Sacher Torte Recipe – The Oma Way
The Sacher Torte is not a German recipe but is also well known and loved in Germany. It is a sponge based chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and covered with a special chocolate icing. Many different recipes are available, and after experimenting, the version I offer works best for me, using the necessary ingredients to make the cake a Sacher Torte. The original recipe is protected by trademark and produced only by the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.
Ingredients for the Sacher Torte:
For the batter:
- 175 g (6.17 oz) of butter, soft
- 100 g (3.52 oz) of powdered sugar, sifted
- 7 egg yolks
- ½ vanilla bean OR 1 package of vanilla sugar OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of Rum, optional
- 175 g (6.17 oz) of dark chocolate (minimum of 72% of cacao), melted
- 200 g (7.05 oz) of flour, all-purpose sifted
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 7 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 100 g (3.52 oz) of sugar
For the filling and icing:
- 300 g (10.58 oz) of apricot jam
- 200 g (7.05 oz) of sugar
- 175 g (6.17 oz) of dark chocolate (minimum of 72% of cacao)
- 175 ml (5.91 oz) + 5-6 tablespoons of water
Preparation of the batter:
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie, place aside to cool down, and separate the eggs with an egg divider. In the meantime, beat the butter with a handheld mixer and add the sifted powdered sugar to the bowl. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the seeds out with the back of a knife and add to the butter mix. One by one, add the egg yolks while beating the butter mix until creamy. Add the rum to the ingredients and gradually the melted chocolate, continuing beating.
Mix the flour with the baking powder and sift it over the ingredients in the bowl. Beat the ingredients until they are combined.Whisk the egg whites with the salt and sugar until stiff and place them in portions on top of the butter mixture. Fold the stiff egg whites with a spatula into the mixture until it is all used. Butter a springform 26 cm – 10-11 inches. Cover the bottom with baking paper. Spread the batter evenly into the baking pan.
Baking of the Sacher Torte:
Preheat the oven to 170°C – 340°F before starting to prepare the batter. Place the cake immediately after finishing onto the third rack. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes. Open the door for the first 10 minutes with a crack while sticking a wooden cooking spoon in between. Make a test with a wooden skewer. If no batter sticks to it, the cake is finished.
Take the cake from the oven, place it upside down on a cooling rack, and open the springform. Let it cool down for 10 minutes before removing the springform and baking paper. Turn the cake again and cut the top off the cake to straighten it. You can use the cut top to make Oma’s rum balls.
Preparation of the apricot jam:
Turn the cake again so that the bottom part of the baking pan is on top. Cut the cake in half. Make a sharp line around the cake and cut it a little to create a notch. Have a piece of yarn in the gap and cross it. Pull the thread to cut the cake or use a bread knife. Before taking the two pieces apart, stick a toothpick into the upper and lower half of the cake to mark it.
Pass the apricot jam through a sieve and heat it until it is liquid. Spread the hot jam onto the middle of the lower cake half and place the second half on top. Remove the toothpicks. Spread the rest of the jam on top of the cake and onto the sides. Place the cake for 30 minutes into the refrigerator.
Preparation of the chocolate icing:
Mix 175 ml – 5.91 oz water with the sugar and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-high and boil the syrup for 6 minutes. Let it cool down a little, and add the chopped chocolate in small amounts to the syrup. Stir until the chocolate is melted. The consistency of the icing depends on the chocolate used. If the icing is too stiff, add 5-6 tablespoons of water (room temperature) to it before passing the icing through a sieve.
The icing becomes firm quickly, so you need to work fast. Let the icing cool down before pouring it at once onto the top of the cake. Spread it with the back of a large angled spatula from the center to the sides to run down. Apply the chocolate icing onto the sides. Try to make it with a few strokes with the spatula to get the shiny, even icing cover. Let the cake stand for 30 minutes before placing it on a serving plate to decorate the top.
Decoration of the top:
To decorate the top as I did, use a cake divider and carefully press it onto the cake before the icing hardens. Melt some chocolate and draw the letter “S” for Sacher and Zick-zack patterns onto a baking paper strip. Place it for 10-15 minutes on a baking sheet into the freezer to harden.
Beat some whipping cream until stiff and press some stars onto the top of the cake using a decorating bag with a star tip. Decorate the stars with the frozen chocolate shapes. You also can use just some white melted chocolate and decorate the top.