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Sacher squares

A recipe from the Good Food collection.

Sacher squares
Sacher squares


1 cup (125 g/4 oz) plain flour
60 g (2 oz) butter, chopped
¼ cup (60 g/2 oz) sugar
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten 
1 cup (125 g/4 oz) plain flour
⅓ cup (40 g/1¼ oz) cocoa powder
1 cup (250 g/4 oz) caster sugar
100 g (3½ oz) butter
2 tablespoons apricot jam
4 eggs, separated
1 cup (315 g/10 oz) apricot jam, extra 
250 g (4 oz) dark chocolate
¾ cup (185 ml/6 fl oz) cream


1. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). To make the base, sift the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks and 1½ teaspoons iced water and mix with a flat-bladed knife, using a cutting action, to a firm dough, adding more water if necessary. Gently gather the dough together and lift onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry to an 18 × 28 cm (7 × 11 inch) rectangle. Bake on a tray covered with baking paper for 10 minutes, or until just golden. Cool completely.

2. To make the cake, keep the oven at moderate 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Lightly grease a shallow 18 × 28 cm (7 × 11 inch) tin and line the base and side with baking paper, extending over two sides. Sift the flour and cocoa into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Combine the sugar, butter and jam in a small pan and stir over low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Mix in the egg yolks.

3. Place the egg whites in a small clean dry bowl and beat with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the cake mixture. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of cake. Leave in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

4. Warm the extra jam in a microwave or in a small pan, then push through a fine sieve. Brush the pastry base with 3 tablespoons of the jam. Place the cake on the base. Trim the sides evenly, cutting the hard edges from the cake and base. Using a serrated knife, cut into 24 squares.

5. Brush the top and sides of each square with apricot jam. Place the squares on a large wire rack, over a piece of baking paper, leaving at least 4 cm (1½ inches) between each.

6. To make the topping, break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a small bowl. Place the cream in a small pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, pour over the chocolate and leave for 5 minutes, then stir until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. Working with one at a time, spoon the topping over each square and use a flat-bladed knife to cover completely. Scrape the excess topping from the paper, with any left over, and spoon into a small paper piping bag. Seal the open end, snip off the tip and pipe an %lsquoS%rsquo onto each square.

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