Friday, 18 November 2011

Dark Chocolate Sacher Torte

Some year I'm going to the Christmas market in Vienna. I'm going to get lost among the twinkling lights in cobble stoned streets, snowflakes glittering my hair, gloved hands wrapped around homemade hot chocolate. The air will be spicy with the smell of pine trees laced with cinnamon and cloves. I'll eat to be happy and be happy to eat. Christmas will be like it was as a child, full of the belief of fantasy. Because Christmas is a time when the barrier between the real and unreal becomes hazy. Miracles happen, reindeer fly and snowmen come to life.

Sigh.... for now Vienna will have to come to me. This rich little 'cake' was said to be invented by the chef Franz Sacher in Vienna. This version is quite bitter as the ganache is made from dark chocolate. Use milk chocolate instead for those with a sweeter tooth.

A Mary Berry creation

150g plain chocolate (39% milk solids)
150g butter
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 large eggs separated
75g ground almonds
55g plain flour

For the ganache
200ml double cream
150g dark chocolate

To assemble
4 tbsp apricot jam sieved
20g milk chocolate melted.

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Melt the chocolate either other a pan of boiling water or in the microwave, stopping even 20 seconds to stir.
2. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and very pale. Add the melted chocolate, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth then fold in the ground almonds and flour.
3. Beat the egg whites with a handheld blender until stiff. Add about one third to the chocolate mixture, mix quite vigorously then fold in the other 2/3. Ensure there are no flecks of white, while at the same time folding gently.
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
5. Heat the apricot jam slightly and brush over the cake with a pastry brush. Leave the jam to set until sticky.
6. Next make the ganache. Heat the cream in a pan until just about to boil. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Leave the ganache to set for about 10-15 minutes until quite thick. Smooth over the top and sides of the cake.
7. Melt the plain chocolate. Either fold some greaseproof paper into a piping bag ( or use a writing nozzle. Write Sacher on the tart. Allow to set and serve in thin slices.

Excuse the bad joint handwriting!

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