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Café Boulud's Sacher Torte


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Sacher Torte
The Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook:
French-American Recipes for the Home Cook

by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan, 1999, Scribner

“Although Austria’s pastry heritage is long and rich, its most widely known sweet,
the Sacher Torte, is a relative newcomer. It was created by Prince Metternich’s
pastry chef in 1814 or 1815 to celebrate the Congress of Vienna, and there isn’t a pastry shop in Vienna that doesn’t offer its own version of this classic dense, deep, dark chocolate cake. At Café Boulud, we too make our own, one that can hold its own in the deep and dark departments against any Sacher Torte here or abroad.
The Café Boulud torte, like all the others, begins with nuts and bittersweet
chocolate and it’s finished with a shiny chocolate glaze. But instead of the
more traditional apricot coating, it has raspberry jam – simply because I prefer
it that way.”

Makes 8 servings

6 tablespoons almond flour or finely ground blanched almonds *
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
4 ounce extra-bittersweet chocolate, preferably one that is at least
70% cocoa solids, finely chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
5 large eggs, 4 separated and 1 left whole, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup raspberry jam (with seeds)

* Almond Flour: Used often in pastries, almond flour is not milled flour as we know it, but blanched almonds ground as fine as flour. The most finely ground almond flour is commercially made, but you can produce a satisfactory substitute at home
in a food processor if you pay attention. The problem with grinding any kind of nut
in a processor is that you risk overprocessing it and turning it into nut butter. To
help prevent this, process the blanched almonds with a little confectioner’s sugar, about 2 teaspoons for every cup of almonds. (This shouldn’t be enough to throw off
a recipe, but if you’re concerned, you can decrease the amount of sugar called for
in the recipe.) Process the almonds and sugar, pulsing on and off, for about 30 to
45 seconds, at which point the mixture will be finely ground (pulse some more if
you think the grind isn’t fine enough), but not fluffy and light – that’s the oil in
the almonds at work. Strain the flour. Almond flour can be packed airtight and
kept in the freezer for a month.

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter the inside of an 8- by 2-inch round cake pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out
the excess, and set aside.
2. Sift together the almond flour or ground almonds, the all-purpose flour, and cocoa powder and set this mixture aside.
3. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not touching) simmering water or in a microwave set on low to medium power; set aside.
4. Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioner’s sugar together until the mixture is pale and creamy. One by
one, add the whole egg and the yolks, and continue to beat until the
mixture is thick. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and wash and dry
the mixer bowl.
5. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and the clean, dry bowl. Working
on medium-low speed, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice just until
they are foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat
until the whites hold soft peaks.
6. Using a large flexible rubber spatula and a light hand, fold the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture, followed by the almond flour-cocoa mixture. Next, fold in the beaten egg whites in 3 additions, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan; it will fill only to the halfway mark. Slide the
pan into the oven and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a knife inserted in
the center of the cake comes out clean. Unmold the cake onto a cooling rack, invert it, and cool to room temperature right side up on a rack. (The cake can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to a month.)
7. If the top of the cake is domed or a little uneven, use a long serrated knife
to slice away a sliver of the top to level it. Then cut the cake horizontally in half. Place the bottom half of the cake, cut side up, on a cardboard cake
round or the removable metal bottom of a tart pan, preferably one that is slightly smaller than the cake. Spread the top of this half evenly with the raspberry jam, top with the other half of the cake, and put the cake aside
while you make the ganache.

to finish:
5 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, preferably one that is
at least 70% cocoa solids, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup raspberries
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. Put the chocolate in a bowl. Pour 1 cup of the heavy cream into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil. At the boil, pull the pan from the heat and slowly pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, whisking the mixture gently until you have a smooth, glossy ganache. Using an offset metal icing spatula, spread a thin layer of the ganache over the sides and top of the cake – this is just a coat to keep the crumbs from spoiling the final coat, so don’t overdo it; it should be a very thin gloss. (If the ganache doesn’t stick to the cake, cool the ganache for about 3 minutes.) Slide the cake into the freezer
for 5 minutes to set the crumb coat; keep the ganache in a warm place.
2. Choose a bowl that is smaller in diameter than the cake and invert it on a piece of parchment or waxed paper – you’re going to glaze the cake and you want the excess glaze to drip off the cake. Pull the cake out of the freezer
and place it on the bowl. Pour the remaining warm ganache over the cake
and smooth it across the top and sides with the offset metal icing spatula.
The glaze will set in about 20 minutes, at which point the cake can be served
or set aside at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
3. Just before serving, dust the raspberries with confectioner’s sugar and place them around the top edge of the cake. Whip the remaining 1 cup heavy
cream until it holds soft peaks.

to serve
Put the cake on an attractive plate and cut it at the table,
serving a dollop of the cream with each slice of Sacher Torte.

to drink
An espresso and/or a wild raspberry eau-de-vie

Featured Archive Recipes:
Sachertorte (Kaffeehaus)
François Payard's Opera Cake

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