HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Do you create unique foods? Share your adventure

What to do with a dry Sacher torte?

Thanks4Food Dec 25, 2013 05:52 PM

Since my sister who lives in Rome told me she gets one every Christmas, I thought I'd try one from Cost Plus. Glad I got it half price because it seemed a bit like a glorified Ding Dong. My husband doesn't want me to throw it out without first trying to do something with it--any ideas?

  1. greygarious Dec 25, 2013 06:10 PM

    Drizzle it with rum or a liqueur of your choice and let it marinate in that for a few days. Or make a trifle with it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious
      alkapal Dec 27, 2013 03:15 AM

      LOL greygarious, i posted before i saw your post. great minds…..tee hee.

    2. prima Dec 25, 2013 07:24 PM

      Process into crumbs and use as a base for rum balls.

      1 Reply
      1. re: prima
        Querencia Dec 30, 2013 11:37 AM

        For years there was a fancy very classical bakery in Washington DC called Avignon Freres that had rum balls that were not little cookies but more like big cake. Some time ago I posted on CH an SOS to professional bakers and my respondents said to use cake crumbs, so there you go with your dry Sachertorte.The AF version were rum-soaked and had fruitcake (glace') fruit in them in them, were about 2-3" in diameter (shaped into balls), and were frosted with fudgey chocolate fondant. Maybe the best cake I've ever eaten.

      2. Melanie Wong Dec 25, 2013 10:29 PM

        I've had it at both Hotel Sacher and Demel, and the version that Demel exports to the US. All are dry. But a slice is served with a good amount of thick whipped cream to compensate. You might want to try it again this way and with a good cup of coffee.

        More about Sacher torte (and many comments on dryness):

        1. Cheese Boy Dec 25, 2013 10:39 PM

          Cut. Then soak in melted vanilla ice cream.

          1. maria lorraine Dec 25, 2013 10:54 PM

            Dunk it into coffee or tea in the morning.

            1. p
              pine time Dec 26, 2013 08:20 AM

              Two thin slices with lemon curd in the middle. And a shot of booze over top. And whipped cream.

              2 Replies
              1. re: pine time
                ChristinaMason Dec 31, 2013 04:53 AM

                but Sacher already has a layer of apricot jam...

                1. re: ChristinaMason
                  pine time Dec 31, 2013 08:53 AM

                  I'm always willing to gild the lily. :)

              2. tim irvine Dec 26, 2013 09:22 AM

                Although I have never been to the Hotel Sacher, I have never had a Sacher torte that wasn't dry. I am a decent cook, and mine is dry. I think it is a flawed recipe preserved because of associations, not intrinsic merit. The chocolate cake on the Hershey's cocoa box, augmented with jam if you like, is 162 times better by my calculations. I like the trifle idea a lot and vote you try that and report back!

                24 Replies
                1. re: tim irvine
                  MrsJonesey Dec 27, 2013 05:13 AM

                  Only 162 times better? lol. I suspect you're right on all counts. I made it at the request of my son after he came back from a semester in Germany. Sometimes once is enough.

                  1. re: tim irvine
                    prima Dec 27, 2013 06:11 AM

                    It's meant to be a dry torte, to be served with whipped cream. http://germanfood.about.com/b/2011/02...
                    Most classic German, Austrian and Hungarian tortes and cakes are going to seem dry to those accustomed to moist, North American-style cakes. It's not flawed, it's a different style of baking.

                    1. re: prima
                      JudiAU Dec 27, 2013 08:05 AM

                      Hee hee. FIL JudiAU who is Austrian and likes a bit of schlag, does not like Sacher torte either. 'Always too dry."

                      So, yes, these are drier style cakes but that doesn't mean that it is good cake.

                      1. re: JudiAU
                        JudiAU Jan 1, 2014 09:43 PM

                        Mr. JudiAU just walked by and saw the thread title. "All sachet torte is dry. The most dry is at the Hotel Sacher."

                    2. re: tim irvine
                      Thanks4Food Dec 30, 2013 07:31 AM

                      I was away for a few days so couldn't reply till now. Funny you mention the Hershey's cake: I just made the Special Dark version for a friend's birthday today and it looks so good (btw, I sprinkled it with non pariels for some color and it looks like a giant non pariel, so that's what I'm going to call it, "Non Pariel Cake"). Then I looked in the fridge and saw that Sacher torte...yuck,

                      Although the trifle idea is interesting, it tasted too much like a Ding Dong to want to waste any good ingredients on it. I think I'm just going to toss it--esp. since I'm suffering from an over-indulgence/over-abundance of sweets this year. Not only were we given a ton of candies this Christmas, but I had purchased a lot of cakes (stollen, panettone, pound cake) and cookies to serve at an open house a few weeks ago--and very little was eaten.

                      1. re: Thanks4Food
                        TorontoJo Dec 30, 2013 07:45 AM

                        Just a friendly fyi, since you're going to the trouble of naming your cake for your friend (which is awesome of you, btw), the correct term/spelling is "nonpareil". :o)

                        1. re: Thanks4Food
                          alkapal Dec 30, 2013 10:49 AM

                          freeze! please don't toss. re-purpose.

                          1. re: alkapal
                            Thanks4Food Dec 30, 2013 04:34 PM

                            Re-purpose? This isn't Habitat for Humanity--it's a cake. Why should I waste the freezer space and the calories on something I don't even like?

                            And I'm lactose intolerant which is why I'm ignoring suggestions about ice cream/whipped cream, etc.

                            1. re: Thanks4Food
                              greygarious Dec 30, 2013 07:35 PM

                              Well, you DID ask for suggestions to improve it. If tossing doesn't go against your grain, nobody's going to stop you other than your husband. If HE eats dairy, you've got a lot of suggestions here for tailoring it for him.

                              1. re: Thanks4Food
                                chowser Dec 30, 2013 07:43 PM

                                I'm confused, too. Why did you ask for suggestions if you don't want to repurpose it? It seems like people spent time and energy finding you good solutions for no reason at all.

                                1. re: chowser
                                  Thanks4Food Dec 30, 2013 09:00 PM

                                  Don't be confused: I considered the options and decided this thing wasn't worth saving. Don't you guys ever conclude that something isn't worth saving? I don't do alcohol (much) or dairy and nearly all the suggestions were one or the other or both.

                                  The implication that I was being wasteful by not "re-purposing" it just irked me. This is not some healthful food that it would be a shame to waste--it's a giant Ding Dong. I said that twice before but no one seems to have picked on up it. But I really mean a Ding Dong with that waxy-tasting chocolate coating. Would any of YOU try to salvage a Ding Dong, even a giant one with smidgen of apricot preserves in it?

                                  As for my husband: he doesn't care one way or the other anymore--this IS nearly a week later and it's not as much a shame to throw it out now as it seemed on Christmas Day.

                                  1. re: Thanks4Food
                                    Melanie Wong Dec 30, 2013 11:43 PM

                                    Odd that you would ask for assistance that has been provided in earnest given your a priori Ding Dong worthlessness assessment that you're saying should be apparent to every reader.

                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                      alkapal Dec 31, 2013 04:04 AM

                                      i'm with you, melanie.

                                      i mean, why bother asking if you don't care in the first place???

                                      no thanks for food, apparently.

                                      1. re: alkapal
                                        Thanks4Food Jan 2, 2014 11:18 AM

                                        I am very thankful for good food, but saw no reason to use good ingredients on something that isn't good to start with--and as I wrote below, I was trying to please my husband with the original post.

                                        If it makes you all feel better--and apparently it will--I will no longer let you know if I decide not take the offered advice. And I will take a few months off from asking any advice at all.

                                        1. re: Thanks4Food
                                          greygarious Jan 2, 2014 11:33 AM

                                          In the past year, you have asked for, and gotten, good suggestions and help in the execution of quite a variety of recipes, especially during your stint filling in for a monastery cook. In this current thread, it would have helped if you'd noted at the outset that you did not want recipes involving dairy or alcohol, as, if memory serves, those were not caveats in your prior requests. When one is responding to a thread seeking recipe help, it's frustrating to take the time to ferret out some links or other resources, only to realize later, when the OP mentions hitherto-omitted details, that one's effort is irrelevant.

                                          1. re: greygarious
                                            Thanks4Food Jan 2, 2014 01:42 PM

                                            Don't you think you're piling on a bit more than is warranted? How many times must I apologize for annoying everyone?

                                    2. re: Thanks4Food
                                      MrsJonesey Dec 31, 2013 07:26 AM

                                      I get it. After a time, you decided it wasn't worth saving. Throwing out not-so-great food shouldn't be so taboo. It's not worth the calories, the space it takes up, nor the guilt. You won't prevent someone else starving by tossing it. Tossing out edible food shouldn't be done with abandon, but sometimes it just makes more sense.

                                      1. re: MrsJonesey
                                        prima Dec 31, 2013 07:55 AM

                                        But there's no need to inform Chowhound if you decide to toss something out. Isn't that a little bit like telling someone you threw out a virtual gift they gave you?

                                        If a Chowhound doesn't want to take some suggestions/recommendations, fine. I don't see why the OP feels the need to tell Chowhounds that she's tossing the torte, unless she's enjoying the repartee (that's why I'm posting). Some Chowhounds, if they felt the need to respond, would respond with a simple thank you, even if they planned to toss the torte.

                                        Happy New Year!

                                        1. re: MrsJonesey
                                          Thanks4Food Jan 2, 2014 11:12 AM

                                          Thank you, MrsJonesey: at least one person got it. I thought I was doing you guys a favor by saying I'm getting rid of it so you wouldn't keep trying to offer suggestions.

                                          It seems what you would have preferred it if I had made my original post and not replied with further posts. But someone had said "Please report back!" I thought it was nicer to let you know that I decided not to try to save it than to have someone out there waiting to know how my trifle turned out.

                                        2. re: Thanks4Food
                                          chowser Dec 31, 2013 04:58 PM

                                          I throw things out all the time and understand that. What I'm confused about is that you'd decided that it was a Ding Dong tasting cake, not worth spending money/ingredients or energy on so why ask for people to expend their time and energy to give you solutions you're not going to take? Personally I did take some time to google recipes for you that might suit your request. Had I known, I wouldn't have bothered.

                                          1. re: chowser
                                            Thanks4Food Jan 2, 2014 11:14 AM

                                            I'm very sorry I put you out, Chowser, but I was doing it for my husband's sake. When I convinced him that we had better-tasting things available, he gave up on the idea of trying to save it.

                                  2. re: Thanks4Food
                                    ChefJune Dec 30, 2013 12:23 PM

                                    Before you throw it away, get some vanilla ice cream and cut the torte into slices and make an ice box cake with it layered vertically with the ice cream. That'll moisten it up, and I'll bet you husband wont object. ;)

                                  3. re: tim irvine
                                    teezeetoo Dec 30, 2013 07:50 AM

                                    I had it at the Hotel Sacher. Meh. Many years ago, at a bakery in Greenwich Village called Mrs. Douglas, I had the epiphany of all chocolate cakes to which I compare all others. The Sacher did not match up well. I like the shlag though!

                                    1. re: teezeetoo
                                      prima Dec 30, 2013 08:54 AM

                                      I'd measure Sachertorte against other Sachertortes, rather than against all chocolate cakes. I think people who like Sachertorte like it for what it is, not because it's a good example of a chocolatey chocolate cake. :)

                                      I'm not aware of any classic European tortes that are as chocolately as North American chocolate cakes. Princeregententorte has a lot of chocolate buttercream, but the cake layers are white spongecake. Traditional Blackforest Torte in Europe also isn't nearly as chocolately as the North American versions of Blackforest Cake, in my experience.

                                  4. alkapal Dec 27, 2013 03:14 AM

                                    booze and lots of it.

                                    then turn that into a trifle!

                                    1. j
                                      jdub1371 Dec 27, 2013 06:46 PM

                                      I've done this with leftover chocolate cake that has dried out a bit, or cake that came out dry to begin with : break it up into chunks and place in a dish. Cook up some chocolate pudding (homemade for me - I haven't used pudding mix in years), pour it over the cake while hot, and let it cool and set.

                                      Something about this combo is greater than the sum of its parts - it always comes out scrumptious, more than you would think of cake+pudding.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: jdub1371
                                        ChefJune Dec 30, 2013 12:24 PM

                                        That's another good idea!

                                        1. re: ChefJune
                                          jdub1371 Dec 30, 2013 07:18 PM

                                          Glad you liked it! It occurs to me that a drizzle of booze (rum, kirsch, brandy, Grand Marnier, whatever) over the cake before the pudding goes on wouldn't be a bad idea either.

                                          1. re: jdub1371
                                            toodie jane Dec 31, 2013 02:46 PM

                                            kirsch is brushed on with a pastry brush. Just a hint does it.

                                      2. ChefJune Dec 30, 2013 12:20 PM

                                        If you have an imbibing needle (comes with some basters) you can poke holes through the frosting and imbibe it with rum or sugar syrup or whatever else you can think of that might go with the SacherTorte. That's what I'd try.

                                        They're really not hard to make from scratch.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: ChefJune
                                          prima Dec 30, 2013 12:55 PM

                                          Could also poke holes and add chocolate syrup to make a SacherPokeTorte. I don't own an imbibing needle, but I've used a toothpick to make garden variety poke cakes. ;-)

                                          1. re: prima
                                            chowser Dec 30, 2013 01:14 PM

                                            What about trying a sacher torte chocolate tres leches cake? Use this three milks to pour over the cake w/ holes poked in.


                                            I think it would be much better than chocolate syrup.

                                            1. re: prima
                                              toodie jane Dec 31, 2013 02:46 PM

                                              sachertorte is not sweet. No to syrup.

                                          2. chowser Dec 30, 2013 12:49 PM

                                            Make some version of these:


                                            1. r
                                              royceag Dec 30, 2013 02:39 PM

                                              I'm with the rest- liqueur it up. Though, it's kind of hard to saturate the cake with a liqueur syrup when it's already been covered in ganache and preserves. I'd probably make some version of trifle/tiramisu with it. If you ever dare to try again in future, be sure to use a European butter with low water content/high fat and perhaps bake it at a slightly lower temperature and/or for a bit less time. Also, maybe you're beating the flour too much- developing the gluten and check on the cocoa type. Maybe you're using alkalized vs. non-alkalized? Personally, I use chocolate, unsweetened or otherwise in lieu of cocoa powder almost exclusively. Just some thoughts. Best of luck!

                                              1. Caroline1 Dec 30, 2013 07:48 PM

                                                hmmmmm..... I've never had a Sacher torte that most Americans don't think is "dry." But then if you bought it from Cost Plus, heaven knows how long it has been sitting on a shelf! Soooooo... Before I re-purposed it, I would find a cardboard box that the plated torte will fit into, line the bottom of the box with aluminum foil, roll some paper towels into "ropes," then get them pretty wet and spread them along the inside bottom of the box, then put the torte on a plate in the box and close up the lid. Then let it sit on the counter top or some place safe for a day or two to "re-hydrate." THEN, if it's still dry, as Melanie suggests, serve it up with a mountain of whipped cream beside it!

                                                The Austrian tradition for Sacher torte is unsweetened or very lightly sweetened whipped cream, but American taste buds prefer the sugar content full speed ahead.

                                                Good luck!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                  gnomatic Dec 30, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                  Have to agree with Caroline1. I bought the Cost Plus one last year, it was dry and really flat. I wasn't entirely surprise, it's a box cake that required no refrigeration, shipped from Europe with a disturbingly long expiry date on it.

                                                  It is no where even close to the Sachertorte at Demel in Vienna, or a coffee houses in Budapest. And I am not a fan of it myself, I find it a bit too rich. I prefer a Dobostorte.

                                                2. SWISSAIRE Dec 30, 2013 09:54 PM

                                                  I make Sachertorte about 4-6x per year, using a cake bake form, a few ingredients, and a Bain Marie. It is not that hard, and I had a few that were a bit dry in the beginning.

                                                  Rather than add brandy onto the chocolate outer layer, the technique used to rehydrate the cake is from the bottom of the cake layer.

                                                  1. Using a plate (photo) with a lip that will hold liquid, add a few drops of brandy into the center of the plate, spreading them out and around.

                                                  2. Using a cake lifter, then place the Sachertorte onto the moist plate very carefully.

                                                  3. Cover the cake and plate with plastic, foil, or a cover. I used a Dr. Oetker Cool Cake carrier for this, which also protects it in the refrigerator.

                                                  4. It is important not to move the cake at this point, but to let it rest in a refrigerator for 24 - 48 hours undisturbed.

                                                  First, as the original recipe calls for Apricot brandy in the filling layer, that is what I would also use to rehydrate a dry torte. Something else may yield a conflicting taste.

                                                  Second, to keep your torte moist, cut or divide the cake at the 1/3 level, and not exactly at the 1/2 level ( photo). When you spread the apricot & brandy preserves at this level, it will keep things moist at the bottom, and upwards. You can also double up on the apricot spread at the cake top, just under the chocolate layer.

                                                  Third, always keep the torte covered to maintain the moisture.

                                                  As mentioned, this is traditionally served with a large side dollop of fresh cream. Rather than ship and receive a dry torte, I would urge those interested to try making one.

                                                  1. Jpan99 Dec 31, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                    I was in Salzburg in September and had the Sacher torte at the Hotel Sacher. It was dryish but not dry. But I knew it would be like that. Served with whipped cream and a pot of tea I loved it. No, it's not the best cake I ever had but I was in Salzburg eating cake at a famous cafe! How is that bad?

                                                    If your cake is too dry I would probably layer it in a trifle with homemade custard and apricot jam and a bunch of whipped cream!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Jpan99
                                                      SWISSAIRE Dec 31, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                      Nice photo !

                                                      Seeing it, I wish I were there.

                                                      1. re: Jpan99
                                                        Thanks4Food Jan 2, 2014 11:21 AM

                                                        Now that looks gorgeous--the chocolate looks thick and delicious.

                                                      Show Hidden Posts