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Some would argue that Sachertorte is THE dessert one thinks of when you think of Vienna and we agree it is hard to go wrong when you combine butter, chocolate, jam and whipped cream.

The Sachertorte has a long and somewhat contentious history. In 1832 Franz Sacher, a sixteen- year-old apprentice chef, was called into action to create a special dessert for important guests. He  adapted a torte recipe from Gartler-Hickmann’s 1749 Tried and True Viennese Cookbook. Though the torte was a success that evening it was basically forgotten until Franz’s son Eduard rediscovered and eventually perfected his father’s recipe during his training to become a Pastry Chef and Chocolatier.

Eduard established the Hotel Sacher in 1876 and the Sachertorte became one of Vienna’s most famous culinary specialties. Legal battles over the label “The Original Sacher Torte” first began in the 1930s and continued off and on into the early 1960s. The Hotel Sacher is still open in Vienna and they claim Eduard’s creation “The Original Sacher Torte”.

Technically the recipe we’ve shared with you is similar to  the “Eduard-Sacher-Torte because it features only one layer of jam. The “Orignial Sacher Torte” has two. A wiener mélange or coffee with milk is recommended with the Original Sacher Torte but we can confidently recommend it with this version as well. This is a difficult recipe, so another way to try this cake would be to simply  book one of the four bicycling tours ( Bicycling the Danube from Germany to Vienna, or from Germany to Budapest, or Cycling the Czech Republic –Vienna to Prague, or Vienna to Prague Plus! Česky Krumlov) that will allow you to taste the original and toast your decision with a piece of Sachertorte.

Sachertorte (Serves 12 – 16)

Cake Ingredients
12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
8 eggs, separated
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
7 oz dark chocolate, melted
½ cup sugar
1 1/8 cup cake flour, sifted
1 10-ounce jar apricot jam

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan.
  2. Cream the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy. Incorporate the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the melted chocolate, taking care that it’s warm, not hot.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar until peak forms.
  5. Fold the egg-white mixture into the butter mixture. Then gently fold the cake flour into the new mixture.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed with a finger, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool completely.
  8. In a saucepan, heat the jam to the boiling point.
  9. Slice the cooled cake in half, making two discs of equal size.
  10. Working on top of a cooling rack set over a sheet pan, spread the hot jam over the bottom disc. Top with the second disc and cover the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the jam.

Glaze Ingredients
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp light corn syrup
10 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a saucepan, combine the cream and corn syrup. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Do not stir.
  3. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla extract. Stir until smooth and glossy. Cool until lukewarm; this will thicken the glaze and make it easier to apply.
  5. Spread the glaze over the top and sides of the cake.
  6. Let the cake set for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve the torte cool, but not cold, with fresh, slightly sweetened cream.

Recipe from our friends at AFAR Magazine