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Apr 18, 2014


For our Easter lunch at my grandmother’s house, I decided to make a cake. For a long time I’ve wanted to try making a Sachertorte; a luxurious Austrian chocolate cake with apricot filling. This was a proper occasion for just that.

In high school, I was in Vienna with my class and, of course, we visited a lot of Vienna’s famous coffee shops to taste their lovely cakes. I had never heard of Sachertorte before, but my good friend Rikke had, so she made sure we tasted it. I absolutely loved it. And except for once in Kuala Lumpur (of all places) I haven’t tasted Sachertorte since. So it was about time

As for decoration, I was inspired by a cake from my bakery: their Easter cake this year is a cake covered in chocolate and decorated with small easter eggs and chocolate around them like a nest. Normally a Sachertorte has ‘Sacher’ written across the top.

Now chocolate ganache is my arch enemy, it seems. I simply do not have the patience for the chocolate to melt. And because of all the TV shows I have seen where people fail to make a good ganache, I panic and start adding heat. That resulted, of course, in a ruined ganache that would have been perfect had I just kept to the recipe! Stupid! Well… practise makes perfect. I’ll just have to keep making cakes with ganache until I get it right!

And then, about the marzipan. We Danes love our marzipan! Make sure you get your hands on good quality marzipan. It has to contain at least 60 % almonds. If your local supermarket does not have it in stock, try looking for it online. It’s worth it!

This recipe is from the Danish confectioner Mette Blomsterberg and the TV programme The Great Danish Bakeoff. The original recipe uses more ganache (400 g chocolate and 400 ml cream), but I didn’t find that necessary.

Serves 12


Sacher bottoms:

  • 175 g marzipan, room temperature
  • 7 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 100 g dark chocolate, 70 %
  • 7 egg whites, room temperature
  • 150 g sugar
  • 100 g flour
  • 30 g quality cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Apricot jam:

  • 200 g dried apricots
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 100 g sugar
  • 300 ml water
  • 1/2 organic lemon (juice and zest)

Chocolate ganache:

  • 300 g dark chocolate, 56 %
  • 300 ml cream


  • 25-50 g white chocolate
  • colourful dragĂ©e eggs


Line the bottom of a 24 cm spring form tin with baking paper. (or use a cake ring on a sheet of baking paper). Do not grease the tin; the sides of the cake must not slide down. Preheat your oven to 170C.

Start out with a clean work surface. Cut the marzipan into smaller pieces and add one of the egg yolks. Now it is hands in: Mix the two together. Keep adding more yolk until you have mixed all yolks into the marzipan. It is some pretty messy stuff, but that’s how it is: we do not want any lumps of marzipan in our finished cake. Transfer the mass into a large bowl. Remember to get what is on your fingers as well.

Melt the dark chocolate over a water bath until it reaches 55C in temperature.

In the mean time, beat the egg whites with the sugar to a lovely meringue.

Mix the chocolate into the marzipan/egg yolk mixture. Add a little of the meringue and gently fold it. Keep folding meringue into the batter.

Mix flour, cacao and baking powder in another bowl and sift it into the batter little by little while folding gently.

When the batter is smooth pour the cake into the spring form tin.

Bake your cake for 30-40 minutes. Do not over-bake it as it will get dry.

Take the cake out of the oven and turn it upside down on a baking tray to flatten the top of the cake. Let the cake cool in the tin.

Apricot jam:
Cut the apricots into halves and add them to a small sauce pan. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Mix the seeds with a little bit of the sugar to separate the seeds. Add the vanilla sugar and the rest of the sugar to the sauce pan together with water, lemon juice and zest. Bring the ingredients to a boil and leave it to simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes at medium heat.

Pour the apricot mixture into a blender and blend it into a jam. Leave it to cool on the table.

When the cake is cold, divide it into two equal sized bottoms. Place the lower bottom on a piece of ‘cake card board’ or the bottom of your spring form tin. Spread out 2/3 of the apricot jam. Place the top on top of the jam and spread out the rest of the jam, also on the sides of the cake. Put the cake in the fridge.

Chocolate ganache:
Take your cake out of the fridge and place it on a rack over a baking tray.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces.

Heat up the cream to 80C. Pour half of the cream over the chocolate. Stir to start the melting process. Keep adding a little cream and stirring until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny.

Quickly pour the ganache over the cake. Use a palette to smoothen the ganache. Gently knock the rack against the baking tray to make the ganache fall into place. Lift up the cake (using your stabiliser; card board or spring form bottom) and straighten the lower edges of the cakes using your palette. Place the cake on a beautiful dish.

Temper the white chocolate: melt half of the chocolate to 48-50C. Pour 2/3 of it over the remaining half thereby melting it.

Cut out a piece of plastic and spread out your white chocolate on it making a long line. Run a fork or something like that through the chocolate. Twist the plastic and let the chocolate dry. Have some items to hold the twisted plastic in place while it dries.

Remove the plastic and break the chocolate into smaller pieces while removing the plastic.

Place three colourful Easter eggs on the cake and surround it with white chocolate creating the nest.

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