Sacher Torte

Serve Sacher Torte solo, or with whipped cream. The icing owes its gloss to glycerine, which is available from chemists.


serves 12
butter for greasing
3/4 cup 170 g (6 oz) butter
1 cup + 3 tbls (175 g) icing sugar (confectioners sugar), sifted
6 eggs, separated
175 g (6 oz) plain chocolate, in squares
2 - 3 drops vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups (150 g) 5 oz plain flour (All purpose)
125 ml (4 fl oz) apricot jam, warmed and sieved, for filling and glazing

for the icing

150 g (5 oz) plain chocolate, in squares
1 cup (125 g) 4 1/2 oz icing sugar (confectioners sugar), sifted
12.5 ml (2 1/2 tsp) glycerine


1. Line and grease a 20 cm (8 inch) loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. Set the oven at 180°c (350°f) gas 4.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.

4. Add 100 g (4 oz) of the icing sugar, beating until light and fluffy.

5. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.

6. Melt the chocolate with 30 ml (2 tbsp) water in a heatproof bowl over hot water.

7. Stir into the cake mixture with the vanilla essence.

8. In a clean, grease free bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.

9. Beat in the remaining icing sugar and continue beating until stiff but not dry.

10. Fold into the chocolate mixture alternately with the sifted flour, adding about 15 ml (1 tbsp) of each at a time.

11. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and set the tin on a baking sheet.

12. With the back of a spoon, make a slight depression in the centre of the cake to ensure even rising. Bake for 1-1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

13. Leave the cake in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature.

14. Split the cake in half and brush the cut sides with warmed apricot jam. Sandwich the layers together again and glaze the top and sides of the cake with apricot jam. Set aside.

15. Make the icing. Melt the chocolate with 75 ml (5 tbsp) water in a heatproof bowl over hot water. Stir in the icing sugar and whisk in the glycerine, preferably using a balloon whisk.

16. Pour the icing over the cake, letting it run down the sides. If necessary, use a metal spatula, warmed in hot water, to smooth the surface. Avoid touching the icing too much at this stage, or the gloss will be lost. Serve when the icing has set.

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