And what a challenge it was! The October Daring Baker's challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte!
The Sachertorte was apparently created in 1832 by a baker named Sacher for some rich prince guy. If I started practicing in 1832, I might have this cake down by now. It was a great challenge and was going along beautifully until the last step - the chocolate glaze.
But first, creating the cake. The ingredients aren't that difficult - mostly things I had in the cabinets already, except for a good quality (I used Ghirardelli) bittersweet chocolate. My taste test confirmed that it was of good quality....
I put together the cake batter, including 6 beaten, lightly sugared egg whites:
Beautiful! They were folded into the batter and the chocolate was stirred in. This resulted in a tender-crumbed cake:
The cake was sliced horizontally and flipped so that the flat side was on top. Then a jam glaze (I used Red Plum jam, but usually apricot is used) is slathered on the bottom layer and top, along with the sides of the cake and allowed to set and soak in:
I should've quit there, but I didn't.
Next was the famous sachertorte chocolate glaze. After melting the plastic top to my candy thermometer waiting for the sugar water mixture to come up to temperature (melting plastic - not a pleasant odor), I whisked in the chocolate.
OK, a little thick, so it's recommended to add a few drops of water to get that thin glazed sheen. After a fourth of a cup of water, drop by drop, I decided it was as good as it was going to get and rushed over to the cake to glaze it before it thickened and clumped. Too late. It instantly clumped and became a thick chocolate (but tasty) mess. I spread it as well as I could, but as a few others on the Daring Baker site described theirs, it ended up being a "rustic" sachertorte.
Hmmm, I was disappointed but undeterred. I proudly wrote "Sacher" on top of the torte because apparently Mr. Sacher was very proud of his creation and this is standard. I am posting a photo even though it is the ugliest cake I've ever seen and Herr Sacher is probably turning in his grave, but I spent almost five hours on it, so it deserves to be seen. However, there's also a delicious slice to look at:
It was great with coffee, but my next encounter with Chef Sacher's torte will be a visit to the local La Madeleine! It was fun and I'm glad I did it, but probably will stick with Grandmother's Cake-in-the-Pan.
Instead of posting the eight-page recipe, I'm going to link you over to the challenger, Korena's October 27 post. That way you can view the recipe and also see what the torte is supposed to look like. Thanks for the fun challenge, Korena!
TexasCookie.... I am curious where in TX you are as this is where I am as well. Your cake may not have turned out as well as you would have liked appearance wise but it sounds great sticking some ice cream with it, and frankly you got to have a trip to La Madeleine; you really can never go wrong there!
I'm in Grand Prairie (between Dallas/Fort Worth), Kim. I see you're from Austin. We need to think of a good ole Texas recipe for the Baker's challenge!
It was a fun challenge, Korena. I learned so much and had a ball making it! I put a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream with a piece of the cake and oh my, was it good. Thanks for hosting this entertaining and instructional torte!
Haha, I love how succinctly you summed up the history of this cake! I'm so sorry that the glaze let you down, but given the number of people who had trouble with it, I don't think it had anything to do with your ability. Blame the recipe! Anyway, thanks for baking along this month!