Calling these cupcakes Sacher-cupcakes is probably an insult to Austrians everywhere and they will never let me go back to their country, let alone that hotel, but I do think it’s a fair description.
Sachertorte is a light chocolate sponge covered with apricot jam and chocolate glaze. These cakes are also light and chocolatey, filled with apricot jam and covered with chocolate ganache, and they are really delicious. I’ve made this recipe quite a few times in the last year or two for work events, because it’s incredibly easy and fast to make, works with gluten-free flour mix if it needs to, and once you fill it with apricot jam and load it with ganache nobody will believe that it’s vegan.
Your shopping list
1 cup soy milk + 1/4 cup for the ganache
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
¾ tsp bicarb
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup caster sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
250g apricot jam, or thereabouts
125g dark chocolate, chopped (Lindt 70% is vegan)
30ml maple syrup
Now what will you do with it?
Preheat your oven to 180°C, and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases.
Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and leave for five minutes to curdle slightly while you measure out the next four ingredients into a larger bowl.
Whisk the sugar and canola oil into the soy milk mixture, and then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients, whisking as you go. You want this to be pretty smooth, so if there are large lumps of cocoa (I know, I know, proper bakers sift their cocoa, but I am not a proper baker), give it a minute with your electric beaters rather than using the trusty fork.
This is a pretty wet, not to say liquid, batter, so I suggest using a 1/3 cup measure to scoop it up and distribute it between your 12 cupcake cases (it’s actually just over like 1/4 cup of batter per cupcake, but it’s easier to use a larger measuring cup).
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cakes have round little tops and are springy when you poke at them.
Remove the cakes from the tin, and cool on a wire rack.
Cut a round, conical hole in the centre of each cake, and spoon in some apricot jam. Be generous. Nobody ever complained about too much apricot jam.
Now, chop up your dark chocolate and put it in a bowl. Heat the soy milk in a small saucepan, until just boiling. Add the maple syrup and bring to the boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts, which it will, just barely, and it will be lovely and shiny, too. Sadly, it doesn’t stay shiny once it dries, so enjoy the moment.
Immediately spoon chocolate ganache onto each cake – it will be quite thick almost immediately, so I usually spoon a blob on top of each cake, then use the back of the spoon to quickly spread it into a circle – the goal is to cover the apricot jam entirely, and as much of the cake as possible, but if a bit of the edges of cake are showing, that’s fine.
Serve with love.
This is essentially the basic chocolate recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but with a bit less sugar in it, so it’s dairy, egg and nut-free, and can be made gluten-free with my gluten-free flour mix. You can change the flavours in a variety of ways, depending on what’s in your cupboard – I do think the jam and ganache combination is good, though, because like Sachertorte, this chocolate cake can be a little dry, and the jam keeps it moist (and the ganache keeps it intensely chocolatey and delicious).
If you do not want to insult the culinary principles of Austrians, you could always insult the Germans instead, by adding a little kirsch to the mixture, filling the cupcakes with sour cherry jam, putting a dollop of cream or soy cream on top of the ganache, and calling it a Schwarzwaldekirschcupcake. (Never say this blog is not geographically neutral!)