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in Diana's Recipe Book

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Servings: 8-10
A three-layer chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and glazed with chocolate, Sachertorte is so famous and so envied around the world that the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, where it was invented in 1832, won't reveal their recipe. So I've come up with my own delicious version of this classic Austrian treat. To help get a perfectly even cake, cut a tiny notch in its side before cutting it into three layers; then, line up the notches when you fill and reassemble the layers. Serve with lots of schlagobers (that's whipped cream in Austria).............Wolfgang Puck.

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
4 ounces sugar
5 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Apricot Filling
1 1/2 cups apricot preserves
1 tablespoon apricot brandy

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces heavy cream
Whipped cream, for serving

1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

2. In a saucepan, bring several inches of water to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a heatproof mixing bowl on top of the pan, without touching the water. Add the chocolate and butter and melt them, stirring to combine. Remove the bowl and set it aside to cool. In another bowl, with a wire whisk or a hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of the sugar until they turn light in color and form a ribbon when the whisk or beaters are lifted out. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture.

3. In another clean bowl, use a clean whisk or an electric mixer with clean beaters to beat the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks when the whisk or beaters are lifted out. Continuing to beat slowly, gradually pour in the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the flour until no streaks remain. Fold a third of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten it; then, gently but thoroughly fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

4. Bake the cake until a paring knife inserted into its center comes out dry. Remove it from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

5. To make the apricot filling: Put the preserves and brandy in a food processor or blender. Process briefly, just until smoothly pureed. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

6. With a serrated knife, slice the cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Spread half of the apricot filling on the bottom layer. Top with the middle layer. Spread the remaining apricot filling and top with the last layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

7. To make the glaze: In a saucepan, bring several inches of water to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a heatproof mixing bowl on top of the pan, without touching the water. Add the chocolate and butter and melt them, stirring to combine. Meanwhile, in a separate small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. Stir the hot cream into the melted chocolate. Remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool until it is thick enough to glaze the cake but still liquid enough to pour and spread easily. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and, with a cake spatula, spread it smoothly over the top and around the side. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes more before cutting into wedges and serving with whipped cream.

Makes: 8-10 servings

Wolfgang Puck's Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen : Recipes from the Famed Beard Award-Winning Owner of Spago. By Wolfgang Puck, Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co (Pap); ASIN: 0395313287; Reprint edition (May 1986)

Source: Wolfgang Puck's Modern French Cooking
Date: September 24, 2002

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