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Sacher Torte


NewYorkTexan
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After coming back from having Sacher torte, the real deal in both Salzburg and Vienna, I thought I would try and make it at home. The Sacher hotels do not sell a cookbook and would not give me a copy of the recipe. They did offer to sell me a copy of the menu for 3 Euros :hmmm: I know the place is somewhat of a tourist trap, but at the Salzburg location, the outdoor patio at sunset makes a wonderful backdrop for a decadent snack.

Conducting a quick online search, there were several variations of the recipe.

I tried this recipe

The result was too light in texture and not rich enough. In hindsight, there were too many egg whites in this recipe.

Does anybody have a more authentic recipe?

Edited by NewYorkTexan (log)
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You should know that the Hotel Sacher and Demel's have a longstanding feud about who makes the original Sacher torte. Demel's does sell their recipe.

Anyway, the cake part of your recipe doesn't look bad to me, but the frosting is completely wrong. Sacher tortes are not covered in ganache, the frosting is a cooked chocolate candy, more or less.

I have an Austrian friend from another board who has a very good recipe for Sacher torte. I'll see if I can persuade her to come over here and post it for you.

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my chef in school worked in the hotel sacher (or at least claimed to have; i don't think he would have lied...) during his apprenticeship. i don't have my bible here with me, but as i remember, there were ground almonds in the recipe and the butter and sugar were creamed together w/ the melted chocolate and the yolks and then meringue folded in. this made a really nice dense but velvety cake. the icing was more or less as you describe, a heavy ganache-though poured on thin, but that may have been a matter of convenience. if i find hte recipe i'll post...good luck!

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There is a Sacher Torte recipe on page 186 of

'Foods of the World: The Cooking of Vienna's Empire', Time-Life Books, New York, 1968.

I cooked this cake a few times and liked it.

Yes, this recipe asks that the chocolate icing be cooked. The recipe says to cook to the "soft ball" stage, and my notes say that this is too hard and, instead, should cook to "harden" and then cool only to spreading consistency.

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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This is the recipe I have used several times.

http://recipes.chef2chef.net/recipe-archive/21/120562.shtml

It is as close to the traditional as I have been able to achieve.

It is much better than the ones made with flour.

I use the Scharfenbarger extra dark

http://www.scharffenberger.com/products/propacks.htm

and Spanish almonds if I can get them.

Almonds are grown locally but they simply do not have the intense flavor that I find in the Spanish nuts.

For the bread crumbs I use a brioche which I bake several days ahead of time, slice, remove the crust and dry in the dehydrator. I process them until they are very, very fine.

I use large or extra large eggs.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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This fascinating, I did not know about the the dispute between Demel's and Hotel Sacher. I will be back in Central Europe in a few weeks and will make a special trip to try the version from Demel's.

It was probably reading "The Man Who Ate Everything" on the flight over, but I am determined to replicate the authentic torte.

The link above seems like a great version to try. I will also this"Chocolate Cake cookbook" version

Keep the wonderful info and recipes flowing. I will try and make a few different variations to bring them to an upcoming egullet event.

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I agree, the Time Life recipe is really good - in fact it's the one I use, but it isn't, strictly speaking, authentic.

My Austrian friend just registered for egullet and promised to post her recipe as soon as her account is activated.

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This is the recipe I have used several times.

http://recipes.chef2chef.net/recipe-archive/21/120562.shtml

It is as close to the traditional as I have been able to achieve.

It is much better than the ones made with flour.

I use the Scharfenbarger extra dark

http://www.scharffenberger.com/products/propacks.htm

and Spanish almonds if I can get them.

Almonds are grown locally but they simply do not have the intense flavor that I find in the Spanish nuts.

For the bread crumbs I use a brioche which I bake several days ahead of time, slice, remove the crust and dry in the dehydrator. I process them until they are very, very fine.

I use large or extra large eggs.

Thanks for the recipe for the torte, what do you use for the chocolate glaze?

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There is a good recipe in The Chocolate Bible by Christian Teubner. It has the cooked chocolate candy glaze, which I found crystallized a little. I used to work for an elderly Rumanian Jewess whose family had owned a pastry shop. She made a good one, and an excellent Linzer, which bears an eerie resemblance to the recipe in the Time Life book mentioned earlier in this thread. I have that book and will see if the Sacher is anything the same. Her's was flourless, had bread crumbs instead. Creamed butter and sugar, eggs, melted chocolate, then meringue and crumbs. Glazed all around and stuffed with apricot, then chocolate.

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This fascinating, I did not know about the the dispute between Demel's and Hotel Sacher. I will be back in Central Europe in a few weeks and will make a special trip to try the Sacher Torte.

Demels will make you weep with delight. Enjoy.

Edited by lala (log)

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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Regarding the question of the chocolate glaze, I just make a basic ganache which I pour while warm over the torte while it is on a rack. After the chocolate sets I lift the torte off the rack (using a giant spatula I found at Smart & Final) and place it on the serving plate.

I use a method that is essentially the same as the one in the recipe on the Scharfenbarger site.

It works every time. I use the Manufacturers cream also available at Smart & Final - it is not ultrapasturized and I like the way it "feels" better than regular heavy cream.

Deep Chocolate Glaze or Ganache

8 ounces Scharffen Berger 62% semisweet chocolate

1/4 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons sweet butter

Heat the chocolate, cream, and butter in the top of a double boiler. Stir gently until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.

Use lukewarm as a pourable glaze or let stand until thick enough to spread like frosting.

If using as ganache, chill in refrigerator to desired consistency.

May be reheated to soften. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

Makes a striking coating with rich chocolate taste

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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As Samaki said, I do have a pretty authentic recipe by one of Austria's best-known patissiers from a very traditional Konditorei (Zauner in Bad Ischl, the late Empereor Franz Josef was a regular there). There are no nuts or almonds in Sachertorte, that's for sure.

SACHERTORTE (for a 9in pan)

130g Couverture (I would not use anything darker than 55 or 60%)

130g butter

40g powdered sugar

5g vanilla sugar (sub 1 tsp vanilla extract plus 1tsp sugar)

1 pinch salt

6 eggs, separated

180g castor sugar

130g flour

Melt the chocolate over a hotwater bath, stirring constantly. Let cool to around 35C.

Mix the chocolate with the soft butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cream until light, then add the yolks, one after the other.

Whip the whites with the castor sugar.

Fold the whites into the chocolate mix, do not overmix.

Very gently fold in the sifted flour.

Bake at 375F (190C) for about 60 minutes. Immediately turn the pan upside down onto paper covered with castor sugar and let cool competely.

Store in the fridge until the next day. Remove from the pan and - if making the "newer" version, slice the cake horizontally. If sticking to the original recipe skip that step. (Legend has it that this was an emergency measure, because the cake had turned out to be too dry.)

350g apricot jam

Brush the apricot jam onto the cut surface. Assemble the cake again.

Bring the remaining jam to a boil and thinly coat the entire cake, top and sides.

Set the cake onto a wire rack and cover with Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows).

Let the glaze harden and clean the bottom edges with a small knife, before setting the Sachertorte on a cake plate. Serve with sweetened, whipped cream on the side.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE (covers one 9in cake)

250g sugar

120ml water

300g couverture /chocolate (again, 55-60% works best)

Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Add the chopped chocolate and boil til it reaches 110C (or 88R). The mixture will bubble heavily.

Now comes the fun part:

pour the glaze through a sieve into a clean pot, not too large. Tablier 1/3 of the glaze on a marble board until it lightens in color. While doing this it is crucial that you keep stirring the remaining glaze in the pot to avoid the forming of skin. Add the tableed glaze, and repeat the process until the glaze has the right consistency. It should pour thickly, but smoothly.

I have translated this recipe from German and hope to have done it all right. Please excuse me for not converting the measurements.

Good luck with the recipe, and let me know about the outcome.

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This recipes looks good. This will test my baking skills, but it will be a excellent challenge.

It calls for both powdered sugar and castor sugar. It was my understanding that powdered sugar also has cornstarch in it, where castor sugar is just superfine sugar. I assume you can not subsitutue between the two?

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Here in Germany powdered sugar does NOT have cornstarch. I know you can get that in the States, too, but am not sure about the name, confectioner's sugar maybe? It is different than castor sugar, so I would not sub it, although you could probably melt castor sugar with the melting chocolate, decreasing the amount a little.

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I wish I had read all replies before posting ;-) And I wish I could edit my post...

Anyway, one of the Cafes slices the cake and adds a layer of apricot jam, the other just covers the cake. I cannot remember from the top of my head, but I believe Demel is the one that doesn't slice, thus claiming to have the older version of Sacher's recipe. There are quite a few legends about how the original recipe ended up with Demel, but a court-ruling had decided that only Sacher may name its torte original.

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  • 1 year later...

so after mulling it over for the last 3 years, i finally took the plunge and ordered a sacher torte from the hotel sacher. it arrived in 3 days and everything was looking rosy. with great anticipation i opened it up and sliced it and to my surprise it was not so good. it was on the dry side, but what can you expect from something coming from austria. however the glaze, well what can i say about the glaze. it just was awful. in fact the only way i could even choke the cake down was to neatly cut away the glaze and promptly throw it in the garbage. i was disappointed to say the least. i also purchased an imperial torte from the hotel imperial through dean and deluca. this is an almond paste cake layered with chocolate. it was much tastier than the sacher. but i am stunned that both taste like they have been made with the lowest quality chocolate possible. oh well, sometimes immitation is really the sincerest form of flattery.

nkaplan@delposto.com
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so after mulling it over for the last 3 years, i finally took the plunge and ordered a sacher torte from the hotel sacher.  it arrived in 3 days and everything was looking rosy.  with great anticipation i opened it up and sliced it and to my surprise it was not so good.  it was on the dry side, but what can you expect from something coming from austria.  however the glaze, well what can i say about the glaze. it just was awful.  in fact the only way i could even choke the cake down was to neatly cut away the glaze and promptly throw it in the garbage.  i was disappointed to say the least.  i also purchased an imperial torte from the hotel imperial through dean and deluca.  this is an almond paste cake layered with chocolate.  it was much tastier than the sacher.  but i am stunned that both taste like they have been made with the lowest quality chocolate possible.  oh well, sometimes immitation is really the sincerest form of flattery.

I had the torte at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna a few years ago---mainly because it wast THERE! I agree: it wasn't worth it. Maybe because I'm not a big fan of raspberry, but even so, it was dry and not very tasty. I wouldn't say it was "awful" and I did finish it, but if you're visiting Vienna, there are too many other good pastry places to waste your time and money at Sacher.

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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I had the same experience about 10 years ago when I was in Vienna. I bought a sacher torte and carefully hand carried it back to Canada to share with my husband. I too was disappointed as it was rather dry and not all that tasty, but assumed it was because I didn't eat it right away.

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Make that four negatives on Sacher Torte! although the hotel Sacher and Vienna was cool! .. overrated and too much of a disappointment for me as well .. dry as the Sahara ... the kaffee mit schlag? To die for! :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I have had Sachertorte at the Hotel Sacher but it has been too long ago for me to remember the details on their version. My mom and I have both made it, successfully to my taste, though. The versions I've made have all used an apricot glaze layer and good quality chocolate for the glaze.

No excuse for low quality chocolate if that was the case, but it is by design a rather dry cake, especially by US standards. It is highly recommended as well as traditional to have it with a heaping spoon of Schlagsahne (whipped cream) and coffee.

To whit, I just found this quote in Rick Rodger's "Kaffehause":

"The Sachertorte is a refined, elegant combination of chocolate flavors, complemented by a compulsory mound of Schlag. The whipped cream is an important part of the picture, as it moistens the frankly firm cake layers. Every bite of Sachertorte is supposed to be dipped in the whipped cream."

Again, no excuse for poor chocolate but some lackluster experiences would certainly have been enhanced by having whipped cream with it.

Bold text added by me

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I was told that the original glaze layer was not apricot, nor was it raspberry, but gooseberry.

My father used to receive a Sachertorte in the wooden box every Christmas for years from an Austrian client. I remember it was delicious. You ate it with a cup of good coffee. Nobody back then complained about dryness. Perhaps our palates have become so used to moist and fatty that we no longer tolerate the old-fashioned, original versions of European cake.

I'd like feedback on this theory from those of you in the baking business.

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if you're looking for "dry" with your coffee, that's what biscotti and the like are for.

i've made my version of the sachertorte for an austrian (ex)boyfriend. this was based on a torte recipe from alice medrich's book "cocolat". he grew up in vienna and he loved my version. he never mentioned to me that it should have been drier!! this was also in the years long before i became a pastry chef.

i don't think moist=fatty (not that desserts are lo-cal by any stretch of the imagination), but i do think that if you're treating yourself (especially expensively via mail order) the experience should be luxurious and enjoyable. that means the dessert should use the highest quality ingredients and in my opinion, each component should stand alone well enough without having to smother something in sauce or whipped cream to make it palatable.

when i was going to culinary school, my cakes teacher insisted on soaking every layer of every cake he made. i know that i don't like a mouthful of sawdust!

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so after mulling it over for the last 3 years, i finally took the plunge and ordered a sacher torte from the hotel sacher.  it arrived in 3 days and everything was looking rosy.  with great anticipation i opened it up and sliced it and to my surprise it was not so good.  it was on the dry side, but what can you expect from something coming from austria.  however the glaze, well what can i say about the glaze. it just was awful.  in fact the only way i could even choke the cake down was to neatly cut away the glaze and promptly throw it in the garbage.  i was disappointed to say the least.  i also purchased an imperial torte from the hotel imperial through dean and deluca.  this is an almond paste cake layered with chocolate.  it was much tastier than the sacher.  but i am stunned that both taste like they have been made with the lowest quality chocolate possible.  oh well, sometimes immitation is really the sincerest form of flattery.

Aaaaach! Meine kleine nusstorte! It's from Demel's you should get these things!!!!!

Really am sorry to hear it ... it's those kinds of disappointments that are the worst of all. Right up there with the truth about Santa Claus.

Theabroma

Edited by theabroma (log)

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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so after mulling it over for the last 3 years, i finally took the plunge and ordered a sacher torte from the hotel sacher.  it arrived in 3 days and everything was looking rosy.  with great anticipation i opened it up and sliced it and to my surprise it was not so good.  it was on the dry side, but what can you expect from something coming from austria.  however the glaze, well what can i say about the glaze. it just was awful.  in fact the only way i could even choke the cake down was to neatly cut away the glaze and promptly throw it in the garbage.  i was disappointed to say the least.  i also purchased an imperial torte from the hotel imperial through dean and deluca.  this is an almond paste cake layered with chocolate.  it was much tastier than the sacher.  but i am stunned that both taste like they have been made with the lowest quality chocolate possible.  oh well, sometimes immitation is really the sincerest form of flattery.

Aaaaach! Meine kleine nusstorte! It's from Demel's you should get these things!!!!!

Really am sorry to hear it ... it's those kinds of disappointments that are the worst of all. Right up there with the truth about Santa Claus.

Theabroma

right. some things are better imagined than experienced -- and somehow i'm not surprised that sachertorte from the Hotel Sacher is among them....

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