Sachertorte. Invented by a sixteen-year-old and later perfected by his son, the Sachertorte (pronounced “soccer-tort,” more-or-less) is one of the most celebrated of Austrian cakes. As elegant things often are, the Sachertorte is a fairly straightforward combination of rich chocolate cake, apricot jam and chocolate glaze.
I may be in the minority here, but I find apricot jam itself to be quite boring. It’s sweet and a bit sharp, but it doesn’t seem to carry a ton of flavor. It’s usually relegated to being brushed on other fruit to make it shiny. But its neutral sweet fruitiness works beautifully with dark chocolate. The jam adds a spark and a bright note to an otherwise dark and mysterious flavor. It doesn’t get in the way, yet it allows the chocolate to be more than it could be by itself.
While One might not make a Sachertorte just for the heck of it, this One would most certainly make a pan of brownies just for the heck of it. And why not add an apricot swirl along with apricot and chocolate glazes? That’s what I asked myself last week, and then I answered myself, “Absolutely no reason not to.” So here we are.
Do you have to make your brownies just like I made my brownies? No, you don’t. You can swirl in whatever jam makes you happy. You can add nuts if you want. Just look for a balance. When using more assertively-flavored jams, like raspberry, you may want to dial it back a bit. The fruit should support the chocolate, not punch it in its throat.
Before we get started, let me just say that I am a fan of gooey brownies. Ann Hodgeman once referred to brownies as “frosting you can pick up,” and that is totally the kind of brownie I like. If you like yours more done, bake them longer and/or bake them in a larger pan. It really is that simple.
- 6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, , chopped finely
- 6 oz unsalted butter, , cut into pieces
- 5 oz cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (maybe a smidge more), fine sea salt
- 4 large eggs
- 16 oz granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons apricot brandy
For the Swirl and Glaze
- 1 10 oz jar apricot jam, , divided use
- 1-2 Tablespoons apricot brandy
For the Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze
- 1/3 cup apricot brandy
- 1/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, , chopped finely
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- Chop the chocolate finely.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. You can also do this in a double boiler or in the microwave on medium power.
- Set the chocolate aside to cool.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs and then whisk in the granulated sugar and brandy.
- Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and then fold in the dry ingredients gently but thoroughly. I use a whisk to do this so I don't have to change Implements. Folding with a whisk works well. Just give everything a swipe around the sides and sort of roll the whisk over while mixing. Watch the video to see what I'm talking about.
- Pour 3/4 of the batter into a 9"x9" pan lined with non-stick foil. You can also use a 9"x13" pan if you want thinner brownies.
- Melt the whole jar of apricot jam over medium low heat, whisking well to thin it out some.
- Plop spoonfuls of jam over the batter, using about half the jam.
- Plop on the rest of the brownie batter and then swirl everything together by running a knife through the batter and jam several times.
- Bake at 325F for about 50 minutes for a 9"x9" pan and about 35-40 minutes for a 9"x13" pan. These times should give you a fairly gooey brownie. Bake a bit less for really gooey brownies. Bake them a bit longer for more "done" brownies.
For the Apricot Glaze
- Towards the end of baking, remelt the remainder of the jam along with 1-2 Tablespoons of brandy.
- Press the jam through a fine mesh strainer so it is completely smooth.
- When the brownies come out of the oven, spread the top with an even layer of the jam.
For the Chocolate Glaze
- Bring the 1/3 cup of apricot brandy to a boil and let boil for a few seconds to cook off some of the alcohol.
- Pour in the chopped chocolate. let sit for just a minute, and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Whisk in the butter, corn syrup and salt.
- Drizzle over the brownies in whatever decorative pattern makes you happy.
- These guys are super rich--slice them small.
- Store them in the fridge. You can either eat them cold (chewy-yummy), let them come to room temperature (gooey deliciousness) or warm them just slightly in the toaster oven or in the microwave on medium power (should be illegal).
And look, I have made a Helpful Video to guide you through the process!
And there you have it, friends. Rich, luscious and totally worth making, these brownies will make your tummy happy. I promise. As a matter of fact, this might be my favorite brownie flavor combo that I’ve ever made. What’s your favorite way to Schmancy up a brownie?
Thanks for reading, friends, and I appreciate your spending some time here today. Take care.