Saturday, August 22, 2009

The beauty of mistakes

IP Lesson XII- Sacher torte and Tiramisu


Sacher torte

Saturday’s class was dedicated to making two very popular cakes: Sacher torte and tiramisu.

Sacher torte must be one of the most popular cake around. It originated from Austria in Hotel Sacher. It is rich chocolate cake with apricot jam and dark chocolate ganache.

Tiramisiu which means ‘pick me up’ is a delightful dessert that originated in Italy.

While we were most excited about making these two cakes today, our moods were literally dampened as I found out that my partner has lost her tool kit. She was visibly affected (who wouldn’t be when the tool kit cost so much!). I was lost for words because I know that, quite frankly, words would bear little comfort when faced with such a loss.

In any case, the lesson had to go on and we had to bake our cakes no matter what. So the both of us trudged on with the hectic lesson where we had to prepare and assemble both the sacher torte as well as the tiramisu.

The sponge fingers were made from scratch and it was my first time baking them. I think I wouldn’t be buying store-bought ones anymore the next time I make tiramisu.

The filling was made with mascarpone cheese, cream, icing sugar, egg yolks and tia maria (coffee liquor). It’s not hard to make tiramisu but I must say that this is one of the better recipes around.

The tiramisu worked out well but as the tin was too large, we didn’t have enough filling to fill the tiramisu to the top which marred its look quite a bit.

The chocolate sponge cake for sacher torte was baked and it was sliced and layered with chocolate ganache and apricot jam but the hardest part lies with the application of the glaze. Done right, the sacher will shine from every angle. (I’m not kidding!)

The dark chocolate ganache had to be of the right consistency(flowy) before pouring over the cake. If it is too thick, it will end up in a dull blob.

It also sets very quickly which meant that you would have little time to spread or try to change its form once the glaze is on.

Another thing with the sacher's glaze is that you cannot put it in the fridge or it, too, would lose its shine. Such is the delicacy of the sacher's glaze.

Most of us had trouble with the glaze and ended up not having a smooth top and sides. Mine was a terrible mess. It was far from what chef had done so effortlessly during demo. I totally underestimated the glaze.

But we all learn from mistakes don’t we?
In fact, I find that the best lessons are always from mistakes.

Sometimes hard, sometimes painful, but always good.


  1. I love tiramisu!! gosh, if you were to ask me wat birthday cake I want (hahaa, abit thick-skin hor), I wouldn't know which cake to choose!!!

  2. Ha.. Hmm you can take your time to decide.. Sorry I wouldn't be able to bake a cake for your birthday this year...