Chocolate and raspberry Sacher torte
Using this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen
Makes one 9″ cake, enough for 12 servings
12 tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate ( I used Ghirardelli bars)
2 tsp almond extract (could substitute with vanilla)
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 3/4 cup toasted almond slices, divided
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
5 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% cocoa bars)
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 325F. Cut out parchment rounds to fit the bottom of the cake pans. Generously butter the cake pans, put down the parchment round and butter on top of it again. This is a very delicate cake, so we need all the precaution we can!
1) In a big glass bowl add the butter and semisweet chocolate. Microwave for about 90 seconds, checking and stirring after every 30 seconds. Don’t let the chocolate burn! Add the espresso powder, mix and set aside to cool.
2) Using a food processor, blitz 1 cup of the toasted almond slices until they become finely ground up, like almond flour. Don’t process the almond for too long though, or you might end up with almond butter and not almond flour! Dump the almond flour in a small bowl and mix the all purpose flour and salt into it. Set aside.
3) In the same food processor bowl, pulse the remaining 3/4 cup of almond slices. You want them to break up just slightly – these pieces are going to be used for decorating the sides. Set aside in a small bowl.
4) Without washing the food processor bowl add the five eggs and blend for 3 minutes. The egg mixture will turn frothy and a pale yellow color. Add the sugar and blend again for a few seconds.
5) Add the egg mixture to the chocolate and butter mixture. Add the almond extract. Using a whisk gently fold the eggs into the chocolate. Don’t use a spatula – you are going to deflate all the air that has been incorporated into the eggs. Fold gently until there are no pale yellow streaks left in the bowl.
6) Now it’s time to add the almond flour! Sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour mixture on the chocolate and egg mixture. Using the whisk, gently fold the flour in. Repeat for the rest of the almond flour.
7) Gently pour in equal amounts of the mixture in the two prepared cake pans. Smooth out the tops very gently with a spatula. Let the cakes bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the top is set and the cake tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before sliding a plastic fork around the edges of the cake pans and gently flopping the cakes out on to wire racks.
8) Let’s make the ganache topping now! In a glass bowl add the bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, checking and stirring every few seconds to make sure that the chocolate does not burn. Set aside.
8) Now it’s time for assembly! Place small parchment pieces on the cake stand/plate on which you are going to serve the cake. I use about 4 small rectangular pieces that cover the entire edge of the cake stand. These parchment pieces should hang over the edges – the idea is that you place the cake on top of the parchment pieces, decorate the cake and these parchment pieces catch all the drippings/garnishes. You can then gently slide out the parchment pieces from underneath the cake and you are left with a clean cake stand!
9) Warm up the raspberry jam for about 15 seconds in the microwave – it should be easily spreadable. Flop down one cake bottom side up on the cake stand. You want the bottom side to face you since it is the flatter side and so the second layer will sit easily on it. Spread the raspberry jam on the cake, leaving about 1/2″ border on the side. Gently place the second cake (the top side facing you) on top. Make sure that the two cakes are well aligned at the sides. Gently pour the chocolate ganache on top of the second cake. Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, spread it out smoothly over the top and also over the sides. Don’t worry if it drips over the sides – you have the parchment pieces underneath to catch all the spills!
10) Scoop up small handfuls of the almond pieces and gently press them to the sides of the cake. Make sure that the entire cake gets an even coating of the almond pieces.
11) Arrange the raspberries in a pretty circle around the edge of the cake. Refrigerate until the ganache is set. Cut into big slices and enjoy!