Sachertorte does not hit you over the head with sweetness, unlike some American desserts that are all frosting and goo. The shiny icing has a crisp, crystallized texture that is almost fudge-like–there is nothing like it in American or French pastry. The cake itself is firm, almost dry. For this reason, Sachertorte is always served with a big dollop of lightly whipped, gently sweetened heavy cream. You are actually supposed to dip each bite of cake into the cream to moisten it before eating. So, don’t be shy!
  • 4 1/2ounces (125 g) high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 9tablespoons (125 g) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1cup (110 g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 6large eggs
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1cup (130 g) all-purpose flour (spoon gently into cup and level top)
Apricot Glaze
  • One 12-ounce (336-g) jar apricot preserves
  • 2tablespoons golden or dark rum
Chocolate Glaze
  • 1cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1/2cup (120 ml) water
  • 4Oz (110 g) high-quality bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa chocolate works well here), coarsely chopped
  • sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 °F (180ºC). Lightly butter a 9-inch (22.5-cm) springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment or waxed paper. Dust the sides of the pan with flour and tap out the excess.
  2. To make the cake: In the top part of a double-boiler over very hot, but not simmering, water, or in a microwave oven at Medium power, melt the chocolate. Remove from the heat or the oven, and let stand, stirring often, until tepid, but fluid.
  3. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty standing mixer fitted with the paddle blade on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. On low speed, beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Return the speed to medium-high and beat until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the chocolate and vanilla.
  4. Beat the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed just until they form soft, shiny peaks. Do not overbeat. Stir about one-fourth of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining whites, leaving a few visible whisps of whites. Sift half of the flour over the eggs, and fold in with a large balloon whisk or rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining flour.
  5. Spread evenly in the pan. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. (The cake will dome in the center.) Cool on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan, and invert the cake onto the cake rack. Remove the paper and reinvert on another rack to turn right side up. Cool completely.
  6. To make the apricot glaze: Bring the preserves and rum to a boil over medium heat. Cook until the last drops that cling to the spoon are very sticky and reluctant to leave the spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain into a small bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Use the glaze while warm and fluid.
  7. Using a long serrated knife, trim the top of the cake to make level. Cut the cake horizontally into two equal layers. Place one cake layer on a 8-inch (20-cm) diameter cardboard round. Brush the top of the cake layer with about one-third of the apricot glaze. Place the second cake layer on top and brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining glaze. Let cool until the glaze is set.
  8. Make the chocolate glaze: In a 1-quart saucepan bring the sugar, water, and chocolate to to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 234ºF (112ºC)., about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour into a glass measuring cup (do not scrape out the saucepan). Let stand, stirring often, until slightly cooled and lightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Transfer the cake on the round to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour almost all of the warm chocolate glaze on top of the cake. Using a metal icing spatula, gently smooth the glaze over the cake, allowing it to run down the sides, being sure that the completely coats the cake (patch any bare spots with the remaining glaze). Let cool completely. Trim away any hardened icing around the bottom edge of the torte. Store at room temperature under a cake cover, up to 2 days.
  10. To serve, slice with a sharp knife dipped into hot water. Serve with a large dollop of whipped cream on the side.