Friday 15 December 2017

Chocolate Sachertorte Wedding Cake

Jenny Bristow

This is the cake I chose for Jane. It's a dark chocolate cake with an unusual and addictive texture. The secret lies in using chocolate with a high cocoa content. It can be made in one to four layers, so I've given quantities for the more common size of wedding cake. To decorate, you can vary the flowers and fruits in season, but I lose roses, lilac sprigs, ranunculus leaves, redcurrants, fresh raspberries and a few chocolate flowers. This is my version with flour, which is easier to set and rise.

For 12in/30cm cake

15 eggs, separated

5 large eggs

2lbs Belgian, luxury plain chocolate

1lb/450g caster sugar

1lb/450g ground almonds

1 tbsp instant, finely ground coffee

8oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

For 9in/23cm cake 7 eggs, separated

2 large eggs

400g/14oz Belgian, luxury plain chocolate

300g/10oz caster sugar

225g/8oz ground almonds

1 tbsp instant, finely ground coffee

125g/5-6oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

For 6in/15cm cake

3 eggs, separated

1 large egg

175g/7oz Belgian, luxury plain chocolate

150g/6oz caster sugar

110g/4oz ground almonds

1 tbsp instant, finely ground coffee

75g/3oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

For the icing

3lbs dark chocolate with high cocoa solids

1lb/500g unsalted butter, broken into cubes

The method for each tier is exactly the same.

1 Line the tins well with greaseproof paper, lightly oiled or buttered. Oven temperature: 170°C/350°F, middle shelf. Cooking times approximately: 12in/30cm -- three hours; 9in/23cm -- 1½ hours; 6in/15cm -- one to 1¼ hours.

2Break the chocolate into squares and place in a Pyrex bowl over a pan of hot water to melt, but do not allow the water to boil or the chocolate will curdle. Beat together the separated egg yolks and eggs, plus the sugar, and beat well until thick and creamy. Whisk the separated egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff and holding their shape. With the larger cakes, it may be easier to beat the egg whites in batches.

3 Using a large spoon, add the melted chocolate, which should not be overheated, to the bowl with the beaten egg, sugar mixture, the ground almonds, coffee powder, sieved flour and baking powder. Do not panic when the volume of the mixture reduces, just handle carefully.

4One spoonful at a time, fold in the whisked egg whites. Carry out this process quickly, as the cake will set as the chocolate cools. Pour the mixture into a prepared tin, smooth on top and cover each cake with a double layer of greaseproof paper, then a layer of foil with a split on top, before baking in the oven.

5The cake is ready when well risen and set. When a skewer is inserted and removed, it should be clean and not sticky. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, covered with a clean tea towel, for approximately one hour before turning out.

For the icing

This cake can be covered with anything from one to three coats of chocolate, depending on how smooth you want the cake to be. It can also be brushed with a little warm, sieved, apricot jam to trap any crumbs that could spoil the smoothness of the icing.

When cakes are baked and cold, then decorate.

  • Place the chocolate cubes into a large, heatproof bowl over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water until the chocolate melts. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Add the butter in small cubes, stirring gently until it has melted. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over the cold cakes.
  • Allow to cool and harden before decorating with fruit and flowers of your choice.

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