Sachertorte

A deliciously rich moist chocolate cake, Sachertone (sah-kair-tohr-t’) the speciality of the elegant Sacher Hotel in Vienna, is almost the national cake of Austria. Sachertorte is traditionally served with lots of freshly whipped cream and accompanied by a glass of ice-cold water to alleviate the richness.

4 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

6 oz. dark cooking chocolate, broken into small pieces

6 oz. sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

6 egg yolks

3 oz. flour

8 egg whites, stiffly whipped

6 tablespoons apricot jam

8 oz. dark cooking chocolate, broken into small pieces 4 fl. oz. double cream 12 oz. icing sugar

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

With the teaspoon of butter, grease a 9-inch round cake tin with a removable base. Set aside.

In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and lift the bowl out of the pan. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the remaining butter and the sugar to-gether until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the melted chocolate and the vanilla essence.

Gradually beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each yolk. With a metal spoon, fold in the remaining flour, and then the egg whites. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth over the top with the back of the spoon. Place the tin in the centre of the oven. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and set it aside to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Turn the cake out of the tin on to a wire rack and, using a long, sharp knife, slice it in half, crosswise. Set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the apricot jam over low heat, stirring constantly. When the jam is hot, remove the pan from the heat and set the jam aside to cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, make the icing. In a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate over low heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and lift the bowl out of the pan. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Beat in the cream and icing sugar, beating until the mixture is smooth.

Using a flat-bladed knife, spread half the apricot glaze over the top of the bottom cake half and sandwich the two halves together. Spread the rest of the apricot glaze over the top and sides of the cake.

Rinse the knife and spread the chocolate icing over the top and sides of the cake, ensuring that the icing is smooth.

Place the cake on a decorative serving plate and set aside in a cool place for 2 hours, or until the icirjg has set.

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