Sea buckthorn torte

This cake is my homage to sachertorte. For those of you unaware of what that is, sachertorte is a Viennese chocolate cake that has a thin layer of apricot jam inside of it, and it is covered in a beautiful chocolate glaze. It is a highly technical and iconic cake to Austria, to the point where only certain bakeries are even allowed to sell authentic sachertorte to the public. Now I cannot call this recipe an authentic sachertorte for a couple reasons. The first, I obviously do not have that certification. The second, I do not ever really bake strictly to tradition, so I doubt anything I make would ever be seen as true or authentic, just homages. And thirdly, my version does not even have the apricot jam! Instead, it has a sea buckthorn ganache filling. Time for more food trivia! Sea buckthorn is a primarily European berry, bright orange in color and similar in taste to an acai berry, if it was less sweet. Tart, sour, very vibrant, I found it to be a great partner to chocolate, and I knew it could still capture a similar color and profile to the apricot, if not even more vibrantly. I purchased sea buckthorn juice from Amazon to make this recipe, and I also had sea buckthorn essential oil on hand, because that is what I use to dye my knafeh orange naturally, and I obviously used it in this cake as well, just to bring in more of it.

For my rendition, I stuck with a dense chocolate cake that used no leavening agents, as that is more traditionally European to just use eggs, and it has melted chocolate and black cacao powder in there for flavor and richness. I also used a soak, just because I find cakes that are baked with melted chocolate to be more prone to drying out in the oven, and I did not want to leave anything up to chance here. The glaze is like a pseudo-mirror glaze, because it is more sugar and less gelatin, just for a shinier finish. The sea buckthorn filling in this case is a ganache, made similarly to a curd, but finished with white chocolate for sweetness in place of sugar. I topped my cake with sea buckthorn gelee cubes and tempered chocolate disks, just to give it a more fun appearance, but you can really do whatever you want with it!

For the chocolate cake:
4 oz dark chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup black cacao powder
4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter, canola oil, and cacao powder. In a bowl, whip the eggs with sugar, salt, and vanilla to ribbon stage. Sift the flour. Once the chocolate is melted, take off heat and stir until just above room temperature. Fold the flour and eggs into the chocolate, stirring until combined. Pour onto a lined sheet tray and spread into an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool before removing and cutting out two 6-inch rings.

For the soak:
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sea buckthorn juice
1 tablespoon black cacao powder
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together until combined.

For the sea buckthorn ganache:
1/2 cup sea buckthorn juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 oz white chocolate
1g sea buckthorn essential oil
a pinch of salt

Heat up the sea buckthorn juice in a pot. In a bowl, whisk together your cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Pour that mixture into the sea buckthorn and whisk on medium heat until combined and thickened considerably. Take off heat and whisk in the chocolate, sea buckthorn oil, and salt. Pass through a sieve and chill down at room temperature.

To assemble part 1:
Line a 6-inch ring mold with acetate. Place the first layer of cake down, then half of your soak. Then place the ganache down, spreading it as evenly as possible. Place down the second round of cake and then the rest of your soak. Freeze overnight.

For the sea buckthorn gelee:
1/4 cup sea buckthorn juice
1 1/2 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt

Bring ingredients to a simmer. Once the agar is dissolved into the liquid, pour the mixture into shallow molds or bowls. Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes, then slice into smaller cubes.

For the tempered chocolate:
4oz guanaja 70% chocolate
a pinch of salt
2g grated cacao butter

Melt down the guanaja with salt over a double boiler. Once melted, take off heat and stir until the chocolate is at 90 degrees F. Mix in the cacao butter and allow that to melt in as well. Continue stirring until the chocolate reaches about 87 degrees F. Spread onto acetate in a relatively thin layer. Refrigerate the chocolate for 3 minutes first. It should be semi-solidified, but still pliable. Once so, punch out disks using ring molds, (I used a 3 inch and a 1/2 inch to form the punched out circles) and place the acetate strip inside of a ring mold so that it curves. Transfer into the refrigerator again for another 20 minutes to allow the chocolate to set up completely. You can also transfer it into the freezer to set it up within 5 minutes, if need be.

For the glaze:
1 teaspoon gelatin powder
1 tablespoon sea buckthorn juice
2g sea buckthorn essential oil
4oz dark chocolate
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Mix the gelatin with the sea buckthorn juice first. Break the chocolate into smaller pieces. Place everything into a pot and bring to a simmer, heating the mixture up to 225 degrees F, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Take off heat and stir for a minute, just to bring down the temperature of the glaze. While still warm, pour the glaze over the cake on an icing rack, and allow it to cool down before transferring to a serving surface. Finish the cake with the tempered chocolate and gelee cubes.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Virginia L. says:

    Your Sachertore actually looks yummier than the actual ones! The Sachertore I had were dense and somewhat drier for me. Bravo on your rendition!

    Liked by 1 person

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