Leschanz’s Sachertorte

Leschanz-Sachertorte

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    12 to 14

    servings

Appears in

Two Sachertorte recipes? An embarrassment of riches? Because for many years the Sachertorte was a guarded secret, most Viennese bakers were forced to come up with their own versions, so most cookbooks include at least two, if not three, recipes for this, perhaps the most Viennese of all cakes. One Viennese acquaintance says she has seven different Sachertortes in her recipe box.

Leschanz provides baked goods and chocolates to some of the best cafes and hotels in Vienna (not every establishment makes its own pastries, although they prefer to keep the fact under wraps). Wolfgang Leschanz, the owner, baked both at Demel and Sacher. He makes a tall cake to cut into three layers (as opposed to Demel’s one layer and Sacher’s two), allowing for more glaze, which also increases the moisture and shelf life of the cake. While the authentic Sachertorte is always made with apricot glaze, feel free to substitute your own favorite preserve for apricot in the glaze. I like raspberry, my friend Karitas loves peach, and another friend likes strawberry. Use 1½cups of preserves to make enough glaze for this cake.

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Ingredients

Cake

  • ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 7 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, sifted

Assembly

Method

  1. To make the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper. Dust the sides of the pan with flour and tap out the excess.
  2. 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.
  3. Beat the butter in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until the butter is smooth, about 1 minute. Add the chocolate and beat for another minute. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites and sugar at high speed 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 wisps of whites. In two additions, sift the flour over the mixture, and fold.
  5. Spread evenly in the cake pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (The cake will crack on top.) Cool on a wire rack for10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan, and invert the cake onto the rack. Remove the paper and reinvert on another rack to turn right side up. Cool completely.
  6. To assemble: Using a long serrated knife, trim the top of the cake to make it level. Cut the cake horizontally into three equal layers. Place one cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round. Brush the top of the cake layer with the apricot glaze. Place the second cake layer on top and brush again. Top with the remaining cake layer. Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining glaze. Let cool until the glaze is set.
  7. Transfer the cake to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Make the chocolate glaze (it must be freshly made and warm). Pour 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 it completely coats the cake (patch any bare spots with the spatula and the icing that has dripped into the pan). Cool until the glaze is barely set, then transfer to a serving plate. Cool completely.
  8. To serve, slice with a sharp knife dipped into hot water. Serve with a large dollop of whipped cream on the side.

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