In most cases my Saturday Selections post is for sharing something I’ve enjoyed over the past week, but for this week’s selection I’m going back in time to last May. But don’t worry, I’m not completely cheating since last year’s springtime treat has a role to play today.
Now, those of you who have been with me for a while know that last spring I trekked off to the U.K. and while I was in London I discovered the decadent delights of Fortnum & Mason’s. Not only did I bring home some of their fabulous Smoky Earl Grey Tea, but I also lurked around their pastry counter long enough to eventually give in to my sweet tooth by buying a piece of Sacher Torte.
Giving Into Temptation
Before I continue on with the joy my last buds experienced, let me just say I’m not a big chocolate desert fan. Yes, I like chocolate, but chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream make me want to gag….except for chocolate tortes. There’s just something about the super moist, super rich chocolate overdose that makes my picky mouth happy.
Now, take that taste for tortes, mix in the eye-catching displays at Fortnum & Mason, add a dash of why-not-I’m-on-vacation whimsy, and top it off with a little gold leaf and how could I be expected to resist getting a slice of F&M’s Sacher Torte to take back to the vacation rental?
What’s A Sacher Torte?
Sacher Torte is a desert from Austria that was created in 1832 by a chef with the last name of, you guessed it, Sacher. As mentioned above, chocolate torte is a cake that manages to be rich and moist without being too dense. The cake is halved to make two layers. Between the layers is a thin coating of apricot jam. Once assembled, the whole thing is covered in chocolate ganache. Seriously, my mouth is watering.
The Fortnum & Mason Scher Torte sticks close to the original recipe, cuts the torte into tidy little squares and gives each a teensy bit of gold leaf to up the decadence factor even further.
How Is It?
If I’m still raving about a food item nine months after having eaten it, it’s got to be damn good. The first bite had me in chocolate heaven. After a couple bites I told my husband they should rename it “PMS Cake” because the torte’s chocolate perfection could cure any pre-menstrual blahs. I ate the torte very, very slowly because I didn’t want my chocolate-induce happiness to end.
Unfortunately, it did end and, since the U.K. government is very picky about letting tourists stay in their country, I had to say goodbye to Fortnum & Mason’s. Ever since I’ve gotten home I’ve thought about making my own Sacher Torte, but haven’t been brave enough to try.
That Ends Today
Since today is Valentine’s Day (aka “Chocolate Coma Day”) I thought it would be the perfect day to try my hand at a Sacher Torte. I’ve found a recipe that is supposedly the same as F&M’s recipe, I’ve got my half pound of chocolate waiting to be melted down and I’ve got my culinary courage up. Will it be as good as Fortnum & Mason’s? I’ll keep you posted!
Update 15 Feb 2015: Well, my Sacher Torte was a bit disappointing. The cake came out a bit too dense due to not coordinating my egg white folding with my chocolate melting, and I bought the wrong type of cream for the ganache. It also didn’t have much flavor (weird given that there’s half a pound of chocolate in the torte). However, I had a small piece with breakfast today (left it in the fridge overnight) and it tasted SO much better. Not Fortnum & Mason’s better, but not too bad for a first attempt.