Monday, January 16, 2012


Finals. are. here. 
What? I'm about to be a second semester senior along with 1000 other of my peers.

Does that make me feel self reflective?
Not really. We've still got a few more months.

So, rather than study like a crazy person for hours on end, this was my project of the day.

This is why I LOVE baking. One day. 
and then we eat.

There is sifting. And whisking and folding and baking and melting and pureeing in approximately 530299873.14159 dishes. (That's 530299870+π...*nerd*)

I tell you, though, it is worth it. My cake had a dome (that always happens. I've never NOT had domes). So, as the
reasonable person I am, I cut it off and promptly ate it with a bit of extra apricot preserves.

For those of you who don't know/haven't already googled this (don't worry, I have!), Sacher-Torte is an Austrian 
cake from the Sacher hotel. It's chocolate cake with apricot preserves in and over it enrobed in chocolate glaze/shell.

The people at Sacher are a lot better at frosting and glazing than I am.
I don't let it bother me. As we say in my house, "it's all going to the same place."

So, chocolate and apricots. I'm seriously considering just eating the two together in my mouth for snack for the next all of forever.

This is seriously good. EVERYONE in my family had seconds. 

As Anne Burrell would say, "Hello, Beautiful!"

Sacher Torte

Serves 8 to 16

To make the cake...
When transferring the batter from the bowl to the prepared pan, hold the bowl as close to the bottom of the pan as possible and use a rubber spatula to gently push the batter into the pan. To avoid deflating the voluminous batter, do not dump or pour the batter from a height of several inches or more above the pan (Isn't this comment hilarious??)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1 ¼ ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
I cup (7 ounces) sugar
I teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over lou heat. Remove from the heat and set aside. Sift the, flour and salt together onto a large piece of parchment paper; set aside.

3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in the bow1 of a standing mixer until combined. Place the bows - over a pan of barely simmering water, making sun that the water does not touch the bottom of tht bowl, and heat the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until warm to the touch, about 110 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and beat at medium-high speed until the eggs are pale, cream-colored, voluminous, and form a thick ribbon of tiny billowy bubbles that falls from the whisk and rests on top of the batter for several seconds when the whisk is held about 4 inches above the egg mixture (this should take 6 to 8 minutes). Beat in the vanilla. Turn off the mixer, transfer 1 cup of the egg mixture to a medium bowl, and stir in the melted butter until combined; set aside. Grab the two ends of the sheet of parchment paper holding the flour mixture and, with the mixer running at the lowest speed, slowly sprinkle the flour mixture into the batter until just barely incorporated. Add the melted butter mixture back to the batter in the standing mixer bowl and, with the mixer still running at the lowest speed, fold gently to incorporate, being careful not to deflate the batter.

4. Immediately push the batter from the bowl into the prepared springform pan with a rubber spatula, holding the bowl close to the bottom of the pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake until the cake is deep golden brown and springs back lightly when pressed with a finger, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely. When the cake is cool, run the blade of a thin metal spatula around the inside circumference of the springform pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and remove. Invert the cake onto a plate or baking sheet, remove the pan bottom and parchment paper, and reinvert the cake onto the rack.

Assembly time!

Apricot filling
I (18-ounce) jar apricot jam (about 11/3 cups)

Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

I recipe Chocolate Génoise, above, cooled and split in half (shave off the dome if you have one, eat it with apricot jam, and get really excited for the cake)

1. For the filling: Process the apricot jam in a food processor until smooth, about 10. seconds. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. For the glaze: Bring the cream and corn syrup to a full simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Off heat, add the chocolate; cover and let stand for 8 minutes. (If the chocolate has not completely melted, return the saucepan to low heat and stir constantly until melted.) Add the vanilla; stir very gently until the mixture is smooth. Cool until tepid so that a spoonful drizzled back into the pan mounds slightly. (The glaze can be refrigerated to speed up the cooling process, stirring every few minutes to ensure even cooling.)

3. To assemble the torte: Invert the top layer of the cake onto a cardboard round cut just larger than the diam'eter of the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread 1/2  cup of the apricot jam evenly over the cake. Invert the second layer of cake over the first. Place the cake. and cardboard round on a wire rack that has been, set on a large rimmed baking sheet. Pour tile remaining apricot jam on the top of the cake and, using an offset spatula, spread the jam over the edges and along the sides of the cake. Allow the excess jam to fall off the sides of the cake onto the baking sheet. Refrigerate the cake on the wire rack set on the baking sheet until the apricot jam is set, about 30 minutes.

4. Pour the chocolate glaze on top of the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread the glaze evenly over the top of the cake and spread it along the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake, still on the rack set over the baking sheet, until set, at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours. Transfer the cake to a large platter and serve.

From Baking Illustrated (I love this book so. much.)

Good Luck on finals, everyone!!

Update: I took my last EVER high school final today! Whooohoooo. Also, the cake tastes even better after a night or two in the fridge.

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