Sachertorte – Austrian Chocolate Cake

Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake

Sachertorte is the cake for chocolate lovers — a layered chocolate cake filled with apricot jam is coated in chocolate ganache and finished with a chocolate glaze. In this recipe, you can easily tweak the chocolate bittersweetness by using the cacao percentages of your choice in the cake, ganache, and glaze.

Unfortunately, I can’t say how good the cake turned out because it disappeared shortly after the turkey got carved. I’ll take that as a good sign. Thanksgiving was a huge gathering this year so a small dinner table was set aside exclusively for desserts. The table turned into an orgy of all pies pumpkin, apple, and pecan. I thought it improbable that my contribution would be the only chocolate dessert option but I was wrong.

It was only an 8-incher (that’s what she said), so I should’ve known better. Lesson learned: shiny dark disks stand out in a spread of matte brown desserts.

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Challenge
hosted by Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella

recipe adapted from Wayne Gisslen’s Professional Baking and Michel Suas’ Advanced Bread and Pastry

Sachertorte – Austrian Chocolate Cake With Apricot Filling

makes one 8-inch Sachertorte

Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake Pan Valrhona

Sachertorte Components:

Sacher Cake
Kirschwasser Simple Syrup (optional)
Apricot Jam
Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate Glaçage / Sacher Glaze

Notes:

  • Need to scale it up or down for different cake pan sizes? Let me know.
  • Use 50 to 64 percent for semi-sweet chocolate and 64 to 85 percent for bittersweet chocolate.
  • A bleached low-protein or soft flour is a suitable substitute for cake flour.

For the Sacher Cake:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
unsalted butter, room temp    6 1/2 tbsp          3.2           91
granulated sugar          scant 1/2 cup           3.2           91
semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled           4            113
yolks from large eggs             5
vanilla extract                 3/4 tsp

whites from large eggs            5
salt                            1/8 tsp
granulated sugar                1/3 cup           2.4           68

cake flour, sifted                                3.2           91

Sacher Cake Instructions:

Preheat Oven    325ºF / 165ºC

Prepare an 8-inch cake pan (at least 2 inches deep)
                Use nonstick spray or grease the bottom and sides of the
                cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and dust
                lightly with flour.

Mix - Modified Creaming Method (with soft peak meringue)
                Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
                Add the melted chocolate, egg yolks, and vanilla extract
                in stages, mixing to incorporation with each addition.

                Whip the egg whites with the salt. Add the sugar and
                whip to soft peaks.

                Using a rubber spatula, alternate folding in the flour
                with the meringue in about 4 or 6 additions. Begin
                with the flour and end with the meringue.

Pan             Deposit the batter into the lined cake pan. Place
                the cake pan on a cookie sheet or sheet pan.
                Level and bake immediately.

Bake            325ºF / 165ºC for 45 to 55 minutes, until the sides
                pull away from the pan and a wooden skewer inserted
                in the middle comes out clean.

Cool            Let the cake cool completely at room temperature.

Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake Baked
Baked Sacher Cake.

For the Kirschwasser Simple Syrup (optional):

2 tablespoons simple syrup
splash of Kirschwasser

For the Chocolate Ganache:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
heavy cream             1/2 cup + 2 tbsp          5.3          150
bittersweet chocolate, chopped                    5.3          150
unsalted butter, room temp        2 tbsp           .9           25

For the Chocolate Glaçage / Sacher Glaze:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
heavy cream             1/2 cup + 2 tbsp          5.3          150
semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped      5.3          150
unsalted butter, room temp        4 tbsp          1.8           50

Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake Ganache Glaze

Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Glaçage / Sacher Glaze Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil and immediately remove from the heat.
  2. Cool to 190ºF / 88ºC and immediately pour over the chopped chocolate. Let rest for about a minute.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, stir gently in a circular motion from the center and work your way outwards as an emulsion is formed.
  4. Once the chocolate cools to 95ºF / 35ºC, add the butter and continue stirring gently just until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. The finished emulsion should be shiny and smooth.
  5. Use immediately for best results.

Sachertorte Assembly:

Level and Trim  (if needed)

Split           2 layers. Moisten each layer with Kirschwasser syrup
                if desired.

Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake Split

Fill            Sandwich the top and bottom layers with apricot jam,
                about 6 tablespoons for an 8-inch cake.

Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake Apricot Filled

Prepare the Chocolate Ganache and use immediately in the following step.

Mask            Using a spatula, apply the chocolate ganache to the
                top and sides of the cake as smoothly as possible.

Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake Ganache
Sachertorte masked with chocolate ganache.

Refrigerate     Chill for at least 30 minutes or until the chocolate
                ganache is set. 

Prepare the Chocolate Glaçage / Sacher Glaze and use immediately
in the following step.

Glaze           With the cake on a wire rack, pour the chocolate glaze
                around the edges to cover the sides. Fill in the
                center. Tap the wire rack to pop any bubbles.

Sachertorte Austrian Chocolate Cake Glazed
Glazed Sachertorte. Ever licked a wire rack or sheet pan?

Refrigerate     Chill while still on the wire rack until the chocolate
                glaze is set. 

Trim            Remove from the wire rack and trim the bottom. Place on
                a cake board or plate.

Decorate        Using leftover ganache, pipe the word "Sacher" or
                decorative patterns on the cake if desired.
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87 Responses to “Sachertorte – Austrian Chocolate Cake”

  1. Aparna says:

    I love the unblemished shine of sacher torte. Shiny dark disk syndrome? :)

  2. Manggy says:

    Ooh that is slick. I may have licked a wire rack before, yes…

  3. Rosa says:

    I love the perfect glazing! A gorgeous looking Sachertorte!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. javapot says:

    Looks delish – can i have a slice? I’ll provide the coffee :)

  5. natalia says:

    I wish i was at your party fighting for THE cake !

  6. Happy Cook says:

    I love sachetorte. I do make them but never added kirsch. I will do that next time and yours looks so yummy.

  7. PG says:

    that looks gorgeous! That reminds me of our totally unplanned visit to Vienna on our flight to India (Our flight got delayed because of some major repair work which had to be done, so we had a lot of time at hand) and we went to a nice cafe and, of course, we ate Sacher torte! :D

  8. Peter says:

    Ahhh, the Sacher Torte…I had this original in the hotel with coffee and 15euros later!

    Your rendition shows people can make the real deal at home.

  9. Marija says:

    OH yeah! :) I love this one!

    They are not that expensive in Serbia, but once when my friend brought me the real deal from Austria, it was no match for it ;)

  10. Sunshinemom says:

    The ganache looks so bee-yoo-ti-ful!! I love this!

  11. Haley W. says:

    Looks amazing. I’m not a huge chocolate cake fan, but I love sachertorte. I may have to look for an excuse to make this!

  12. Caitlin says:

    Never underestimate the power of shiny things… It looks fabulous, no wonder there was none left!

  13. maybellesmom says:

    Does your oven ever rest? This looks amazing…

  14. Kristen says:

    Oh how delicious! That’s a bummer that you didn’t get to taste it though, but it is no surprise… it sounds amazing!

  15. kat says:

    I can see why that beautiful cake went so fast

  16. Joelen says:

    What a gorgeous cake… and that chocolate looks amazing. If you ever need someone to wash up after working with chocolate, I’d gladly do it just to sneak in a taste from your working bowls!

  17. joey says:

    I love the shine! Yes, definitely attracted to shiny things :)

  18. Squawkfox says:

    If I made that cake, I would lick both the wire rack AND the sheet pan. This is a gorgeous cake.

  19. utotmopink says:

    hey, i like your cake.. and i like ur blog.. one pinay fan here..

  20. Fearless Kitchen says:

    This looks delicious. Dauntingly complicated, but delicious! I don’t suppose they ship well? Sigh.

  21. cindy says:

    very pretty…there is something about ganache that just makes a cake drool worthy.

  22. Sweatha says:

    Very Very Pretty,I would like to lick the wire rack if agreeable to you.

  23. maryann says:

    Love the step by step and that photo with the chocolate running down the side..heaven :)

  24. Jaime says:

    mmmmm chocolate. WOW. that looks amazing. no wonder it was all eaten up!

  25. Elizabeth says:

    That is GORGEOUS!!

  26. Mike says:

    Death by chocolate indeed–that looks amazing. The glaze gives a really elegant, perfectly smooth finish to the cake.

  27. snookydoodle says:

    She s right. Cakes like that should be at least 12″ :) wow it looks so smooth and shiny it surely stands out :)

  28. dawn says:

    this speaks my language!
    this would not last long in my house!
    fabulous!

  29. Gera says:

    Hi Jude!

    As a truly chocoholic I want to congratulate for
    this wonderful chocolate cake..a stunning glazing!!

    The complete description is a big extra point..
    looks so good, quite obvious it disappeared very
    soon :D

    Gera .:. sweetsfoods

  30. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    So one cake challenge this month wasn’t enough. This is one I really want to try. It must have been grand, looks perfect.

  31. Marvin says:

    If I were at your Thanksgiving, I would have definitely made a beeline to the torte instead of the pies. I can only imagine what the layers look like sliced.

  32. Christina says:

    Such a perfect cake. This is one case where simplicity (although it’s not really all that simple) makes the best presentation. Excellent job on the DB challenge, too.

  33. Y says:

    Certainly wouldn’t say no to a slice!

  34. Madam Chow says:

    First, let me say that I am experiencing cake lust. I love sachertorte, I want to make sachertorte, and you just inspired me! Seocnd, how in the world did I miss this food event?!

  35. Caroline says:

    Yay, you made another cake! That glazing is perfect — at least you didn’t break your back on this one. ;)

  36. Life Chef says:

    This is great! I made a sacher torte for one of my Baking & Pastry final exams back in culinary school. Haven’t made one since even though I got rave reviews. I’m determined to make one during the Christmas holidays. Thanks for the reminder!

    http://tinyurl.com/lifechef

  37. dessert girl says:

    Hey, they talk about this cake in Persepolis. Now I know why! It looks great!

  38. Natashya says:

    Thats what she said! You crack me up, Jude.
    The cake looks awesome, just glistening like a jewel.

  39. noobcook says:

    woah… what a rich, decadent looking sachertorte … I want! =D~

  40. Eileen says:

    WOW! I can understand why it disappeared so quickly.

  41. Ben says:

    Nice cake, it looks so elegant and tasty!

  42. Lynne says:

    Your sachertorte looks beautiful! I have always wanted to make it. Your step by step instructions and photos will help.

  43. Sandie says:

    If this were the last food to ever cross my lips, I would die a happy chocoholic.

  44. RebeccaC says:

    I saw this on tastespotting even before I checked my reader. Its AMAZING!

  45. nikkita says:

    yowza! I saw this in a cake book and have always wanted to make one. can’t say i like apricot jam much though. will tweak!

  46. Nicisme says:

    One of my favourite cakes and yours looks just brilliant!

  47. daphne says:

    darn! that’s quick to good.. a slice of that would hv made my daY! =)

  48. giz says:

    I don’t think I ever really knew what a sachertorte really was although have seen the name several times. Okay, so now I’m coming out from under my rock – this is beautiful and I love the shine on the ganache.

  49. Jescel says:

    oh my, i love sachertorte.. been a while since i’ve had them! wow! you are just simply fantastic!

  50. Soma says:

    This is something to die for:-) Apricot filling to a choc cake… and look at that delightful icing.

  51. Astrid says:

    WOW!!!
    I am from Vienna the home of Sachertorte! Your looks soooo wonderful and yummy!! Mine never look that great :o ))

  52. We Are Never Full says:

    i can NOT get over this one. this looks delectable but almost too pretty to eat. it looks like a large peppermint patty. i could not even try to make something sweet look that good!

  53. Lori Lynn says:

    Awesome cake. You are right about the shiny part, it is drawing me in too, and I am not so much into sweets.

  54. Christine says:

    Wow, your cake looks as good as any of the ones I saw in the Viennese cake shops.

    Your step by step instructions are so impressive. Thanks for sharing.

  55. Miri says:

    What an absolutely beautiful cake! so smooth and shiny – an amazing work of art on your part I must say and I’m sure involved a lot of patience and effort. Thanks for the really detailed recipe Jude! :)

    Miri

  56. Evie says:

    Beautiful work!

  57. sha says:

    If there is something I have to regret about my marriage that did not last… its probably not learning how to bake this lol

    My ex from Switzerland bakes most of the European gateux for me and he makes a wicked sachertorte.

    What I did was just the ganache and licking the trays.. ;-)

    en guete

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  59. Marc @ NoRecipes says:

    Beautifully done. I was half expecting to see your reflecting in the ganache!

  60. Chocolate Dessert says:

    Okay, Chocolate Lovers out there; listen up! Do I have a recipe for you! This great old recipe is from the folks at Hershey’s Chocolate. Chocolate and cherries just seem to go together and this recipe is more proof of that. When you serve these tasty squares to your friends, be sure to have a copy of the recipe handy. They are sure to ask for it. Or you can be secretive, if you want, and tell them it’s one of your vintage recipes that you just don’t share. But be warned, they will be expecting you to make them anytime you get together.

  61. Molly says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial on the sachertorte. You make it look so doable.

  62. Anka says:

    Congratulations on the amazing cake.
    I make Sachertorte but I use orange marmelade.
    Mine does not look this shinny though.
    I’ll do my best to follow your recipe.
    Wonderful blog…
    all the best.

  63. mochiqueen says:

    very nice looking sachertorte but i dont see the point of having a chocolate glace AND ganache, they are basically the same thing if you look at the ingrediants.
    I think that rather than going to the trouble of making 2 separate things, just double the amount of ganache, chill half of it and spread on cake to get even sides and to fill in gaps, chill the cake and then pour the other half of chocolate ganache on, to get a smooth finish. Or i wonder if you just chilled the whole of the ganache and spreaded it all on the cake, and then use a hairdryer or something to melt the outside, so you get the nice shiny glaze. hmmmmmm something to experiment with.

  64. Mochiqueen, the hairdryer idea sounds pretty interesting. There’s always a few bumpy spots on the sachertorte using heat just might level it out.

  65. Peter says:

    I never ever post but this time I will,Thanks alot for the great blog.

  66. Bridget says:

    Hi Honey!

    What a beautiful recipe, thank you for sharing!

    I love it so much I’ve included it the “Top 21 Chocolate Cake recipe posts on twitter”

    Keep up the good work!

    Love,
    Bridge

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  69. Anne says:

    I can`t wait to make it. this is great recipe. looks wonderful. I think this is one of the best Cake recipe. Thanks a lot.

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  71. rachel says:

    This is a rockin theme. Did you know extra online resources about it where I can also find considerably more concerning this.

  72. lazette says:

    I have a few questions, and I hope someone can answer. Will the glace/ganache melt if left outside of the refrigerator? I’m planning to make one for a friend (actually, it’s done, yummy, YUMMY cake), but since he’ll be lagging it around until school’s over (which isn’t until 8pm, I’m giving it to him around 9am), I’m worried the glace might melt… Will it melt? I hope someone can reply, thanks!

  73. Kati says:

    as far as i can see there is nothing in the cake base that will make it rise. is the flour in the recipe meant to be the “self rising” kind that seems to be standard in US recipes or is it plain flour like one would get in europe? i’ve just placed the cake in the oven and i’m starting to have some doubts about how it will come out.

  74. latifah says:

    ترجمة من العربية إلى الألمانية
    Oh mein Gott bilden einen sehr schönen und attraktiven, Megaupload

    Ich möchte in den Mengen, aber ich verstand nicht, und ich brauche die Arbeit von diesem Kuchen

    Weil ich ein Schulprojekt für Österreich und die Lebensmittel dort .. Gibt es eine einfache Speise? Almukonat und zumutbar, weil die Komponenten des Kuchens ich fühle es nicht in meinem Land, ist aber auf andere Weise nicht lehren sie gefunden .. Wenn Oqidoni erlauben und danke

  75. boo says:

    Love the glaze, it’s much better looking and tasting then the one I always use:) Although, I am not sure if the cake that I made is truly Sachertarte. I did follow all the steps, although I think I did keep my cake in the oven for less time. As result, my sacher cake didn’t looked fluffy at all and away thinner then yours. I manage to have two layers, but overall yours it’s nicer. Waiting for my boyfriend to see if he is gonna like it. I will try one more time to see if will be the same next time. Thank you.

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  77. Jessica says:

    Great job, this post is still valuable even if a few years went by since this was firstly written

  78. Seylan says:

    ohh,i love this cake very much,first time i taste it in Salzburg.was excelent.try it!

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