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Archive for September, 2013

Sachertorte

Sachertorte

Let me introduce you to a classic Austrian cake – Sachertorte. This is a cake sure to satisfy any chocolate craving you may be suffering from. And when it comes to Austrian specialties, who else to go to for advice, other that the Austrian born Wolfgang Puck. Wolfgang’s original recipe called for apricot brandy which of course sounds perfect for this wonderful cake but was nowhere to be found in my stash of booze, so I ended up using Grand Marnier instead which I thought turned out to be a really good substitute. Also, I made one tiny little mistake. Wolfgang tells you to cut the cake into three layers, which I overlooked, and so I only cut my cake into two layers. It still turned out fantastic, but I only got to use 1/2 the amount of apricot jam called for. Next time I make this delicious cake, I will make sure that my cake gets cut into three layers so I can use up all that heavenly apricot jam. Or come to think of it, I could have used the remaining jam on top of the cake, chilled it, and then poured the chocolate glaze over it. That would have been great too. 😀

Sachertorte3

Cake batter: melt chocolate, beat eggs, add chocolate to eggs, beat meringue, add flour to chocolate mixture, fold in flour, add meringue to chocolate, fold in meringue, finished batter.

Sachertorte: in 1832 Prince Wenzel von Metternich were having important guests for dinner and tasked his personal chef with creating a special dessert for the event. But it just so happened, that the chef fell sick that day and the daunting task fell on his 16 year old apprentice Franz Sacher. His dessert was very pleasing to Metternich’s guests but did not actually become famous until Franz Sacher’s son Eduard Sacher developed his father’s recipe into it’s current form. Since then, the Sachertorte has become one of Austria’s most famous specialties.

Sachertorte

Sachertorte

Sachertorte (yields 8-10 servings)

Ingredients

Cake:

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (170 grams)

3 oz. butter (85 grams)

4 egg yolks

1 oz. sugar, plus 3 oz. sugar (28 grams, plus 85 grams)

5 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup flour, sifted (45 grams)

Apricot filling:

1 cup apricot jam (280 grams)

2 teaspoons Grand Marnier (optional)

Chocolate Glaze:

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (170 grams)

1 oz. butter (28 grams)

2 oz. heavy cream (59 milliliter)

Serve with:

whipped cream

Directions
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Butter and flour a 9 x 2-inch cake pan (23 cm x 5 cm), bang out excess flour and set aside.Cut chocolate into small pieces. In a bowl, combine chopped chocolate and butter, melt over a hot water bath. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a bowl using a wire whisk, whip the egg yolks with 1 ounce sugar (28 grams) until thick and pale yellow. While pouring in a thin stream, beat in the chocolate mixture until combined.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining 3 ounces of sugar (85 grams) and continue to beat until shiny stiff peaks. Fold the sifted flour into the chocolate mixture until combined and then fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites, gently but thoroughly. Pour into prepared cake pan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until done. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of cake, it should come out dry. Remove cake from the oven and cool on a rack.

To make the apricot filling:

Puree the apricot jam and stir in the Grand Marnier (optional).

Slice the cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Spread half of the apricot filling on the bottom layer. Top with a second layer of cake. Spread the remaining apricot filling and top with the third layer of cake. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

To make the chocolate glaze:

In a bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and butter, melt over a hot water bath. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Stir the hot cream into the melted chocolate. Cool until it reaches a glazing consistency. Spread over and around the cake. Chill for another 30 minutes before serving. Serve cake slices with whipped cream on the side. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Wolfgang Puck

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Tarteletter with Chicken, Peas and Carrots

Tarteletter with Chicken, Peas and Carrots

Tarteletter is a classic Danish dish. It can be served as an appetizer or as the main course. The Tartelet shell is delicate, flaky and buttery. I have tried to make the tart shells in the past but so far I have not been successful. In the meantime, I purchased these tart shells online and amazingly enough they arrived without a single crack, imagine that 🙂

Tarteletter was probably my all-time favorite meal when I was a little girl and it was the dish I always requested for my birthday.  The way my parents prepared it was with a filling made up of diced ham, carrots and peas in a BĂŠchamel sauce.  For today’s post, however, I chose to replace the ham with chicken, since I was making a chicken stock anyway. When you heat the Tartlets in the oven, make sure it’s done at low temperature and just until they are heated through. These Tarteletter turned out super delicious and it’s still one of my favorite meals.

Ingredients for Homemade Chicken Stock:

2 large split chicken breasts

4 carrots

4 celery sticks

1 large onion, quartered

2 bay leafs

10-15 pepper corns

1 small tablespoon salt

water to cover by 1 inch

Ingredients for Filling: (makes filling for 10 tarteletter)

homemade chicken stock, approx 2-3 cups

small bunch fresh parsley, chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

8-10 oz. frozen peas and carrots

1-2 cups cooked chicken, cubed

salt and pepper, to taste

Tarteletter

Direction for Homemade Chicken Stock:

Place all ingredients in a large cooking pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to medium heat and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Strain stock through a sieve, making sure to reserve the stock for later use, refrigerate. Discard vegetables. Allow for chicken to cool completely before cutting into bite size cubes.

Directions for Filling:

Place chicken stock into a saucepan with chopped parsley and bring to medium-low heat, turn off heat and let sit.

Place butter into saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once butter has begun to bubble, add flour and stir vigorously. Allow to simmer for two minutes while stirring often. Add warm chicken stock a little at the time to butter mixture while stirring until desired consistency (a somewhat thickened bechamel sauce). Adjust taste with salt and pepper if needed. Add frozen peas and carrots, allow to heat through. Add cooked cubed chicken and allow to heat through.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place tarteletter on foil and warm in oven for 2-3 minutes.

Fill warm tarteletter with filling and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

Tarteletter

Tarteletter

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