Thursday 7 October 2010

Recipes Please

This is a mere picture of the world's most fabulous chocolate cake!

It's officially birthday season and on top of the usual things I have planned to do around the house and in my studio as the year comes to an end, there is also the obligatory birthday projects to think about as well. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I am a few quilts behind on current birthdays. This isn't because of lack of time, but moreso, lack of will. Those of you who follow my blog will know that last year my DD outrightly rejected the beautiful fabrics I had gone to such lengths to purchase in secret online....only to be told that she would not tolerate a quilt made up of those prints.

It sounds awful (and it was a blow to my stash busting shelf) but at least I saved myself the effort of making the quilt. Some of you have children who might in time grow to love their 'not wanted quilts', but this simply isn't a possibility in this case. So I still have the fabric and here we are again. Another birthday. The fabric is still sitting on my shelf in need of a good project. So when my DD requested a Sacher Torte for her birthday, well, that was something I knew I could order online and know that she would LOVE.

It was so easy. My only annoyance was that the postage cost as much as the cake itself. And after calculating for worldwide shipping (it can take up to 14 days) it actually arrived 4 days later, immaculately packed and chilled. This cake actually improves with age so the extra days sitting packed in our fridge made no difference, and probably improved it.

I was planning on taking a photo of the cut cake - but forgot all about photographs when it came to the eating. Sorry!

It's a flatish cake - a true torte and if you've ever had a real Sacher Torte you'll know that it's difficult to describe justly in a world of mud cakes and fudge cakes (which can also be good) but Sacher is of course, in a league of its own. There are a few cafes around that claim to have the recipe, but after tasting the original again (the last time I tasted it was in Vienna a few years ago), they really don't come close.

So now I just have to decide what cake to have for my birthday next month. My DH has claimed The Meringue (my daughters make him this cake several times each year, always changing the recipe!!) and the cake I would dearly love to enjoy "the Dobos" is beyond our cake making skills, so this is still undecided...

Actually, talking about cakes gets me thinking that it is really so hard to come across great cake recipes that actually work in home settings. I'm sure we've all made 'cook book' cakes that just didnt live up to their promise. For myself, I often bake old recipes from memory - and they turn out fine, but I should probably commit them to paper for my DD's.

Do you have a trusted cake that you have each year on your birthday - or at any other time? Please share the recipe if you can, I would love to try some new favourites...and with Christmas baking around the corner, now is a great time to grease the cake tin


  1. Good morning, Sacher Torte is one of the best! I also love it. I will look for my special birthday cake recipe and send it to you. Have a nice day. Greetings from Germany. Love Sabine

  2. Happy Birthday to your Daughter...sorry about the fabric ....

    My birthday is tomorrow and cake for me but that is okay....I would have to make it and just don't want to.

  3. Sabine, I would love to have a go at your recipe...thank you! I will wait with baited breath

    Happy Birthday to you Barb, I know how you feel, I get the same around my birthday, it's so much effort, isn't it? But still, if nothing else, there must be cake!! EVen if you have to *buy* one

  4. My special cake: In the US, there was a chocolate cake recipe on the tin of Hershey's cocoa for years call the "Chocolate Town Special Cake", which is just divine. My husband says his mother made it and used a cooked icing (basically a layer of chocolate fudge enrobing the cake). We have made it several times, and while I am sure my mother-in-law's was better, it's pretty darned good. Moist chocolate cake surrounded by fudge - can you get better than that???!!!

    So disappointed to hear about someone turning down a quilt because of the fabric choices, especially because you can't always judge how a quilt will appear by looking at the stack of uncut fabrics. That's heartbreaking when your honest efforts to please them meet with such hostility. If anyone offered to make me a quilt I would say "Yes, pretty please!" - regardless of the colors. I agree with my mother that quilts don't have to match the decor and stand on their own like art. She also says she has never seen an ugly quilt! I might not go that far, but most quilts have a charm about them, even the problematical ones.

  5. The cake looked good. I have a recipe for a chocolate pound cake that turns out well for me. It is not a diet cake though
    Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups softened butter, 3 cups white sugar, 5 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 cups all purpose flour, 3/4 cup unsweetende cocoa, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt
    Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and saalt. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the dissolved coffee and buttermilk. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, turn out on rack and cool. Ice ot dust with sugar if you wish

  6. Lynn...I am going to make that cake of yours!!! I know it sounds ridiculous, but I don't have a good pound cake recipe so you have come at the right time! I will bake yours in my Christmas baking(I will be good until then). I am also heartened that you bake it in a bundt tin because that's how I bake all my cakes.

    I will post my cake baking here so stay tuned and thank you once again, it's so generous of you to share your recipe

  7. I've never had Chocolate Town Special Cake but it sure sounds good CalicoCat!!! Recipe?

  8. Happy Birthday to your daugthter. The cake looks yummy.

  9. Hi Esther, love your cake. I remember your red velvet one that was delish too. Here is a recipe for our family Birthday Cake my Mum always made it for us growing up. Sadly I lost her almost two years ago now but I have her recipes,maybe I will start to make it again one day. Black Forest Sponge: 4 eggs,2/3 cup caster sugar,1/3cup cornflour,1/3cup plain flour,1/3cup SR flour,60g grated dark choc. Beat eggs well add sugar spoon at a time.Sift flours and fold into egg mix with choc. 2 x 20cm tins for 20mins or 1 x 23 deep tin for 40mins in moderate oven. Mum always used a large square and split the cake and filled with black cherries and cream. Top with choc. or icing. Enjoy. Chrisb

  10. Happy Birthday to your dear daughter Ester! That cake looks so yummy!

  11. Wow that's a fabulous looking cake!! I bet it tasted wonderful. Amazing what they can send through the post isn't it?

  12. Hello Esther,
    I have a recipe for a Sacher Torte, but the weights are in Dekagramm. By this Sachertorte you have to mix the yellow from an egg in the snow, and not reverse.
    I' m living about 60 km far from Vienna and Sachertorte is our birthday cake.

    6 eggclear Snow
    6 yellow from an egg
    14 dag Sugar
    1/8 l oil
    14 dag chocholate
    14 dag flour
    a little bit bakepower.

    Make oil and chocolate warm.
    Hit Eggclear to snow, hit sugar in the snow. From there mix with a cookspoon. - Mix yellow from eggs singular in the snow. Mix oil and chocolate, mix flour with bakepour in the snow.
    Bake 45 minutes 200° Celsius.

  13. Some great recipes here! Thanks for taking the trouble to share...
    Chris, I will look forward to trying your cake as a good Forest Cake is hard to get a recipe for. And of course, we should be writing these recipes down.... it's so nice though to be able to think of your mother with this cake...
    Thanks again...

  14. Happy Birthday, here is my favourite cake, well it's more of a toasted banana bread that is lush!
    Hugs Jeannie in Australia

    1 X 3 second spray Always Fresh Simply Canola Spray
    2 cup (s) plain white flour
    2 tsp (s) baking powder
    1/2 tsp (s) ground cinnamon
    6 tbs (s) Weight Watchers Canola Spread
    1/2 cup (s) brown sugar
    1/4 cup (s) powdered artificial sweetener
    1 tsp (s) vanilla essence
    2 whole whole egg, lightly beaten
    3 small banana, (ripe), well mashed
    1/2 cup (s) low fat sour cream
    · Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a standard 11cm x 26cm deep loaf tin with oil. Line base with a piece of baking paper and set aside.
    · Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
    · Beat spread, sugar, sweetener and vanilla essence in a separate bowl using electric beaters until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, ensuring each egg is beaten well before adding the next. Fold through flour, bananas and sour cream, making sure not to over-beat mixture.
    · Spoon mixture into prepared tin, smoothing surface with a spatula. Bake in pre-heated oven for approximately 1 hr, or until golden brown and cooked through when tested with a cake skewer.

    When cold slice and eat - is lovely toasted in Sandwich toaster.

  15. Maria!
    I have always wanted to try and make my own Sacher Torte but have never found a recipe that sounded right. This recipe sounds spot on and I will definitely make it. Thank you for being so kind as to share it with us all.

  16. Hallo ester, its fun you order sacher torte abroad! I just wanted to help - i am also original Austrian as the vienna Sacher Torte - I live nearby, but just so you have already got one oringinal Austrian. So everything will be fine!
    Hugs Silvia


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