Sachertorte in Russian Version; What Makes it Different From Vienna?

If you are a a fan of chocolate or someone with sweet tooth, then you surely have heard of the Sachertorte. The decadent cake consists of chocolate sponge cake with a thin layer of apricot jam on top which then being covered in dark chocolate icing all over. To make it even more enticing, traditionally, Sachertorte is served along with unsweetened whipped cream on top or on the side.

Sachertorte in Russian Version - What Makes it Different From ViennaSince its inception in 1832, “the queen of chocolate cake” has become known as an icon of its birthplace, the city of Vienna in Austria. The bitter legal dispute related to the trademark of “Sachertorte” between Demel Bakery and Sacher hotel -both are landmarks of Vienna- is also widely discussed in various mass media. Consequently, as the Sachertorte recipes evolve and spread all around the world, it may be called by another name so as not to complicate the trademark feud.

This is the case with Sachertorte in Russian version which is now known as “Prague Cake” and widely sold among popular bakery shop in Moscow. The recipe is developed by Vladimir Guralnik in the pastry shop of the Moscow restaurant “Prague”, and it is made with relatively longer process and richer ingredients compared to the original Viennese Sachertorte. Read the article below to learn further about Sachertorte in Russian version; what makes it different from Vienna and how to make them.

The Viennese Sachertorte

Although most of the ingredients and directions on how to make Sachertorte has become known all around the world, but the authentic Sachertorte recipe remains a well-kept secret amid the feud between Sacher Hotel and Demel Bakery. Still, many people can’t help but create imitation recipes which generally comprises of these steps:

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 7 egg yolks
  • 150 g softened butter
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 1 packet (8g) vanilla sugar
  • 7 egg whites
  • 125 g crystal sugar
  • A bit of salt
  • 150 g flour
  • Butter and flour to layer the cake mold
  • 150 – 200 g apricot jam
  • Rum (optional)

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 200 g dark chocolate coating or cooking chocolate
  • 250 g sugar
  • 150-170 ml water
  • Whipped cream

Directions:

  • Melt the chocolate, set it aside.
  • Mix the butter with the icing sugar and vanilla sugar until creamed. Stir in the egg yolks slowly.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C. Smear the cake mold with butter, then spread some flour so the cake will not stick to it later.
  • Whip up egg whites with a bit of salt, add crystal sugar, then beat the mixture to a stiff peak. Blend in the melted chocolate into the mix with egg yolks, then fold in whipped egg whites alternately with flour.
  • Pour the dough into the mold. Bake it for more or less an hour. Remove the cake and leave to dry.
  • Flavor the apricot jam with rum (it is optional, so you can leave rum off if you prefer non-alcoholic cake). Cut the cake in half. Smear the cake base with apricot jam, put the other half on top of it, smear again the top with jam. Add the jam on the cake edges too. Set it aside.
  • Now, let’s make the decadent glaze. Crumble the chocolate into pieces. Pour a bit of water and sugar, then heat it up for a few minutes. Pour the mixture in a bowl until it cools down a little, but don’t let it solidify again. Empty the glaze in a single throw over the cake. Spread it all over the cake using a knife. Leave it to dry in room temperature.
  • Decorate the cake with whipped cream and any other garnishes according to your taste. Serve it warm or after being stored in the fridge for a while. However, do note that the Sachertorte may “sweat” if it is stored in the fridge for a long period of time.

The Russian Prague Cake

Both Sachertorte in Russian version and in Viennese version uses apricot jam. However, unlike the Viennese Sachertorte, the Russian Prague Cake also needs a lot of cream. Well, it just goes to show you how much Russians love their homegrown dairy products.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 6 eggs, separate the whites and the yolks
  • 150 g sugar, divide into two parts (each 75 g)
  • 115 g flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 40 g butter, melted
  • Butter and flour to layer the cake mold
  • Rum (optional)

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 20 ml water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 120 g condensed milk (cream)
  • 200 g butter
  • 10 g cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons apricot jam

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 100 g bitter chocolate
  • 100 g butter

Directions:

  • Smear the cake mold with butter, then spread some flour so the cake will not stick to it later.
  • Beat the white eggs till stiff. While whipping, throw in a part of sugar.
  • Beat the egg yolks with the other part of sugar.
  • Mix the flour and cocoa powder, pour the blend gradually into the egg yolks mix, then add the whipped egg whites. Mix the dough with the melted butter. Pour it into the mold.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C (392 F), then bake for 30 minutes. Leave the cake to cool, then cut it into 3 layers. You may also soak the cake in rum if you want.
  • To make the sauce, mix one egg yolk with water, add condensed milk and vanilla sugar. Cook the mixture in a double boiler while stirring occasionally until it becomes a thick syrup, then leave to cool. Beat butter, gradually add the syrup, and then put in the cocoa powder. Throw the sauce over the cake, then put warmed apricot jam on top of it.
  • To make the glaze, melt bitter chocolate and butter in a double boiler while stirring continuously to blend it well. Afterward, cover the cake with the glaze, then store it in the fridge for 2 hourse before serving.

Difference between Viennese Sachertorte and Russian Prague Cake

After looking into the recipe, you surely can determine that there are various points that distinguish the two. First, Sachertorte in Russian version requires a lot of cream, while the Viennese doesn’t use any cream at all. Second, the two cakes make use of rum (or other liquor) in different steps. You can mix it with Apricot jam for the Viennese, while you will need to soak the cake with it to make the Russian one.

Related:

Lastly, there is another point that differ the two cakes. It is about how many sponge chocolate cake layers are needed. In the original recipes above, the Viennese Sachertorte is only cut in half, while the Russian Prague cake is cut into 3 layers. However, you can actually make them in both 2 or 3 layers with approximately the same amount of ingredients and the exact similar step-by-step. After all, your preference is more important while making any cake than the authenticity of the cake recipe itself. Just make sure that you don’t add as much layers as Napoleon cake, the Russian version of Mille-feuille, because they may crumble and the result will not be as good as it should be.

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