Austria 2020

The moment you've all been waiting for, as the F1 racing recommences in Austria, we back to baking our world tour. We've made cakes of each country enough times over the years (see all previous posts) that this year we need to change it up. So instead of making the traditional recipes, we'll be making our own variants. Hopefully, we'll enjoy them more than the plethora of contrasting opinions we had on some of the horrific attempts in previous events.

So this week, we made Tally-torte!

Our variant on the famous Sachetorte, chocolate cake from Vienna. A dense chocolate cake topped with jam and smothered in dark chocolate creamy ganache, finished with chocolate buttons and the essential creator's name piped over.

If you make this yourself, don't forget that the essential feature, is to forget about how the beaten egg whites should be carefully folded into the chocolate/sugar/butter mix in the old fashioned version and rather mash them in with your spatula to give it that essential brick-like density, in the finished Tally-torte.

The other deviation from what some Viennese hotel chef conjured up in 1832, is the more Tally-friendly switch from apricot topping to strawberry jam.  Especially delightful is how, when cutting with your cake fork though the fridge cold dark chocolate and rock-solid cake, the dessert bleeds with scarlet sauce down the outside.

Some of our family determined that the 70% dark chocolate was too much, but all-in-all I think we've created the new classic. Let us know how your attempts turn out.

Carefully measur out the ingredients

Be forced to pose for a photo

Spread into the tin

Sieve the jam for ultimate smooth filling and sugar high

Smother in ganache

Decorate in the originator's style

And enjoy

For the cake
140g plain chocolate
140g unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
5 free-range eggs, separated
85g ground almonds
55g plain flour

For the filling and ganache
100g sweet strawberry jam
100g plain chocolate
140ml double cream
50g milk chocolate for decoration

How to
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Grease a deep 23cm/9in round cake tin then line the base with greaseproof paper - in patchwork, because you forget to measure it out.
  1. Break up the chocolate into chunks, melting gently in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally, then cool, but not so much as it re-sets. 
  2. Beat the butter in a bowl until really soft, then gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and the vanilla extract and beat again. Add the egg yolks, then fold in the ground almonds and sieved flour. The mixture will be quite thick (much like the chef's assistant) at this stage.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Add one-third to the chocolate mixture and stir in vigorously. Forget to gently fold in the remaining egg whites and rather bash all that air out as you do so. 
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until springy. Leave to cool in the tin for a little while and then out on a cooling rack.

  5. Make the filling by sieving the jam before warming slightly in a saucepan. Pour over the cake, but don't allow it to run down the sides. Allow time to set or at least stiffen (maybe we should have put it in the fridge).
  6. To make the ganache break the plain chocolate into chunks. Warm the cream in a saucepan until it just bubbles, then panic that you've probably burnt it. Throw in all the chocolate and stir thoroughly with a spatula until smooth and consistent. Pouring into the centre of the cake, spread all around evenly and down the sides. Waste some on the kitchen work surface, which has to be scooped up with fingers and eaten immediately.
  7. Melt the milk chocolate and using a piping bag (or funnel formed from baking paper, like Great-nanna did in the Cousins Family Bakery) write 'Tally' on the top of the cake, add a smile and a heart shape. With remaining melted chocolate, make buttons in two sizes and place in the fridge. When set, decorate around the cake. 
  8. Leave the cake in the fridge to firm up and frustrate the impatient chef.
Credit: Mary Berry/BBC and Natalya Eden Cousins, 2020


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