Sunday, May 23, 2010

Two Desserts: Apple Amaretto Tart & Sachertorte

The weather is crappy, so it's the perfect time to crack open a cookbook and try some new recipes. I'm not usually a baker, but this weekend I tried two new desserts that were pretty darn good! Both are courtesy of the Children's World Cookbook from Usborne Books.

FRENCH APPLE AMARETTO TART (I added the Amaretto!)
1 1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. butter, chilled
2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg yolk + water
6 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
4 tbsp. cold water
4 tbsp. sugar
1-2 apples, sliced (with the peel on)
2 tbsp. marmalade
1 tbsp. hot water
1 tbsp. amaretto

In a bowl, cut butter into flour until it makes a crumbly mixture. Mix in egg yolk and a few tablespoons of water to make a ball of dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Put diced apples in a pot with cold water and sugar (I also added 1 tsp. Fruit Crumble Spices). Cook over medium-low heat until soft. Roll out dough and lay it in an 8" tart pan. Prick the bottom with a fork and trim the edges with knife. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Spoon the cooked apple mixture into the crust, and arrange sliced apples on top. Mix marmalade with amaretto and water, and brush over the apple slices. Bake for 30 minutes.

SACHETORTE (from Austria)
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
6 eggs, separated
4 oz. semisweet baker's chocolate
1/2 c. flour

4 oz. semisweet baker's chocolate
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. icing sugar
Beat butter and sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until smooth, and then gradually add them to the butter mixture. Melt the chocolate over a pot of hot water and stir into the butter mixture. Mix in flour. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until they are firm and form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture one scoop at a time, using a spoon or spatula. Pour the mixture into two 8" cake pans that have been greased and lined with wax paper. (I used a springform pan instead and only made one cake.) Bake at 325 F for 35 minutes. While cake is baking, prepare the icing by melting the chocolate and then stirring in butter and icing sugar until smooth.

I just iced my cake with the icing and dusted it with extra icing sugar, but I wish I would have read the directions closer and used 2 cake pans so I could ice it the way they suggested - they put the chocolate icing in between the two cakes (stacked on top of eachother), and then made a second icing for the rest of the cake:

1/2 c. apricot jam
2 tbsp. cocoa
3/4 c. icing sugar

Melt the jam over low heat and spread it over the top and sides of the cake. Sift cocoa and icing sugar together and add a little water at a time. Spread over the cake.

That would have been delicous, but considering I have a hard time icing a cake the regular way, these extra steps may have resulted in a puddle of chocolate and apricot jam blobbed onto my cake. So even though I'm sure it would taste fabulous, I'm pretty happy with the way mine turned out.

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