Vienna is a city of music, pastries, waltzes, grand architecture, avant-garde art, parks and wine, but for many people it's the Viennese desserts, rich and luscious tortes, cakes and the whipped cream creations that are reason enough to visit the city. Having coffee and cake in one of the traditional coffee houses of Vienna is as much about the experience as about the taste, but when you do consider the taste, no other dessert surpasses the Sacher torte.
The story of the Sacher torte began in 1832, when the powerful Prince Wenzel Clemens Metternich ordered the creation of a particularly palatable dessert for his guests. "Take care that you do not make me look a fool tonight", he warned. That very day, however, the chef was ill, so the order was reassigned to a 16 year old apprentice, Franz Sacher. The cake which was presented to the guests was a resounding success: a soft and fluffy chocolate cake with slightly bitter apricot jam under the chocolate icing. Franz spent his apprenticeship working for the Count of Esterhazy of Hungary and when he started to work on his own account, he offered his successful composition once again. Soon the "cake by the man named Sacher" was in great demand, and the career of probably the most famous of all cakes began.
Sacher torte recipe
Prepare a round 8 inch cake tin. Sift all-purpose flour twice. Separate egg yolks and whites. Cream butter with 4 oz. of icing sugar. Melt chocolate with 1 tablespoon of water (chocolate must be soft but not hot). Add egg yolks and melted chocolate gradually to butter and sugar mixture. Add 1 tablespoon rum to mixture and stir lightly. Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk egg whites until stiff with 1 ounce icing sugar. Put beaten egg whites into remaining mixture alternately with the all-purpose flour. Bake in buttered and floured round cake tin for about 50 to 55 minutes. When baked cool 2 minutes, than remove to cooling rack.
Spread 3 to 4 tablespoons of warmed apricot jam over cold cake and put chocolate icing on the cake.
1. In a saucepan dissolve 4 oz. granulated sugar in a 1/4 cup of water and than bring to boil.
2. Brush the sides of the saucepan with a brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystals forming.
3. Cook to " small thread " stage, than remove from fire and leave to cool.
4. Melt 5 oz. chocolate until soft but not hot.
5. Add lukewarm sugar into melted chocolate, than add a 1/4 teaspoon melted butter into chocolate icing and stir well.
6. Put chocolate icing on the cake.
NOTE: Thickness of the chocolate icing must be equal that of the apricot jam.
Serve next day with whipped cream if desired.