Yes, I’ve finally gone and plucked up the courage to bake the dreaded Sachertorte that they had to bake in one of the Great British Bake Off episodes. Ever since watching it I’ve dreaded baking it, but now I’ve done it, I’m thinking why was I so worried. The worst bit for me was the writing on the top, everything else I’ve already done in an earlier Mary Berry recipe!
The only thing is it seemed to take an age to make, bake and decorate. Things didn’t go according to plan right from the start when I realised I needed a 23cm (9″) deep round cake tin. I honestly thought that there can’t be many tins that I don’t have now, but the last few bakes I’ve made have proved otherwise – I think I’ll need another kitchen cupboard at this rate to house all my extra tins. Luckily I didn’t need to pop out to buy one, instead a quick phone call to my mum sufficed – she had one, so I borrowed that!
The oven was put on to preheat at Fan 160°C and my tin was greased and the bottom lined with parchment.
Out came a small saucepan from the cupboard which was filled with a small amount of water and put on to heat. Into a bowl I broke up 150g plain chocolate and placed this over my pan of simmering water. Once melted it was taken off the heat and left to one side to cool slightly. The 50g of chocolate left over was put to one side and not eaten as I would require it (plus a little extra) a bit later.
Into another bowl I measured out 150g of softened unsalted butter, this was beaten with my electric whisk until it was really soft. I then added to this 100g caster sugar, very gradually, beating the mixture well between additions until it was light and fluffy. Into this went the cooled chocolate together with 1/2tsp vanilla essence. Once again the mixture was beaten to bring it all together.
5 eggs are needed for this recipe, but first of all they had to be separated and the yolks added to the chocolate mixture one at a time again beating between each addition. The egg whites were put to one side. Once the egg yolks had all been added I folded in 75g ground almonds (as you know I usually have lots and lots of packets of these, but I had to have a good rummage around in my ingredient boxes to find enough – I must buy more!!!) and 40g plain flour. By now the mixture was quite stiff and thick.
A quick clean of my electric whisk attachments, which were put back onto my whisk and it was on with whisking together the egg whites until they were stiff but not dry. One third of the egg white mixture was added to the chocolate mixture and stirred in vigorously (Mary’s words). The remaining two-thirds were added and this time gently folded in. The mixture was poured into the tin and levelled.
Into the oven it went for 45 minutes. After this time it was well risen and the top of the cake sprang back when you lightly pressed it. After leaving it to cool for a few minutes it was removed from the tin and placed on a wire rack to cool.
It was around 8pm in the evening when I finally got round to the next stage. Mary says to melt 6tblsp of apricot jam in a dish and brush over the top and sides of the cake. I think I probably had around 3tblsp in my jar of apricot jam, but this was more than enough to cover the cake with. The cake again was put to one side until the jam had set. It certainly didn’t look as though we’d be sampling this cake tonight!
One the jam had set it was time to get on with the icing. 150g plain chocolate was broken into a bowl and to this I added 200ml double cream. The bowl was placed over a pan of simmering water and the chocolate was allowed to melt into the cream. Once melted, it was given a good stir to combine the two ingredients together. I allowed the mixture to cool for around five minutes and then poured it onto the centre of the cake. I was slightly worried that I hadn’t allowed the mixture to cool enough, but as soon as it hit the cake you could see it thicken a little more. Quickly I spread some of the chocolate over the sides of the cake and spread it around the edges. So far, so good, it was looking ok.
I had to wait until the next day to add the writing to the top of the cake, much to my daughter’s disgust. I had work in the morning, so I didn’t actually get round to putting the writing on the cake until around 3pm, after I had walked the dog.
In a small freezer bag I put 25g milk chocolate and melted this in the microwave. I snipped the corner off the bag and gave it a quick squeeze to make sure the chocolate flowed easily. It did. This was it, there would be no going back, once I started I just had to go for it. I was actually quite pleased with the writing, it certainly turned out better than I thought and as I had quite a lot of chocolate left, I added a few extra lines across the cake just to be different! The remaining chocolate that was still in the bag my daughter had. She was well and truly hovering for the leftovers…
We finally got round to have this for our dessert the day after I baked it. Reading through the foreword to the recipe Mary does actually state that the cake improves if left for a day or two before cutting, so hopefully it’ll taste even better tomorrow than it did today! It is truly delicious.
For anyone out there nervous about baking this, don’t be, it’s easier than you think. As for the icing on top – just go for it!!!