Student’s cheater Sachertorte cake

What can two student budgets make and not break the bank? Oh, and feed 14 people for party? Well, chocolate cake with cocoa, which means it doesn’t require a lot of expensive chocolate. There is some chocolate in the ganache, but you don’t have to, if you really are broke! That was our splurge!

This cake is from the BBC Food website and is really easy to make. It looks good, looks fancy, looks and tastes as if you’ve gone to this extensive and expensive trouble, and yet, (hehe, don’t tell anyone), it’s not that big a deal! (or students with small budgets have low expectations…. *looks around, confused*)

I’m calling it a cheater’s Sachertorte because it has no almonds in the batter and the only thing that makes it close to Sachertorte is that it’s a chocolate cake with an apricot jam filling and a chocolate ganache on top.

The change I made in the cake is reducing the shocking amount of sugar. I know that it has unsweetened cocoa inside and therefore would ask for more sugar than if it were just melted bitter chocolate, but 300 gr??!?!?!? That is INSANE! Especially since it will have jam inside AND be glazed with a chocolate ganache. I added sugar and kept tasting and when I liked it, I stopped adding. Then out of curiosity I measured how much I had left, to see how much I actually used = it turned out to be half!!! I used half of the suggested amount of sugar!!! And it’s plenty sweet!!! 300 gr!!! I am sorry, I can’t wrap my head around it.

I was a bit of a distractedy cat making it, but it’s all still gooood. It says you can mix everything in the food processor but to be careful of overbeating, which is true, when and if you start adding the flour in the food processor, and that’s a baking no-no. I thought I had overbeaten it, (maybe my bowl was a bit damp), so I stopped, and then I realized I forgot the butter. Oops. Thankfully it was very soft, so beating it in with a whisk was fine (hey, how do you think our grandmas made cakes? Elbow grease!). Then I folded the flour. I thought I was fine. Until I checked I needed milk. Oh well. Added that in. It’s a cake. It’s not ionno, macaron or mousse, you know something much more delicate that depends on well beaten eggs.


50g cocoa powder

6 tbsp (90ml) boiling water

3 eggs

4 tbsp (60ml) milk

175g flour

1 semi-heaping tsp

100g butter, softened

150 gr sugar

1 pack vanilla sugar

Ganache and glaze:

150g dark chocolate, broken up

150ml double cream or heavy cream (30-40% fat)

3 tbsp apricot jam


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

1. Mix the cocoa with the boiling water till you have a runny, well incorporated mixture.

2. Beat the eggs in a food processor. When sufficiently incorporated (as I said, mine didn’t really rise), slowly add the cocoa mixture. It will still be warmer than the eggs, so add slowly because you need to temper the eggs.

3. Once you’ve added a bit of the cocoa mix, start adding some sugar and continue beating on low speed. Taste, as you add sugar and beat. Maybe you will want more or less sugar. Don’t forget to add the vanilla sugar.

4. When the sugar, eggs and cocoa are all in, with a spatula fold in the flour, mixed in with the baking powder. Go slowly and easy.

5. You will see it’ll be runny because it had the liquid from the cocoa mix (that is why I almost forgot the milk), so add the milk, even if you’ve already added all the flour.

before baking

before baking

6. Butter a baking dish (the recipe says two 20cm/8in baking tins, I don’t know how big mine is, I used one and plan on cutting the cake in half to put the jam, you can do two and not bother cutting the cake) and bake for 50 minutes. (If you’re making two tins, then 25 mins might be enough because they’ll be lower cakes; mine was double, so therefore it took longer)

7. Leave the cake to cool, before cutting in half.

out of the oven

out of the oven

8. For the ganache, melt the chocolate with the cream, either in a bain marie or on very low heat. Once melted, leave it to set and cool.

9. Spread the jam over the tops of your cake layers, and place one layer over one another. Glaze the cake all over with the ganache. Ta-da!




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