Racing Bakes: Austria's Sachertorte recipe
F1 returns this weekend with the Austrian GP. To celebrate, we have the recipe for Austria's national cake
The 2020 Formula 1 season, as with every other year, was due to get underway in March. The intentions were good and the whole F1 circus was present and ready to go, on the day, but the world had other ideas.
Covid-19 has impacted everything we know, including sport. At the very last minute, around 5 hours before the first practice session was due to start, it was called off. There was a positive Covid-19 test in the paddock and with crowds hundreds deep, that just couldn't be allowed.
Lockdown followed with weeks and weeks of isolation and drivers taking to simulators to keep sharp and keep the fans entertained. And that they did.
But the moment has come for us to safely get back to normal.
The circus has assembled again and made their way to Austria. The whole area has been commandeered and the sport has formed a bubble with regular Covid testing, face coverings, and social distancing in place.
It's time to get racing again and, to celebrate, I have made the national cake of the country our first race is taking part in. Here's how!
- 280g dark chocolate
- 140g unsalted butter
- 115g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 5 free range, mixed weight eggs (separated)
- 85g ground almonds
- 55g plain flower
- 200ml double cream
- 25g milk chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a round cake tin of around 9 inches with butter and baking paper.
- Break the 140g of the dark chocolate up and melt it. Every other recipe will tell you to do it in a bowl over a pot of boiling water but I do it in the microwave. Then leave it to cool a bit.
- Beat together the butter (it needs to be room temp) and the caster sugar, in a large bowl, till light in coloured and fluffy in texture.
- Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla extract and beat till fully combined.
- Separate all 5 eggs and add the yolks to the chocolate mixture, followed by the ground almonds and the flower, before fully combining.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites till they form stiff peaks.
- Add around 1/4 of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mixture and mix it well. This is to make the chocolate mixture less stiff.
- Gradually add the rest of the whipped egg whites, folding in, careful not to knock too much air out.
- Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-45 mins (or until a skewer comes out the cake clean).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 mins to an hour in the cake tin before removing and allowing to cool fully, on a wire rack.
The centre and topping
- Warm the cream in a pan on a low heat, gently, do not allow it to boil or burn.
- Chop the rest of the dark chocolate and add it to the cream.
- Stir continually till the chocolate has fully melted and combined with the cream.
- Allow this to cool slightly, it should still be pouring consistency.
- With a large knife (I used a bread knife) cut the cake, horizontally, into two halves.
- Add as much of the chocolate to the top of the base sponge as you want, keeping in mind the rest has to coat the entire cake!
- Place the other sponge on top, carefully, try not to squeeze out too much chocolate.
- Place the cake, still on its wire rack, over a plate that is bigger than the cake (it has to be able to catch the chocolate).
- Pour the chocolate topping over the cake and the sides. Let it run down and off, like a glaze. Try not to spread to spread it too much as you'll ruin the shine.
- Melt the milk chocolate in a piping bag in the microwave
- Pipe the word 'Sacher' over the cake.
Traditionally, the cake is coated in apricot jam before the chocolate goes on, but I'm a fuss pot and don't like apricots, so left it out...
A word on the eggs
We use free range, mixed weight eggs. A lot of recipes will call for medium or large eggs but it's quite unnatural for a hen to lay consistently large eggs so, to make it happen, farmers use various cruel methods to get them to lay larger eggs than they ordinarily would.
This is not good for the hen, imagine the pain, so we choose mixed weight as it doesn't interfere too much with the recipe and it allows the hen to lay them naturally. It goes without saying that we also choose free range egg to avoid battery farmed varieties
This needn't be more expensive either. We use this blue variety which are very pretty but they also taste amazing and just look at those yolks!