I do my best to eat a simple diet, based on whole grains, vegetables, beans and legumes, with little to no processed and refined foods. Every now and again, I get a craving for something sinful. Rather than depriving myself, I indulge in moderation and by adapting the recipe to suit my needs. While it’s not always possible to create something that is both sinful and healing, with a little bit of effort, trial and error, I can usually come up with a healthier version of a sinful treat. These Sachertorte style cupcakes are a great example.
Sachertorte is a famous traditional Viennese chocolate layer cake, filled with apricot jam and topped with chocolate ganache and it happens to be Hubby’s favourite dessert since it contains two of his favourite things; chocolate and apricot jam.
I’ve only ever eaten a traditional Sachertorte once in my life. Shortly thereafter, I gave up dairy, eggs and sugar and since it contains all of the above, I never had the cake again. Sachertorte is quite popular here in Italy and every so often we pass by a bakery and Hubby stops in the window to admire the Sachertorte’s on display.
For over a year now, I’ve been wanting to make my own vegan sugar-free version of the Sachertorte for Hubby’s sake, but it hasn’t happened, until now. Sort of.
I woke up at 7:30am on Saturday morning and Hubby was still in stage four sleep. Unable to get back to sleep myself, I decided to get out of bed and use the time productively, rather than stare at the wooden beams in the ceiling. So, I decided to bake something. I had had Sachertorte on the mind for some time, but a layer cake seemed like too much work for a Saturday morning. So I decided on cupcakes.
I started with a simple vegan sugar-free chocolate cake recipe that I created some time ago for hubby’s birthday (which I had sandwiched and topped with coconut frosting and shredded coconut, another of his all time favourite ingredients). It’s bound to make a come back at some point so I’ll post it then. For now, that tried and proven chocolate cake recipe served me well as a base for these cupcakes.
After I let the cupcakes cool, I cored them, filled them, frosted them and sprinkled them with chocolate chunks.
The result, decadent and sinful Sachertorte inspired cupcakes without the dairy, eggs and refined sugar. A real treat for a Saturday morning.
Proud of my efforts, I sliced one open and headed to the bedroom to wake up Hubby, who upon opening his eyes was pleased to find his favourite dessert starring back at him. “I love you” he said…”but not just for the food eh…”. I like how Hubby says “eh”, must be my Canadian influence ;-).
Vegan Sugar-Free Sachertorte Cupcakes
Makes 8 Medium Cupcakes
- 1 C Unbleached Flour (Type 0 Wheat Flour in Italy)
- 1/2 C Unsweetened Organic Pure Cacao Powder
- 1 Tsp Pure Bourboun Vanilla Powder (I use Rapunzel brand)
- 1 Tsp Non Chemical Organic Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 C Neutral Sunflower Oil (unflavoured/unscented)
- 1/2 C Organic Brown Rice Syrup (you could also use Maple Syrup for a sweeter end result)
- 1 C Soy Milk or Rice Milk
- 1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (356 F)
- Line muffin/cupcake tray with paper holders
- Sift dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
- Whisk wet ingredients together in a separate mixing bowl
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with a rubber or silicone spatula until well combined (do not overmix or the batter will stiffen)
- Pour batter into lined tray, about 1/3 cup of batter per cupcake
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (adjust baking time based on your oven. My oven is ventilated)
- 8 Squares of Dark Chocolate (I used Vivani 92% Cocoa and slightly sweetened with Coconut Blossom Sugar, there are a total of 10 squares in the 80g bar, I reserved two to crush into chunks and top the cupcakes)
- 1/4 C Soy Milk
- 2 Tbsp Brown Rice Syrup
- 1/4 Tsp Pure Bourbon Vanilla Powder
- Melt the chocolate using a bagno maria or double boiler method by placing the chocolate squares in a small bowl, over a pot of boiling water
- Once chocolate has melted, stir in soy milk, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. The mixture will thicken slightly.
- The ganache will be a bit runny at this point. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to cool and firm up the chocolate to a spreadable consistency. Make sure not to leave it in the refrigerator too long or it will solidify (see note below).
- 16 Tsps of Organic Apple Juice Sweetened Apricot Jam
Filling & Frosting the Cupcakes
- Using an apple corer, delicately remove the core of the cupcakes. Cupcakes should be cooled completely before you do this or the core won’t come out clean and in one piece.
- Fill each cupcake with 2 teaspoons of jam (you can add up to 1 tablespoon if you like it really full).
- Place the core back in the cupcake.
- Once the ganache has cooled and firmed up slightly, remove from the refrigerator and frost the cupcakes using about 1 tablespoon of ganache per cupcake.
- Crush or coarsely chop two squares of chocolate and sprinkle chocolate chunks on top of the cupcakes.
Indulge and enjoy!
Notes & Tips
- The key to the ganache is good high quality dark chocolate. The Vivani brand I used is excellent. It has a slight caramel flavour and because it is sweetened with Coconut Blossom Sugar it has a relatively low glycemic index. I usually use 100% unsweetened cocoa squares to make the ganache, but I haven’t been able to find it lately. If you do use the unsweetened version, make sure to adjust the quantity of rice sweetener accordingly. 1/4 cup should do the trip, but it all depends on how sweet you like it. If you use sweetened chocolate, you may not need the added sweetness at all.
- If the ganache solidifies, it will not be spreadable and if you reheat it, it will melt to a strange consistency as the oils will separate. Your best bet is to prepare the ganache when you’re ready to frost the cupcakes. I made the mistake of leaving two cupcakes unfrosted, and then when I reheated the ganache later to frost them, it was oily and lumpy. It still tastes good, but it doesn’t look as smooth and pretty.