What is Fika?

What is Fika?

In Swedish tradition, Fika is a break - a pause - in your day to indulge in the simple pleasures of a good cup of coffee or tea, some sweets or pastries, and time shared with friends and loved ones.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Sacher Torte

Not everything goes exactly as you plan.

It all started off with a new cake pan from Bulk Barn. I've been hankering for a 6" circular pan for a while. Not only does it make any cake instantly cute by its proportions, but as a single-dweller faced with the prospect of eating everything that he makes, it makes it easy to handle more baking. New recipe? No problem! No longer would I have to fear the issue of finding a herd of willing guinea pigs to consume my latest creation/failure.

The other reason why a 6" pan was so appealing was that I thought it could fit it into my toaster over. Adult Easy Bake oven, says you. But I figured that if I didn't have to fire up the big oven just for one cake, that would be a decent reduction in energy consumption. Everyone wins: Audric gets to bake a cake, and the rest of the world doesn't have to pay [as much] for it.

Sounds great? It certainly seemed so. The cake pan fits perfectly inside; its rim not even touching the top.

Until, that is, I realized that the toaster oven is really quite short. And that the heating element was really quite low. And one more fact I neglected: cakes RISE when baking.


Whoops, indeed.

Thankfully, the smell of burning was just a superficial smell of burning. Just. Instead of being a perfect reduction of a regular oven, mine turned into the tanning-bed-from-hell-that-someone-accidentally-fell-asleep-in-at-full-supernova-power. (Disclaimer: I swear that I do not speak from experience.)

What initially looked like a pretty serious burn didn't actually penetrate into the cake itself, and was easily removed. What was left over was plenty of cake and a level top to work with.

Cake layers, prepped for assembly!

Now that I've recounted the story of how I unceremoniously burnt my cake, let me know tell you affirmatively that the Sacher Torte is a truly dignified, elegant, refined cake. The cake itself is firm, fairly dense, fine-textured, and neither too sweet nor too moist. These layers are then lightly moistened with syrup and spread with nothing else than apricot jam.

Ready for jamming!

The assembled cake is then masked...

Just a thin layer to even out the sides

... and then it is coated with a smooth, glossy chocolate covering. Sophistication, in a cake. Discounting my piping abilities, that is.

The typical Sacher Torte has the word "Sacher" written over the top. Since my writing skills are less than optimal for the task, I decided to use my typical scroll pattern for the sides. It only seemed fitting for such a cake.

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