Sunday, July 13, 2014


A month or two back, I participated in Reddit's Arbitrary Day gift exchange. It's basically a giant online Secret Santa exchange, except in the middle of summer (hence, the name Arbitrary Day!). To my delight, I was sent a baking challenge - the Sachertorte.

In my gift was a 9-inch springform cake pan, a cake cutter, a recipe for Sachertorte, and some of the ingredients needed, such as apricot jam and baking chocolate. They even sent a few packets of vanilla sugar, which is sugar that has had vanilla bean in it. It's hard to find here in the United States, so it was really of nice of them to send it all the way from Europe!

The Sachertorte was invented in Vienna in the 1800's and remains as one of the most popular and famous chocolate cakes in the world. The actual recipe is guarded by Hotel Sacher in Vienna, but recipes exist online that are close enough.

It's a meringue-based cake, with not much flour, resulting in a very dense cake. After baking, it's layer with apricot jam and then covered in a chocolate glaze. Unfortunately for me, I've never had a Sachertorte before, so I was unable to determine how authentic my cake was. It was very well received though, so it was at least tasty! (Although it was nighttime and a dark colored cake is hard to photograph, so these photos don't do it justice).

My cake didn't come out as dense as I imagined it would - I'm guessing I overmixed the batter, which let too much air in. The texture of my cake was closer to that of a regular chocolate cake. I also had issues with the glaze - I may have added too much water to the glaze since it was very thin, making it difficult to coat the cake. Cooling it down helped a little and eventually I was able to get the glaze to stick to the cake.

The apricot jam was my favorite part - I took regular jam and heated it up in a saucepan and flavored it a bit with spiced rum. The result was a sweet citrus-y filling that went well with the semi-sweet chocolate cake.

So, thank you to my Reddit gift exchanger, who gave me this awesome present! The cake turned out well and now I have the equipment to bake and decorate future cakes.

Sachertorte - makes one 9-10 inch cake
(Recipe adapted from the Austrian Tourism Board)

Note: Since the recipe came from an European source, no volume measurements were given. All ingredients were measured by weight. 
  • 7 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g powdered sugar
  • 200 g dark chocolate chips
  • 1 packet (8g) vanilla sugar*
  • 125 g white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • ~200 g apricot jam
  • A shot of spiced black rum
*Vanilla sugar can be omitted if you don't have any.
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Melt dark chocolate chips (I did 30 second intervals in the microwave) and set aside to cool.
  3. Cream butter with powdered sugar and vanilla sugar until mixture is fluffy. Add in egg yolks.
  4. Beat egg whites in stand mixer on high speed with salt and white sugar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add melted chocolate to egg yolk mixture until completely combined. 
  6. Fold in meringue and flour into egg yolk mixture. Mix until just combined. 
  7. Line the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides and bottom with butter and lightly dust with flour to prevent sticking.
  8. Pour batter into pan. Bake for about 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
  9. Invert cake onto a flat surface to help flatten the rounded top. Let cake cool. 
  10. Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Add a shot of rum and mix until smooth. 
  11. Cut cake in half. Spoon the apricot filling onto top of one half. Layer the other half on top and add more apricot on the top of the cake. 
  12. Make the glaze (recipe below). When the glaze is ready, spread onto cake to cover the top and sides. 
  13. Enjoy!
Chocolate glaze
  • 200 g dark chocolate chips
  • 250 g white sugar
  • 150 g water
  1. Mix sugar and water together over medium heat in saucepan. 
  2. Pour mixture over chocolate chips to melt them. Stir until the glaze is smooth. 
  3. Spread onto cake (see above). 

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