Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gran's old recipes - Sachertorte

Prelude: British people think that butter cubes with vanilla taste and sugar make good deserts. As a child from the land of marvelous sweets and plain fare I'm authorised to introduce some culture to these people (wow, what a hackneyed introduction). Before I came to the land of microwave spaghetti from a tin can, my granny was kind enough to provide me with an almost ancient cookbook, she once taught her student with. Accordingly, the author uses quite archaic language, keeps talking from the "housewife" and how to achieve very cost-efficient meals. Astonishingly, the book manages to accommodate 600 recipes plus "hints for the housewife" on a mere 245 pages.

Enough waffling, let's get this bitch started. Since I was boasting about the Austrian kitchen culture with the Sachertorte, it deserves the honour to be "published" first.

The original German text talks about two batters, a cheaper and a better one. Forget the cheap batter, we go for the fine stuff.

Batter: 100g butter, 200g white sugar (preferably powdered), 3 eggs, 40g dark chocolate, 1 tablespoon cacao powder, 125ml milk, 250g flour, 1/4 pack of backing powder.

Whisk the butter, sugar and egg yolks until smooth and foamy. Add the molten chocolate (bain-marie, wather-bath), cacao powder, flour (sieved with the backing powder) and milk to the above mixture and stir to a homogenous mass (add in sensible portions). Subsequently, beat the egg whites with some sugar to a quite solid mass and carefully lift it under the rest of the batter.

Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and bake for roughly an hour at "medium heat" (that's what the text says; my interpretation is around 160°C). After cooling, the cake can be halved horizontally and filled with jam (usually apricot).

Icing: 200g white sugar, 125ml water, 3-4 "ribs" from a dark chocolate bar (20g butter).

Boil the sugar and water until it gets quite viscous (the book talks about a "pearl consistency", meaning that a drop of the hot mixture will bubble off a spoon on a thread of the fluid), cool slightly and slowly add the chocolate. The butter results in some extra shininess of the icing, but need not be added. Pour the warm (not hot) mixture over the cake. Usually, that's the part when the kitchen becomes quite messy.

Recipes from a (bio)chemist, for chemists. Probably the most useful post on my whole blog.



Anonymous propterdoc said...

Fantastic! Now I want to skip the rest of this working day and go home and make this recipe. Hmmmm...now there's an idea. Seriously though, thanks for doing this!

12:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:46 pm  
Blogger Mike said...

You're welcome. Always a pleasure to brighten up someone's day.

7:17 pm  

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