Chocolate cake

Double layer chocolate cake with apricots and Amaretto: a Honey & Co recipe

According to some accounts, the Sachertorte was invented in 1832 by an apprentice cook called Sacher, for the benefit of Prince Metternich. It quickly achieved cult status and its preparation has become a closely guarded secret. Yet, the most interesting thing about this cake is that it is generally disappointing. What appears on the plate is usually a dry, everyday chocolate cake with overly sweet apricot jam in the middle and a thick chocolate coating. It’s often worse than Colin the caterpillar.

Still, a chocolate cake is never a bad thing in our book, and there’s no denying that chocolate and apricots make a great combination. So here is our delicious variation on a theme.

The apricot, the sunniest fruit, is back with us for its short and exquisite season. And they look especially good this year. Abundant and affordable, boxes and boxes are pouring into our kitchens.

This recipe will tickle baking geeks, but even though it seems complex at first, it should be easy enough for the less experienced baker. Basically, you make a mousse, cook half of it, and place the other half on top – one mixture, two separate layers. With a dash of almond liqueur in the mix and luscious, fresh fruit on top, there’s nothing more we could expect from a dessert.

As for keeping the secrets of our recipe close, we are happy to reveal everything. The measure of a good cake is how much you want to share it.

© Patricia Niven

Double layer chocolate cake in one go

To make a 22 cm round cake
serves 8-10

Basic mixture

base layer

middle layer

top layer

Fruit garnish (optional)

  1. Heat your oven to 160°C and line a 22 cm mold with baking paper.

  2. Put the egg whites in an electric mixer with a whisk attachment and start beating. When a foam starts to form, slowly add 100g caster sugar to make a meringue with soft peaks and strain into a large mixing bowl. Use the now empty mixer bowl to whip the yolks with the remaining sugar until very thick and pale. While everything is whipping, melt the butter and chocolate together and add the first 30 ml of chocolate Amaretto. Add the chocolate to the beaten egg yolks, then gently fold into the meringue. Reserve 400g.

  3. Add the ground almonds, cocoa powder and salt to the rest of the chocolate mixture and mix. Pour into the cake tin, then flatten and bake for 16 minutes.

  4. Mix the remaining 400g of the chocolate preparation with the 30ml of Amaretto and the double cream. Remove the cake from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Garnish with apricot jam, spreading it thinly all over. Then spread the second layer of chocolate and chill for at least four hours in the refrigerator before serving.

  5. (Optional) Garnish with apricot slices. Add 1 tablespoon of boiling water to the apricot jam and brush the slices to make them shiny. Then sprinkle the center with cocoa powder.

  6. Use a hot knife to slice the cake cleanly.

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