Sachertorte

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with an apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!I love to read.  Even as a little boy, you could always find me wandering around with a book in my hand.  I liked to wake up and read at 5am…I was a weird kid.  Sometimes it was a Calvin and Hobbes comic book.  Sometimes it was one of the many Hardy Boys books that my Dad would read to me.  By middle school, I remember reading Stephen King’s The Shining.  I used to love those creepy Stephen King books!  As I said, I was a weird kid!  But one of my favorite authors has always been John Grisham.  I really enjoy a good legal thriller, and I even got the chance to meet him at a cocktail party back when I was in the high school.

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with an apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!My parents always said I would make a good lawyer.  I’m not sure if that’s because I loved legal thriller books, or whether it was because I could argue with a wall.  In fact, for years, I just assumed I would eventually go to law school after college.  That path turned a different direction, and I spent a number of years working in higher education and college athletics.  But I digress.  Back to law.

If you’ve spent much time in law (either as a lawyer…or watching Law and Order…or reading John Grisham books), then you’re probably familiar with tort law.  Tort law is the concept that people are held legally responsible for their actions if those actions cause harm to another person.  Separate from criminal proceedings, tort law is used as the basis for civil lawsuits.  But this isn’t a post about tort law.  It’s a post about torte law.

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with an apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!You see, back in the mid-1900’s, the Hotel Sacher in Vienna sued the Demel Bakery (also in Vienna) over the term “the original Sachertorte.”  The bakery owner’s father father had developed the now famous Sachertorte while he was an apprentice in the Hotel Sacher’s kitchens.  Over the years, his son fine-tuned the recipe and then began selling it from his bakery.  Of course, the Hotel Sacher wasn’t too pleased, and a nasty legal fight ensued.  A legal fight over cake!

In the end, a settlement was reached which gave the hotel the rights to the term “original Sachertorte,” and the hotel makes thousands of these tortes a year.  (Indeed, you can order a Sachertorte directly from the Hotel Sacher for roughly $50-100 plus shipping depending on size.)  But I’ve always been one of those people that sees food and wonders if I can recreate it at home.  Delicious artisan bread at the grocery store?  I immediately want to go home and try to replicate it.  Tasty soup at a place like Panera?  I immediately want to go home and try to replicate it.  So it should come as no surprise that I wanted to replicate the Sachertorte here at home.

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with an apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!The Sachertorte is a delicious cake.  Experienced bakers will note the extremely high number of eggs and small amount of flour.  But trust me here.  It works.  And it’s tasty!  Of course, this isn’t the actual recipe for the original Sachertorte…the Hotel Sacher guards that recipe secretly.  (Heck, they should after they spend years battling it out for the rights to the name!)  Supposedly the key to the original Sachertorte is a blend of 3 different Belgian chocolates that are melted to create the glaze on top.  I simply used good quality semisweet chocolate, and I was quite pleased with the result.

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with an apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!Another unique feature of the Sachertorte is the apricot jam which gets brushed between the layers as well as on top of the cake before adding the glaze.  I’ve always found European cakes to be less sweet than their American counterparts, and the Sachertorte is no different.  It’s a delicious cake, but it’s not as sweet as most American desserts.  As a result, the apricot jam really shines and brings a noticeable flavor to each bite.  Laura and I each enjoyed a slice (or maybe two) of this cake, and then I sent the leftovers in for her coworkers.  If you love making desserts, then give the Sachertorte a try.  It’s a fancy dessert, but it’s not nearly as hard to make as you might think!  Cheers and enjoy!

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with an apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!

Sachertorte

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 458kcal

Ingredients

For the Torte

  • 5 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 5 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 large eggs room temperature and separated
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup apricot jam

For the Glaze

  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 1 oz. unsalted butter
  • 2 oz. heavy cream

For Serving

  • unsweetened whipped cream

Instructions

For the Torte

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour an 8” or 9” cake pan; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Set pan aside.
  • Using a double-boiler or a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t allow bottom of bowl to touch the water), melt the chocolate until smooth.
  • Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until well combined. Gradually add melted chocolate into the butter mixture, stirring after each addition. Finally, fold the flour into this mixture until well combined.
  • Using a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Gradually fold the granulated sugar (by hand) into the beaten egg whites. Gradually fold egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture in 3 additions, stirring gently after each addition.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of torte comes out mostly clean. Let torte cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove torte to a cooling rack until completely cool.
  • Using a serrated knife, trim the top of the torte to make it level. Slice the torte horizontally into two equal layers.
  • Heat the apricot jam with 2 Tbsp of water; stir until smooth.
  • Place one layer on a large plate and brush top liberally with the apricot jam. Place second layer on top and brush top and sides of torte with the remaining jam.

For the Glaze

  • Using a double-boiler or heatproof bowl over saucepan of gently simmering water, add chocolate and butter. Stir occasionally until chocolate has fully melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Heat cream until boiling and then stir into melted chocolate.
  • Place torte on a wire rack over a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pour chocolate glaze on top. Use an offset spatula to smooth the glaze on top and push excess glaze to sides of torte. (Collect any glaze that drips onto parchment paper and re-pour on top of torte.)
  • Let glaze cool and then transfer torte to a serving platter. Let torte set up at room temperature for several hours before serving. (Tip: Slice torte using a large knife dipped into very hot water.)
  • Serve with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.

The Sachertorte is a classic European dessert featuring chocolate cake brushed with an apricot jam and then glazed with more chocolate!  Grab a slice and a mug of coffee or tea for dessert tonight!

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31 Comments

  1. When I was in school, trust me I used to hate reading, don’t know why. But I would never miss a chance of reading a comic book…hahaha. You can understand now that I was not that brilliant in studies.
    Being a lawyer my father also used to think that I would also probably follow his path. But it did not happen. And here I am… a food blogger, and I am happy with that and so does my father.
    BTW this cake sounds really yummy David. 🙂

    1. Hey, I read a ton of comic books when I was a kid, too! In fact, I can remember my Mom bribing me with a comic book whenever I needed to go to the doctor for a shot. (I also HATE shots…still do.) It’s funny to think about the path that leads us to this strange profession called blogging, but hey it’s a fun job, right? 🙂 Thanks so much, Puja!!

  2. Hahaha torte law! John Grisham was one of first authors I read after I graduated from Nancy Drew. I still love him to this day! Growing up I also was told all the time that I should be a lawyer but that dream died when I bought an LSAT prep book and felt like crying. The GRE was more my speed :). And speaking of my speed, I’ll take a slice or five of this cake. I prefer a not-too-sweet dessert and this would be perfection! Have a great weekend, David!

    1. You liked my little play on words there? I was proud of myself. 🙂 Yeah, the LSAT is no joke. Although I did love the logic puzzles. Call me strange. But the GRE was definitely more up my alley, too. Hah! Thanks so much, Kelsie. Hope you’re doing well out there in ‘zona…have you planned your move to upstate New York yet?? The snow should be going away soon-ish…….

  3. You seriously give the best history lessons! So interesting…

    I’d never heard of this cake, but with the lore and how delicious it looks I need to try it ASAP!

    1. Thanks so much, Marissa! I’ve always loved history, and I like to try to make posts fun to read. I mean we can all read a recipe, but the post itself is a chance to have a little fun! 🙂 You should totally try a Sachertorte…it’s a classic European cake, and it’s really quite tasty!

  4. I’m also a huge reader. I would read books over and over and over again. While everyone was watching TV I was off by myself in my room reading a book. I never got into Stephen King, I tried but I’m a huge scary cat. I like Legal thrillers also I wanted to be a lawers as well, that so funny we have a lot in common David. Now let’s talk about this Sacher Torte. Wow, that’s a lot of eggs lol.

    1. So I can’t really re-read books, although I’ve totally caught myself taking a book on a trip…only to read a chapter and be like “hey. I’ve read this before.” That was the worst! I’m not so much into Stephen King anymore, but there was a phase when I loved his books. Now I’m into easy reads like Grisham or Dan Brown. And, yes, there are a lot of eggs in a sachertorte…that’s not a typo! But the cake doesn’t taste “eggy” when it’s done. It’s delicious!

  5. apricot jam is the hero of the recipe. it’s new totally for me because probably I haven’t use apricot jam in any cakes yet. moreover, this looks so moist !! how do you guys manage to get such a moist texture!.
    I will definitely try this..

    1. I agree that apricot jam is a bit out of the ordinary when it comes to baking cakes, but that’s the traditional ingredients used in a sachertorte. I was a bit skeptical at first, but it’s SO good, Priya! You should totally try this cake out sometime soon. It’s a fun one, and so tasty, too!!

  6. Interesting tidbit (and a great segue) about to torte law to sachertorte! Wonder which of the two ‘original’ recipes were actually the best.

    Love this recipe. Gonna pin this for sometime, I am kind of on a hunt for recipes that are unique and not necessarily super sweet (I don’t not so sweet desserts have piqued my interest).

    This recipe kind of reminds me of Tres Leche cake with a high egg low flour ratio (though this is even a little more extreme) but it gives an interesting texture that I can definitely see working here. Great post!

    1. You know, I was kinda wondering the same thing about those two torte recipes…guess we’ll never know now. But I can say that this classic version is outstanding! So if you’re not into sweeter desserts, then definitely follow the rabbit hole of European cakes. Like this sachertorte, they tend to be less sweet than American cakes. Still delicious, just different. And, yes, that’s not a typo about those eggs. It used a ton of ’em, but just trust me here!

  7. This looks and sounds so heavenly!! I didn’t know a thing about Sachertorte till today and now I know everything :D. I love how the apricot jam is used for an amazing kick here! I would be trying this soon! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Haha! I learned about the sachertorte recently, and I thought the story was so unique. Of course, the cake itself is unique, too…and it’s delicious! Definitely worth giving this one a shot. Thanks so much, Deepika!

  8. When I was a kid/teenager, I would read a lot of criminal novels. My favorite author was, I believe, Agatha Christie; I read some of the books few times (I’m known for forgetting the plot and the characters so that wasn’t a problem to me). I also loved Stephen King’s books; however I was almost an adult when I discovered it. Unfortunately, when I was a kid, I didn’t know all these classic European desserts. Honestly, I’ve never attempted baking it even being an adult. I believe you’ve got to have the skills I don’t have to successfully bake one of these masterpieces. Still, making an Opera cake, Esterhazy, or this Sachertorte is one my ultimate dreams. Well, perhaps I can try it one day. If I fail, I’ll send you a huge piece to sample 😉 Great kob David!

    1. You know, I used to read a bunch of Agatha Christie books, too! There was a little used book store that I could ride my bike to, and they had Agatha Christie books for like $1. Can’t beat that!

      Now as far as skills, I’m going to have to disagree with you, Ben. I say that you do indeed have the skills to bake European desserts! I mean just follow the recipe above and then you’ll have a really tasty cake on the counter in front of you…that’s what I did. 🙂 Opera cake and Esterhazy cake are both on my list for one day in the future. I’ll get around to ’em one day. And by one day, I mean next year. Haha! Thanks, Ben!

  9. Mmm, I loved all of the desserts when I was in Austria – but I’ve never had a sachetorte. Sounds interesting! I’m not a huge apricot jam fan, but I feel like in this cake I might like it… and you can’t really go wrong with a simple chocolate glaze!

    1. So I’m not a huge apricot jam kinda guy either, Nicole. In fact, I was a bit suspicious of the sachertorte for that very reason. But it works…and it’s delicious! The jam pairs so well with the cake that’s not as sweet as traditional American cakes. Of course, you could always pick a different flavored jam here. I bet strawberry would be delicious! Kinda like a chocolate-covered strawberry cake. 🙂

  10. Hmmmm….I guess you need to be careful in the baking world! There’s a lot at stake with a great dessert. By the way…I’ve been seeing a lot of curling the past few days, on the Olympics and all these fun interpretations people are creating. My favorite was our local ski resort created a “curling” video of them lining up cars in the parking lot. They used shovels to scrape the ice. It was pretty funny because they really mimicked the actual event. There seems to be quite a bit of fun happening with the creation of curling videos!

    1. I have been loving the curling videos, too, Kathy! Geico just did one with cavemen curling, and it was hilarious! What is the name of the ski resort near you? I’d love to google that video…it sounds creative. 🙂 It’s funny how America becomes obsessed (and I mean obsessed!) with curling every 4 years. Haha!

  11. Wow, yum! Chocolate and apricot, count me in! I completely love the “not-too-sweet” – ness, also! I’m going to give this a try – so many eggs, not much flour, makes me curious – thanks for the recipe!

    1. I totally agree with you about the eggs to flour ratio here, Laura…but trust me! The sachertorte is a classic, and it disappeared quite quickly around here. Plus, it’s just fun pouring the melted chocolate on top! 🙂

  12. David, I love to read too – but, I LOVE chocolate even more! Especially when they come in European cakes! This Sachertorte looks so so good. loving that dense texture – am so regretting my decision to go chocolate-free for lent right now – but, my Catholic dad used to say that Sundays were a reprieve from fasting, so there’s hope that I can enjoy this before the 46 days are up 🙂 This Sachertorte with its apricot jame brushing remind me of a Paul Hollywood cake – only his was made with almond flour. BTW – I had no idea that the Sachertorte had such a tumultuous past! Enjoyed the history lesson – now am stuck with an image of you arguing with a wall! Hoping y’all are doing well.

    1. Yes! Aren’t European cakes so much fun?? I mean I love a good American-style birthday cake, but when it comes to other cakes, I find it fun to play around with European style cakes. So no chocolate for Lent? That’s tough! I think the Sunday rule is a pretty good one…either that, or you can just think about how good this Sachertorte will taste on Easter Sunday! I’ve never heard of a Paul Hollywood cake, but now I need to go check that one out. Sounds delicious. Thanks, Shashi! Oh, I also have a wall to beat in an argument. 🙂

  13. I’ve had the sachertorte at the Hotel Sacher! The fact that it is less sweet than many American cakes seems to put the focus more on flavor and texture, which is where it should be. It also makes a fantastic pairing for black coffee, which is a must-have in Vienna.

    1. Wow, I didn’t realize you’ve had a sachertorte at THE Hotel Sacher! I feel like that’s one of those “100 Things Every Foodie Should Do in Their Lifetime” type of thing. Also on that list would be Chicago pizza, New Orleans muffalettas and…oh man, this list could go on and on…

  14. I appreciate the feedback, Li! As I said in the post, I haven’t yet had the chance to travel to the Sacher Hotel to try the real deal. I highly suggest trying this cake before leaving feedback about it. Thanks!

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