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Making Sachertorte (Chocolate Fudge Cake with Apricot and Chocolate Ganache)

July 13, 2010

Difficulty:  3 stars             

Whipping Egg Whites:

Apparently I committed a deadly sin: I whipped egg whites in a plastic mixing bowl. Did you know how bad this is? Until recently, I lay blissfully unaware of this conundrum. But try as I will, and beat though I may, I couldn’t achieve these: ‘stiff and unwavering peaks’ so illusive in my kitchen yesterday.   It was not until afterward however, that my Mom instructed me on the error of my ways. If there is even a bit of oil or residue in plastic, it can (and in my case did) ruin your whipping. Egg whipping should be confined to glass bowls or better yet, copper bowls.

I include here a good website with further instructions to avoid making the same mistake I made the next time you are whipping egg whites:

Of course, it was too late for this go around and I had to proceed with inferior whipped egg whites hoping I had not ruined this cake (already).

Although I consider myself no novice when it comes to baking, it is clear no one is too experienced to make beginner errors. I found myself a bit rushed and panicked making this cake since it requires a good deal of transferring, which I would have been prepared for had I read the method before picking up my spatula. A word to myself and all present or future bakers out there: always read the method (in its entirety) BEFORE beginning a baking project; (and usually) when in doubt, consult Mom.

You will notice that I include no picture of my first attempt of the Sachertorte in this post. Admittedly, it was not the most beautiful creation I have produced. I also think the density/height as well as the texture of the cake was affected due to my egg white issue.

A Few Thoughts On This Cake:

– The next time I make this cake I will try baking it without the wax paper on the bottom and substitute the baking spray or grease/flour approach. The wax circles didn’t seem the best method for these cakes.  Removing these cakes was not a smooth process.

– If you’re not an apricot person, you could easily substitute a preserve more to your tastes. I think my next attempt will have raspberry preserves.  

– On the right hand tap marked, *recipes can you find the official recipe  as it appears in the 1968 edition of the Time Life Book: The Cooking of Vienna’s Empire,  p. 186 (*note unless otherwise noted the recipes which I quote here in addition to information stem from this source)

– Invest in good chocolate. The flavor in this case surrounds the chocolate in this recipe. I used the simple Nestle Chocolate chips melted, another mistake which I won’t repeat. I will buy better chocolate next time.  

– It is worth it to invest in a small kitchen scale it will make measuring ounces, grams, etc, a no-brainer. You can pick them up for around $8 in stores with kitchen supplies.

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