When I saw that the first challenge for the letter "A" was Austria, I knew I wanted to participate. Austrian baked goods are, quite frankly, yummy, and what's more I was planning on doing this on a Sunday and I have a Monday class with an Austrian professor from 5-7 where we're all complaining that we're starving. So I decided to make a Sachertorte and bring it to class. Since it is only 2:43 on Monday as I write this, I haven't tasted it, but I can tell you about the process. I followed the recipe more or less religiously, and it went pretty well for the most part.
It looked complicated, but the cake part took only an hour from start to in the oven, and baked up quite nicely. I didn't bother "spackling" the little holes, because I'm not that anal. The apricot glaze was also fairly easy, though I was somewhat limited by a grocery store that only had one apricot option, called "fruit spread." I didn't bother straining either, because bits of apricot are tasty. The hard part came with the chocolate glaze. I used the small saucepan as recommended, and I'm glad the chocolate didn't burn, but it was impossible to keep it from boiling over! I couldn't stir very effectively with the candy thermometer in, and if I tried to stir and then stick it back in, it wouldn't get all the way up to the temperature before it had started boiling over again. So I estimate that it was probably only about 220 degrees max, and definitely too thin.
My kitchen was quite a mess after it had run all over the place, and though I kept doing a scrape-and-retry job, it never really set enough to keep there from being thin spots where you could see through. You can see the dripping in progress here, which continued onto my floor. I decided it didn't really matter, though, and a thin glaze is still a glaze.. So I'm about to go whip up some Sahne and head to class. I can tell you that the cake itself is tasty, and the top that you have to cut off tastes great with jam! I don't know if I'd do it other than for a special occasion, because the jam and chocolate are pretty expensive, but it's an impressive treat. Check out Prettybaking in Israel in October for the roundup!