Sacher torte is an Austrian chocolate cake loaded with eggs, butter and cream. Having said that, "vegan sacher torte" seems like a total oxymoron. Well, that is about to change! I was asked by a friend to create a vegan, refined sugar-free sacher torte for a special occasion. I actually had the real thing years ago in Austria. The cake itself is a bit on the dry side and is compensated by the rich buttery ganache coating and plenty of whipped cream served on the side. Very rich and decadent.
Here is the vegan version, which got the thumbs up from a German friend. The cake itself is not overly sweet, especially if you use half rice syrup like I did in the following recipe. The sweetness in this cake comes more from the ganache. The cake, which has a layer of slightly tart apricot jam in the middle, is served with dollops of cashew cream that is mildly sweetened to make perfect balance with the rich chocolate madness. The result? Not as heavy as the real deal but just as decadent.
I really appreciate challenges like this that arise from time to time. Thanks Ms T. for giving me the opportunity to experiment and once again prove that it is possible to make delightful desserts without the use of eggs, dairy and refined sugar!
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup soymilk (or any non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup Suzanne's chocolate rice syrup (if you don't have it, substitute with maple syrup)
1 TBS vanilla extract
*To make this cake gluten-free, you can use 2 cups of Bob's gluten-free flour mix instead. Add 1 tsp of xanthan gum to the dry ingredients.
1/4 to 1/3 cup fruit-juice sweetened apricot jam
8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped into small pieces*
3/4 cup Suzanne's chocolate rice syrup (if you don't have it, use maple syrup and add more chocolate)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 oz Earth Balance (vegan butter)
1/2 cup soymilk (or any non-dairy milk of your choice)
*I used Trader Joe's baking chocolate that comes in easy-to-melt disc shapes and doesn't have to be chopped before melting. You can also use grain-sweetened chocolate chips (contains gluten). Use less sweetener as the chips are already sweetened.
1 1/4 cups raw cashews (soaked for at least 5 hours and drained)
2/3 cup water
2 TBS maple syrup
1 TBS vanilla extract
- To make the cake: Sift the dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add the wet into the dry and mix with a whisk. Switch to a rubber spatula to finish up mixing and ensure that everything is well incorporated while being careful not to overmix.
- Pour the cake batter into an oiled 9" cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes. Test for doneness with a wooden skewer inserted in the middle, making sure it comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
- To make the chocolate ganache: In a double boiler, place chocolate and sweetener. Melt the chocolate slowly over low heat in a double boiler. Let it sit until the chocolate on the outer edges start to melt and stir it frequently with a rubber spatula. Add Earth Balance and soymilk and let the butter melt. Stir well until smooth. Remove from the double boiler and set aside to cool down. You want it pourable but cool enough so it hardens after coating the cake.
- To assemble: Remove the cake out of the pan. Shave off the top layer as it can be dry and not flat. Slice the cake into two layers of equal thickness. Place one layer on a 9" cake circle. Spread a generous layer of apricot jam on top. Place the other cake layer on top and spread a layer of apricot jam. Place in the refrigerator to cool.
- To make the cashew cream: Place everything in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour it out into a container and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve the cake.
- To finish up: Place the cake on a cooler rack with a pan underneath. Pour the ganache over the cake until all the sides are coated. Let the ganache cool down before transferring to the fridge. Chill well before serving. Slice and serve with heaps of cashew cream.
Interested in my sugar-free vegan dessert recipes? Stay tuned for my blog updates as I am currently working on a dessert cookbook titled "The Peaceful Dessert Book." Please check out the photos of some of my desserts here in the meantime. There is also an assortment of dessert recipes posted within this blog. How about whipping up some almond jam dots? Soothing apple delight or melt-in-your-mouth vanilla flan with blueberries?