The beauty of living in New York City is that I was often visited by friends, family and aquaintances from my home town in Italy. Mostly, we met for a coffee, dinner or some sightseeing. For some I opened the doors and welcomed them to stay, particularly if they were young women trying to find a foot hold in the Big Apple. One of them was who became my friend Bettina who came to stay for a few weeks and, among other things, also taught me how to bake. Bettina is a fantastic chef and became an extremely good baker after spending her childhood baking for the Cafe in her parent’s hotel. She baked numerous cakes and our favorite was the famous Viennese Sacher Torte. To this day, it’s what we bake for birthdays. This is how it’s done. Come and cook with us!
Don’t be overwhelmed thinking that baking a Sacher Torte is beyond your skill level. Believe me, if I can do it, so can you, as long as you follow these simple directions. Remember that everything has to be at room temperature, including butter, eggs and flour. Then, be gentle with your batter. It wants to be handled with care if you want it to turn into a light, moist and fluffy cake. Then, make double and triple sure that no egg yolk makes it into the egg white or they will not stiffen up. And lastly, believe in yourself as the cake will turn out to be delicious even if it might not look perfect.
I’m so thankful to Bettina for leaving this legacy of her stay. We celebrated my friend Dex’s birthday yesterday and what better way to surprise him than with a slice of Sacher Torte. Come and cook with us!