|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol’s Kitchen Apricot Moscato|
When I was 11-years-old, I craved the taste of juniper berries, beer gravy and apricot brandy.
I knew authentic schnitzel had nothing to do with WienerSchnitzel.
|Photo Credit: Flickr FotoCommunity Fresh Apricots|
While my peers who took Spanish or French shivered during winter months, in German class, we’d fry up Bockwurst and eat soft pretzels with sweet-hot mustard in a cozy classroom kitchen. At the end of the year, we celebrated with the German teacher at a German restaurant in San Jose. The challenge? To order everything in German and to have table talk completely in the foreign language.
Can you choose between Apple Strudel, Black Forest Cherry Cake, or Sachertorte? I alternate between the apple strudel and Sachertorte because I don’t care for cherry chocolate.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol’s Kitchen Sachertorte Prototype|
I am baking my first homemade Sachertorte this evening based on the Serious Eats interpretation of Lucy Baker’s Boozy Baker recipe. If you like chocolate covered apricots, you’ll like the flavor of Sachertorte.
|Photo Credit: Flickr MagsDewDrops’ Creations Strudel|
I don’t expect to get it right on my first try because I’ve already increased the amount of flour and number of egg yolks because I like my cakes to be more dense like a bundt cake rather than an airy sponge. For special weekends, I’d make apple streudel for my dad, when I was in junior high. He was an apple dessert fiend but he relied far too much on gas-station and drugstore preserved pie snacks.
Dad was a skinny man with high cholesterol and a preference for Home Run Pies. Unfortunately, his other favorites were donuts, Chinese pickles and steak. Such a diet that leaned towards highly-processed, nitrate filled and fried foods may have contributed to his stomach cancer.
My dad is gone now. However, health lessons remain. My husband and I eat fish and brown rice about twice a week. Hubster eats fresh berries in the morning with the green apple pancakes I make from scratch with reduced fat buttermilk. I read Men’s Health and Men’s Journal to feed my man because of the interviews with athletes and what they eat. My favorite quote from the magazines this month? “If I can’t hunt it, grow it or catch it I don’t eat it.”
|Photo Credit: Flickr ArteyFotographia Kumquats|
I love eggplant, avocados, spinach, kumquats, bitter melon, and haricot verts. I am a frequent shopper at Trader Joe’s for hummus with pine nuts and Farmers’ Markets for low fat spinach bolani. My daily snacks are usually pistachios, roasted seaweed or oranges. My husband and I like to hike so we eat dried pears and apricots often.
One of my bucket list items is to have a successful urban vegetable garden.Though I am an amateur gardener, I still think snails are cute. I’ve liked them ever since I was little and would keep them in my room as pets. I made snail horns with a broken lemon wafer and used whipped cream for its face. See image below.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol’s Kitchen Sachertorte with “Snail face” decoration|
We do have our high quality dessert though. My dessert preferences differ from my husband. He cultivated his sweet tooth with sundaes, muffins, and cheesecake as a kid. In contrast, my parents served tea and orange wedges for dessert like a traditional Chinese family. If my parents served carby desserts, they were usually from a store-bought tin from an Asian grocery. I remember these packaged cookies as more decorative than edible. They were crisp and not very sweet even if dipped in a chocolate coating.
This meant that I didn’t care for sweetened cereals or sugar snacks as an elementary student because I assumed they were as unsatisfying as the tinned cookies my parents served company. Though junior high was my European dessert epiphany, I remain suspicious of most American desserts. The exception? Any dessert with NOLA history. NOLA, I love.
My husband is German-Lithuanian American so he grew up with Princess Cakes with a light crumb and sweetened almond paste. One tier of our wedding cake, three years ago was Princess Cake. The other two tiers were dark raspberry truffle and lemon with Cointreau from Le Gateau Elegant from Martinez.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol’s Kitchen Apricot Preserve Glaze for Sachertorte|
I went to BevMo and they only had low-quality, apricot-flavored brandy so I went to Cost Plus World Market to buy a better Apricot Moscato instead. I also used a peach apricot blend for the preserves.
Cake Reviewed after 3 hours:
- I will not make a dense cake next time. A lighter sponge does work better for this type of chocolate dessert. In fact, I might use cake flour instead of all purpose flour.
- The whipped cream is a must to balance the taste of the bitter dark chocolate. I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet baking chips.
- After visiting Pinterest, I plan to cut the cake layers into three rather than two for a more attractive wedge of Sachertorte. I am ambivalent about the light red-brown color of the cake too. The flavor of the apricot glaze and cake was light and sweet. Though I used at least 5 TB apricot moscato, the boozy impact of the dessert is subtle. I have mixed feelings about that as well.
- I like to decorate my plates with rolled lemon wafers. However, I noticed it looks more like a cigarette resting on ganache. Contact me if you can direct me to a food photography tutorial.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol’s Friday Night Sachertorte|
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol’s Kitchen Sachertorte Beast|
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol’s Kitchen Sachertorte carved up|
Cake Reviewed after 12 hours:
- World’s better after the cake has chilled in the fridge overnight! The apricot alcohol has a stronger flavor today after soaking the crumb of the Sacher torte. The ganache firmer.
- Easier to slice and present after chilling for over 8 hours. Suggestion: Slice thinly and drench with even more Apricot moscato, if you dare. Serve with whipped cream and broken lemon wafers. A decadent breakfast with Earl Grey Tea on a Friday morning!