Bookish Recipe: Sachertorte

Welcome to Bookish Recipes, a feature on the blog where I cook or bake a recipe from a book I have loved and share the result with you. This week's recipe is inspired by the book A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson. I absolutely loved this one. It is one of those magical books that make you feel better with yourself and with the world.

In the book, Jonah, Anna's good friend and neighbour, gets them a Sachertorte to celebrate his new job. As he says, "it's proper fancy and owt" and given that it was my sister's birthday this week I decided to mark the special occasion baking this opulent and delicious cake! I followed the queen Mary Berry's recipe (more or less): 

140g dark chocolate
140g unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
5 free-range eggs, separated
85g ground almonds
55g plain flour,

For the topping and the icing:
6 tbsp jam (the original recipe said apricot, but I went for strawberry)
140g dark chocolate
200ml double cream
chocolate to decorate

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a deep 20cm round cake tin.

2) Break the chocolate into pieces, melt gently in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally, then cool slightly. Beat the butter in a bowl until really soft, then gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and the vanilla extract and beat again. Add the egg yolks, then fold in the ground almonds and flour. The mixture will be quite thick at this stage.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. Add about one-third to the chocolate mixture and stir in vigorously. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. (this is only agent that will make the cake grow so be gentle!) Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.

4) Bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until well risen at the top and the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool.

5) Once cooled, cut in half and add the jam. Put jam on top too (this helps level it and covers any possible holes)
6) Make the icing by breaking the plain chocolate into pieces. Heat the cream until piping hot, remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, then cool till a coating consistency. Then pour the icing on to the centre of the cake. Spread it gently over the top and down the sides (don't forget to put something under the cake to contain the chocolate, otherwise you'll end with a kitchen full of chocolate, true fact) , and leave to set.

7) Decorate as you wish. I just melted some while chocolate and made random shapes. Once cooled, I just put some on top. And people, it was amaaazing! 

About the book: 
Title: A Parcel for Anna Browne
Author: Miranda Dickinson
Published: September 24th 2015 by Pan Macmillan
Amazon | Amazon UK

Blurb: The gift of a lifetime?

Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Her day job as a receptionist in bustling London isn't exactly her dream, yet she has everything she wants. But someone thinks Anna Browne deserves more...

When a parcel addressed to Anna Browne arrives, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift - one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was destined to be. As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her - and her life starts to change.

But who is sending the mysterious gifts, and why?

Check out my review here and enter the giveaway to get your own secret parcel

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2 comentaris

  1. The first time I tried this was when I was in Vienna, and its delicious. I've been a bit nervous to make it because there is no real raising agent except for the egg whites. But you make it sound ok in your description and your mars brownies went down so well, maybe I will give it a try. Thanks, I love this feature of your blog.

    1. Thanks Amanda! Really happy you're enjoying this feature. The truth is I was a bit worried about the raising of the cake too, so I tried to incorporate the egg whites really slowly and with care. I have to admit that I was surprised to see that the cake was raising wonderfully! So my advice here is just try, sometimes it's a disaster but most of the time it's just amazing! :D