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December 14, 2021
Gaby's too busy compiling her first book, so she’s left this intro to me, so here goes.
Some things retain an aura long past their sell by date. On a 1978 work trip to Vienna I missed a visit to the Hotel Sacher and a chance to savour their chocolate cake, the Sacher Torte, probably the worlds most famous torte. Fast forward to another business trip in 2017 and we made sure to book dinner at the Hotel Sacher. Sadly the cake was a disappointment and was reminiscent of something Mr Kipling may have made in my childhood. Gaby's Torte is more hazelnut than chocolate and not nearly as sweet which I much prefer.
Ingredients:For the cake:260g caster sugar210g ground hazelnuts8 medium eggs (or 7 large)
For the frosting:200g unsalted butter (room temp)200g icing sugar45g cocoa powder
For the chocolate ganache:150g dark chocolate chips150g double cream
Optional extras:Chopped hazelnuts
Method:For the cake:Preheat oven to 160⁰C (fan). Grease and line three 20cm sandwich tins, (quick release bottoms).
Get two large mixing bowls and separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until pale in colour and the mixture trails off the whisk in ribbons.
Whisk the egg whites slowly for a minute or two and then turn speed up and whisk until have stiff but moist peaks.
Fold the sugar/egg yolk mixture alternately with the ground hazelnuts into the egg whites. Once all is incorporated divide the mixture evenly between the 3 tins and bake for appx. 30 mins until set. If you press the top of the cake lightly it should not leave an impression. Take out the oven and allow to cool.
For the frosting:Once the cake has cooled completely, make the frosting by mixing all the ingredients together. Beat for a few mins until light and fluffy. Smooth a layer of the frosting onto the top of one of the cakes and place in the fridge.
For the ganache:Place the chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it starts to bubble at the edges, but do not boil it. Take off the heat and pour over the chocolate. Leave for a couple of minutes, then mix together until you have a smooth consistency. Take the cake out the fridge and smooth a thin layer over the frosting, place the next layer of cake on top and then repeat the frosting layer and ganache. This time place the third layer of cake top side down. Smooth a layer of frosting over the top of the cake and all around the sides, then place in the fridge for 10-20 mins to set. Take out the fridge and drizzle the remaining ganache over the top edge and allow to slide down the sides. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
For a two layered cake, make a third less of the ingredients and only use two sandwich tins.
Gaby Van Clarke
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