The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6D

Sacher torte

Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves 12

Shan Dixon of Roseville wowed guests when she served the Sacher torte she purchased at Raley's bakery. Raley's no longer sells this delicious dessert, so Dixon was hoping for a recipe.

For those who'd prefer to purchase Sacher torte, Doris Boss says the Sacher torte sold at Costco is die for, and Lucile Hayes of Modesto recommends the Sacher torte sold at O'Brien's Markets in Modesto.

Those who would like to try their hand at making this elegant dessert might want to try this recipe.

Victoria Gildea of Davis shares this recipe that she found in "The Frog Commissary Cookbook: Hundreds of Unique Recipes and Home Entertaining Ideas from America's Most Innovative Restaurant Group" by Steven Poses, Anne Clark and Becky Roller.

Gildea spent many hours dining at the Commissary as a TWA flight attendant on layovers in Philadelphia, which is where the Frog originated. She said all the food was excellent and the desserts were top notch.

INGREDIENTS

Cake:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate

8 ounces unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup flour

8 ounces walnuts, very finely ground

8 egg yolks

8 egg whites

2/3 cup apricot jam

Icing:

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons instant coffee

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (do not use chocolate chips)

INSTRUCTIONS

For the cake: Butter and flour a 9-inch-by-2 1/2-inch cake pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the chocolate and cool until lukewarm. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss together the flour and walnuts. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar, salt and vanilla. Add the egg yolks, one by one, to the butter-sugar mixture. Stir in the melted chocolate and flour-coated walnuts.

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and stir 1/4 of them into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes and push down the puffed-up sides so that they are flush with the middle. Remove the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto a cooling rack set over wax paper. (The bottom has now become the top of the cake.) Cool completely.

Heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan until melted. Push the melted jam through a sieve and brush over the top and sides of the cooled cake. Let the glaze set for about half an hour before icing the cake.

For the icing: In a metal mixing bowl or saucepan, scald the cream. Whisk in the coffee and add the chopped semisweet chocolate. Stir 1 minute over the heat, then remove and continue to stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Cool from hot to warm and pour over cake. Rotate the cake while spreading the icing evenly with a spatula.

Chill the cake on its rack until the icing is completely set. Transfer to a serving plate and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Variations and serving suggestions: Whatever you do for a garnish, keep it simple. A few candied violets around the perimeter seem appropriate, and at Christmas time, sprigs of fresh holly are lovely. Serve whipped cream on the side.

Cranberry Sacher torte (especially nice at Thanksgiving and Christmas): Add 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries and 1 tablespoon grated orange rind to the batter when you add the chocolate and nuts. If you like, decorate the top with whole cranberries.

Try almonds instead of walnuts, add a small amount of finely chopped candied orange peel to the batter and/or glaze with sieved orange marmalade instead of apricot jam.

Per serving: 659 cal.; 10 g pro.; 53 g carb.; 46 g fat (23 sat., 8 monounsat., 11 polyunsat., 4 other); 178 mg chol.; 211 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 62 percent calories from fat.

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