Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sacher-Torte, The Perfect Birthday Cake

Sacher-Torte from the Hotel Sacher, Vienna

My Mother is serious about the coffee and confections she serves.  They have to be great.  So over the years, only she made the coffee in our house.  And, I pity the fool who'd dare to bring a Hostess cupcake to the table.  When birthdays rolled around, you got an old world, European, torte cake -- with dark chocolate, ground nuts, jam, butter, cream ... and candles.  Mom is a good baker, so sometimes she made and decorated these layered cakes in her own kitchen.  At other times we ordered them from a fancy German/Viennese-inspired bakery.  They were always scrumptious and worth every calorie!  It's a birthday tradition I carry on to this day.

A Sacher-Torte consists of two dense layers of chocolate sponge cake, with a thin layer of apricot jam in the center and dark chocolate on the top and sides.  It is rich, but not too sweet.  Three special chocolates produced by three chocolatiers are used to make the chocolate icing.  First baked in 1832 by 16 year old Franz Sacher, the original recipe remains top secret.  But to bake one at home, try this recipe.

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  1. A Chocolate LoverJune 20, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    La Madeline makes excellent ones: http://www.lamadeleine.com