Vegan Sacher Torte

Oh Vienna… land of delicious pastries and delectable bonbons.  When I think Vienna, I think Mozartkugel and Sacher Torte, as they are both quintessentially Viennese, not to mention, I have had the pleasure of having both.  When I visited in, oh it would have been the mid 90’s, all tourist and bonbon shops were full to the brim with Mozartkugel.  Suffice it to say, I had more than my fair share.  As for Sacher Torte, my brother brought one back for me in a beautiful wooden box from Vienna last summer.  It was an absolute delight.

The idea to try my hand at baking this simple cake has been at the back of my mind since my first bite last summer.  However, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I finally had the motivation and reason to do it – a birthday party.  There were attendees who were lactose intolerant and others had nut allergies, so, being the crazy person that I am, I decided to make it vegan.  Because really, it’s not that challenging to make a simple chocolate cake, slap on some jam and ganache – been there done that.

Traditionally, Sacher Torte is a single layer of chocolate cake, with a thin smear of apricot jam on top, covered in smooth ganache.  It is usually served with fresh whipped cream because the cake is dry, and the ganache is hard and crunchy.  For my version, I wanted to use raspberry jam, because chocolate and raspberry belong together like Bonnie and Clyde.  My recipe below is based on Have Cake Will Travel’s recipe for chocolate cake, with many adjustments.  The hardest part of making this cake is the assembly – I definitely do not have my technique down; ganache is messy!  The cake is best when made one day before consumption, refrigerated overnight, and allowed to return to room temperature just before serving.  No whipped cream required.

And I do apologize for the photograph – we were all so excited to eat it that I didn’t have a chance to make it pretty.

For the cake:

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 and 3/4 cup-ish rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp egg replacer powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Seedless raspberry jam

Vegan ganache:

  • 1/2cup rice milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cup semi sweet non-dairy chocolate chunks
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Mash the banana in a 2-cup (500 ml) measuring implement (if you have one) and then fill the container with rice milk up to the 2-cup mark.  Pour into a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk in the other ingredients in the order listed up to and including egg replacer.  In another large bowl, stir together the rest of the cake ingredients (sift if you would like, but it’s not required).  Dig a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  Pour into 2 round greased and floured tins.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in the tin for half an hour and then gently invert the cakes onto a wire rack and cool completely.

While the cake cools, make the ganache.  Heat the rice milk in a small pot until it is rolling (almost boiling).  Turn off the heat, add the chocolate and stir until it’s all melted.  If you feel that the chocolate is melting too fast, keep stirring but take the pot off of the range entirely.   Once all chocolate has melted, take the pot off the burner and stir in the maple syrup.  Cool (not in the fridge) for 15-20 minutes to thicken.

When the ganache is the right consistency (with some spread but will not run off the table), it will be time to assemble the cake!  If your cakes are dome shaped, use a bread knife to level one of them out.  The one with a level top will be the bottom layer. Spread the jam thickly over the first layer of cake.  Place the 2nd layer on top, and spread a thin layer of jam on the top.  Pour ganache over the top of the layers, reserving a third for the sides.  Alternatively, wait until the ganache is more solid and slather on with a knife.  Of course, pouring the ganache onto the cake makes a smoother icing.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge over night, and allow to return to room temperature before serving.  Enjoy!


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