Sachertorte

Day four of the Sochi Winter Olympics saw the U.S. take its second gold medal when snowboarder Jamie Anderson won gold for the first-ever women’s slopestyle event.  Bode Miller finished eighth in the men’s downhill ski competition while Austrian Matthias Mayer took gold in the event.  Russia took the first-ever gold medal in the team figure skating competition while Canada took silver and the U.S. took bronze.

Today, we look back to the 1964 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria.  Faced with an unseasonable lack of snow, the Austrian Army transported ice and snow from the mountain down to the luge and bobsled tracks and Alpine ski slopes.  After it then poured rain ten days before the Opening Ceremonies, the troops packed down the snow by stomping on it.  Timing in Alpine ski events was calculated to hundredths of a second for the first time.

sachertorte cut

You’d be hard pressed to find many desserts that come bearing a certificate of authenticity, unless that dessert is a Sachertorte.  Sachertorte is an Austrian dessert consisting of chocolate cake layered with apricot jam and covered in chocolate ganache.  Invented in Vienna at the Hotel Sacher, Sachertorte is available in Innsbruck at the Cafe Sacher where you can either enjoy it by the slice or take home a whole cake in a wooden crate accompanied by the previously mentioned certificate of authenticity.  There has been a long legal battle over use of the term “The Original” where Sachertorte is concerned.  If you make this, I promise you will be way too distracted by its awesomeness to concern yourself with a lawsuit of any kind.

sachertorte

Sachertorte

Ingredients:

for the cake:

  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 3 oz. butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 oz. sugar, divided
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 C. flour, sifted

for the apricot filling:

  • 1 1/2 C. apricot preserves
  • 1 Tbsp. brandy

for the chocolate ganache:

  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 2 oz. heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a 9″ round cake pan that is at least 2″ deep (I used a springform pan).

In a bowl, combine the chocolate and butter and melt over a double boiler.

Set the mixture aside to cool.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks and 1 oz. of the sugar until light.

Beat in the chocolate mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat the salt and egg whites until soft peaks form.

Slowly add the remaining 3 oz. of sugar and continue to beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks.

Carefully fold the flour into the beaten egg whites.

Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture.

Fold the remaining egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture, combining thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.

To make the apricot filling, puree the apricot preserves in a blender and then stir in the brandy.

When the cake is completely cool, slice the cake horizontally into 3 even layers.

Spread 1/2 of the apricot filling onto the bottom layer and top with the middle layer.

Spread the remaining half of the apricot filling onto the middle layer, then top with the last layer of cake.

Put into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

To make the chocolate ganache, combine the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt over a double boiler.

In a small saucepan bring the cream to a boil.

Stir the cream into the melted chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth and combined.

Cool the chocolate mixture until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Spread the chocolate ganache over the top and down the sides of the cake.

Chill the cake for another 30 minutes before serving.

Serve sliced with whipped cream.

Makes 8-10 servings depending on slice size.

Source: Wolfgang Puck

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