternich when he was asked to create an especially delicious dessert for distinguished guests. The guests loved it, and it became known as the Sacher Torte.

Our take on this classic chocolate cake is both light and rich at the same time, with an airy cake, a simple apricot jam filling and a decadent bittersweet glaze. As the cake sits to allow the glaze to set, the jam becomes absorbed into the cake and forms a slightly sweet moist layer in the center, an exquisite finish to any holiday or special occasion.

Prep
20 mins
Bake
25 to 45 mins
Total
45 mins
Yield
one 9" cake
Sacher Torte

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray one 9" by 2" round cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Spritz the parchment lightly as well. If your pan isn't at least 2" deep, use two pans instead of one.

  2. To make the cake: Over low heat or in the microwave melt the chocolate slowly, stirring well.

  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the 8 egg yolks. Add the melted chocolate, melted butter, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and satiny, with no lumps or unincorporated yolks.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the 8 egg whites with a pinch of salt until they begin to foam. Slowly add the sugar, then beat on high speed until the whites hold a stiff peak but are still glossy.

  5. Using a wide rubber spatula, mix about 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate/yolk mixture to lighten it. Now, pour the lightened chocolate mixture over the rest of the whites in the bowl. Fold gently, using about 20 to 30 strokes.

  6. Sprinkle the cake flour over the chocolate batter and continue to fold gently until there are no traces of egg white remaining.

  7. Pour the batter into the pan(s). Bake until the cake is puffed and dry looking on top, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean: 40 to 45 minutes for a single pan, 20 to 25 minutes for two pans. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Be sure to peel off the parchment circle while the cake is still warm.

  8. While the cake is cooling, strain the apricot jam through a fine sieve to remove any bits of fruit and make a smooth filling.

  9. To fill the cake: If you used one cake pan, you will need to split the layer before filling. Use a long, sharp serrated knife to split the cake into two even layers. If you used two pans, simply spread the apricot jam between the layers, leaving 1/2 inch around the border so that the jam does not squeeze out over the sides of the cake.

  10. To make the chocolate glaze: Place the filled cake on a wire rack over a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the chocolate, water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently until the glaze is smooth, shiny and slightly thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.

  11. As soon as the glaze is smooth, immediately pour over the cake. The excess glaze will drip off of the cake onto the parchment paper. You can scoop up the excess glaze to cover any bare spots on the cake. Use a flexible spatula to help spread the glaze on the top and sides of the cake, but do not overwork the glaze or it will not remain smooth and sleek.

  12. Allow the glaze to set up at room temperature for a few hours before serving. This cake is best served the day it's made. Store any leftovers at room temperature for 1 day.

Tips from our Bakers

  • A traditional decoration for Sacher Torte is to pipe the word Sacher on top with melted chocolate once the glaze is set. If you prefer you can pipe simple swirls on top, or leave the cake plain. It will still taste just as good!