Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sachertorte #FoodieExtravaganza #CooktheBooks

Our Cook the Books selection this month is Discovery of Chocolate by James Runcie.

It is a fantastical journey through the history of chocolate by one, Diego de Godoy, who first discovers chocolate in the 1500's when given it as a drink by his one true love, Ignacia.  Unknown to Diego, the chocolate was spiked with magic that gave him eternal life.

This life was spent learning all he could of chocolate in memory of his lost love.  His discoveries spanned time and travel from the finest Molé in Mexico to assembly lines of milk chocolate in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  It is a fun read and gives you a pretty concise lesson on the history of chocolate.

And oh my, the food.......and not only dishes of all sorts were described in tantalizing prose until you caught yourself drooling all over your book.

I just had to make a Sachertorte.  In case you didn't know, Diego created this historical recipe when trying to cover up another's mistaken spill of apricot jam onto a chocolate cake.

The Discovery of Chocolate

No? Well, that's what the book said......ok, perhaps there is some fiction intermingled with that history but I promise you will come out knowing far more about chocolate than you did when you started the story and have a lot of fun while learning.

This  book was chosen by Simona of briciole for this session of Cook the Books.  Cook the Books is a fun group that loves to read as much as we love to cook, bake and eat.  Every 2 months we are assigned a book to read and share a recipe inspired by the book.  We all get together afterwards and see what everyone created and hear their thoughts on the chosen book.  It is a lot of fun and you can join us.  Learn how over at Simona's announcement post.

I read this book back in July.  It was the February/March assignment but I ordered up all 4 selections for this year at the same time and read or listened to them all while floating in my pool during the summer months.

Since I was making this Sachertorte,  I thought it would be perfect to share with you today because our Foodie Extravaganza group is celebrating Chocolate Lovers Month.  Our host this month is Ellen of Family Around the Table.  Ellen invited us all to share our favorite chocolate concoctions with you just in time to give you some ideas for your Valentine.

Foodie Extravaganza is a fun group that celebrates a different food holiday each month. Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

This decadent and delicious cake not only met the criteria for both of these events but made the perfect Birthday Cake for our daughter, Nicole, whose birthday is actually today.  Frank and I are flying to California this afternoon so we celebrated Nicole's birthday last Sunday with an early family dinner before all the Super Bowl shenanigans started.

adapted from Lidia Bastianich

6 eggs, separated, room temperature
1 c. flour
1/2 c. almond meal
pinch of salt
1 1/2 sticks, butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
15 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 (12 oz) jar apricot preserves
2/3 c. light corn syrup
2 T. white rum
Whipped Cream, if desired.

Liberally treat a 9" springform pan with baking spray.  Cut a 9" round from parchment paper, line the bottom of the treated pan and spray again.

In the small bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form.  Set aside.

Sift together the flour, almond meal and salt.  Set aside.

Place 5 oz. of the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl.  Cook on high for 30 seconds, stir. Cook in 15 second increments, stirring each time until melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined.  Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture. Increase the speed until the flours are well incorporated.  Beat in 1/4 of the egg whites. Fold in the remaining egg whites by hand until no streaks remain.

Scrape into the prepared pan and flatten with a spatula.  Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted removes cleanly.  Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes.  Remove the sides of the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

When cake is completely cool, use a long serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally.  Set aside.

Place the bottom of the springform pan on the wire rack set onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the bottom cake layer, cut side facing up onto the pan bottom.

Mix 6 tablespoons of the preserves with 4 tablespoons of water in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave until melted.  Stir to combine.  Brush half of the melted preserves over the cut side of the top layer of cake and the other half onto the cut layer of the bottom of the cake.  Allow to soak in, then spread the cut half of the bottom layer with 3/4 c. of the unmelted preserves.  Place the top layer onto the bottom layer, cut sides together.

Microwave another 6 tablespoons of the preserves until melted and brush this over the entire outside of the cake.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

In a small sauce pan combine the syrup, rum and 2 tablespoons of water.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 1 minute.  Place the remaining chocolate chips into a heat proof bowl.  Pour the syrup mixture over the chocolate chips and let set until melted.  Whisk until smooth and glossy.

Pour half of the glaze over the cake and allow it to coat the top and run over the sides of the torte onto the parchment lined baking pan.  Use a spatula to evenly spread the glaze over the torte.  Place the remaining glaze into a microwave for 15 seconds, stir and repeat the pouring and spreading.  Place the cake, still on the bottom of the springform pan, onto a plate and refrigerate, covered, for at least 10 minutes and up to 2 days.  Remove from refrigerator.  Transfer from bottom of springform pan onto a cake plate and serve with whipped cream, if desired. Print Recipe

More Chocolate Creations


  1. when are you going to make the next one?

    1. I'm sure it won't be long. This cake was pretty easy and very scrumptious.

  2. I love the rum and almond flavor in here- I always love reading the cook-the-books posts!

  3. Sachertorte? You are sooo sophisticated! I am totally impressed. P.S. California????? I'm here!

    1. It was much easier than I anticipated Karen. We are visiting my brother in Central Coastal region (Santa Margarita). Is that near you?

  4. It has been so long since I've had sachertorte, I have had it on my mind to make actually. Sounds great!

  5. I'm to his initial bar making and suspected he would end up back in the new world. I have no idea what I'm making yet......good choice here!

  6. Sacher torte is such a classic recipe, Wendy. I can't imagine why I've never made one. Yours looks decadent and delicious!

  7. NEED! WANT! DROOL! So sad that this beauty probably doesn't ship well, which means I can't have you send me a big ol' piece!!!

  8. Sachertorte has been on my bucket list for a while now. Yours looks incredible! I always love that layer of jam.

  9. Sachertorte with chocolate and preserves, yum ..yum. Must try this soon.Wendy!

  10. I like to think that the famous Sachertorte came from what was considered a mistake: serendipity happens so often in the kitchen! Great choice of recipe: it makes such a lovly birthday cake for chocolate lovers. Thank you for contributing to this edition of Cook the Books.

    1. It certainly does Simona, I call them happy accidents. Thanks for hosting.

  11. My husband is the huge chocolate sweets lover in the family and I will tantalize his taste buds with this treat. Myself, I went the savory chocolate route...

  12. What a scrumptious addition to the chocolate feast! I'm actually planning to make it myself - also for my daughter's birthday, coming up this month. Couldn't resist.

    1. Well happy birthday to your daughter. I hope she loves it as much as Amy did.

  13. I'm so glad someone did the Sachertorte! It looks amazing, and I look forward to giving it a try!

  14. I, too, was intrigued by the Sachertorte, but hadn't gotten around to figuring out how to make one. Thanks for the recipe, Wendy!

  15. Your cake looks lovely, Wendy! I couldn't wrap my head around apricot preserves and chocolate cake, but this recipes sure make it come to life! Looks amazing!


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