I remember growing up in Ljubljana and going to a tea house down the road from my home. The place always smelt amazing. I usually went with my dad. His favourite tea was the black tea flavoured with wild cherries. One other thing that he always used to get that we would share was a slice of the classic chocolate cake, sacher torte.
Since then, over 20 years later, I may have had that cake less than a handful of times. It has a special place in my heart though because it takes me back to my sweet childhood. I enjoy trying to recreate those memories and recipes but with my own twist to it. The twists to this are that it’s vegan, gluten-free and naked (no ganache). I’ve made the cake itself quite sweet and married with the apricot jam I find that a ganache would make it too sweet. If you prefer to have the ganache, just opt out the dark chocolate and use that to make the ganache. Sacher torte is a moist but dense chocolate cake with apricot jam in the middle, finished off with a ganache on the outside and if you’re going very traditional, an ‘S’ or ‘Sacher’ is also added on top of the cake pipped with the ganache in thin letters.
As well as the cake, I thought I’d share with you some images from my childhood area just around my house from photos Michael and I took when we were there in 2015. These were all taken within 10 minutes walking distance from my childhood home.
I tested this recipe so many times and really love the way that it has turned out! Considering that it’s a ‘healthy’ (in comparison to most other cakes), it tastes amazing. It could compete with any other cake out there, vegan, gluten-free or not. Hope you enjoy the recipe and let me know what you thought in the comments.
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 200g non-dairy chocolate
- 2 cups gluten-free flour*
- ½ cup cacao
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup apple sauce
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- ¾ cup apricot jam
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease the sides of a cake tin (23cm) and line the bottom with (preferably unbleached) baking parchment paper.
- Melt the coconut oil if it's hard with the chocolate over a double boiler on low heat.
- While that is melting, sift the flour, cacao, baking soda and mix with a whisk.
- Add in the salt and mix again.
- In a seperate bowl, combine the apple sauce, maple syrup, vanilla, vinegar and milk and whisk.
- Pour in the wet ingredients into the dry while whisking until all combined well.
- Add in the oil and chocolate once melted and whisk again.
- Pour in half the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Tap the dish on the bench just to get rid of any air bubbles in the mix.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Check with a skewer - make sure it comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from oven and let it cool completely for about 5 minutes. You should be able to run your knife around the inside of the pan to release it from the pan. Release the spring and flip the cake so that the bottom is facing up and remove the parchment paper carefully.
- Now repeat the process of parchment paper and greasing the sides and add the second half of the batter and cook for the same amount of time.
- Once you have them both done, let them cool completely before spreading the jam.
- You now have two cakes. Spread the jam on one of them and place the other on top and you're done! If you want a bit of a topping, you can melt a bit of the chocolate you used for the filling (if you have any left over) and pour that over the top.
- You can, if you don't mind the cake a little more crumbly, bake the whole batter at once. You would bake for around 40 minutes and then cover the top with aluminium foil (as otherwise the top will burn) and then bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let it cool and cut in half, spreading the apricot jam.
*The gluten-free flour blend I always tend to use it this one as it seems to work best for everything.
What I love the most about this cake is that it gets better with age. You can store it in your fridge for up to 3 days fine. It will be denser which is how I actually prefer it. The image above was of the cake on the first day.