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sachertorte (nigel slater)

There are many versions of the chocolate icing used to cover a Sachertorte. I find most of them too sweet and prefer to go for a covering of crisp melted chocolate instead. Pure heresy, I might add.

175g dark chocolate, at least 70 per cent cocoa solids (I use Lindt Extreme)
150g butter
150g caster sugar
6 large eggs
140g plain flour

for the glaze:
150g apricot jam - sieved

for the chocolate icing:
250g dark chocolate
60g butter

Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Line the base of a 22cm round cake tin with lightly buttered greaseproof or baking paper. Break the chocolate into a heat-proof bowl and melt it over a pan of boiling water.

Cream the butter and two-thirds of the sugar together till very light and fluffy - something like 8-10 minutes in the food mixer at a moderate speed.

Separate the eggs, then, when (and only when) the sugar and butter are white and fluffy, beat the egg yolks one at a time. Gently stir in the melted chocolate. Add the flour, through a sieve if you wish, stirring carefully but firmly until it is all combined.

Whisk the egg whites till firm, then stir in the remaining 50g of sugar a spoonful at a time. I usually take the whites till they will just about keep their shape, but stop before they are capable of sitting in stiff peaks. Fold them carefully, lightly, into the chocolate mixture. The easiest way to do this is to add a little of the chocolate mixture to the eggs first, then slowly incorporate the rest. It is a job for a gentle hand, and you need to take your time and do it thoroughly.

Scrape the cake mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a metal skewer into the centre: it should come out moist but without any uncooked cake mixture on it. Run a palette knife around the edge of the cake and turn it upside down on to a cooling rack. Leave to cool.

Melt the apricot jam in a small saucepan. If it has large lumps of fruit then it is traditional to sieve it, so that you can get a thin enough layer on top. Pour over the cake, smoothing over the top and sides.

To make the chocolate frosting, break the chocolate into squares in a heat-proof glass bowl and let it warm over a small saucepan containing simmering water. Don't stir the chocolate, but turn off the heat after a couple of minutes. Stir in the butter in small pieces. Pour the chocolate frosting over the apricot glaze and leave to set.

Whipped cream
No self-respecting Sachertorte would be seen without its accompaniment of perfectly whipped cream.

300ml whipping or double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
a tiny drop of vanilla extract

Put a metal or glass mixing bowl in the fridge to chill. When it is cool, pour the cream into the bowl and whisk till it starts to thicken. Now work slowly, and stop whisking when the cream starts to feel heavy on the whisk. Stir in the icing sugar and the dash of vanilla extract. Keep thoroughly chilled till needed.

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posted by ramtops on 31 Dec 07 - 7605 views

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