This week I got inspired by the many layers of clothing I am wearing because of the indecisive weather outside (5°C, rainy, feet are freezing, rooms are overheated). So, I made a layered cake, a German Baumkuchen (trans. Tree cake). Everyone was like “Oh god, that’s too hard to make!” But it really isn’t. Everyone just thinks it is, because it is so traditional and every pastry chef has to make one in his master exam. Typically it is made on a rotating spit behind which open fire is burning. The batter is poured over the spit repeatedly so that layers are created. These are supposed to resemble growth rings, hence the name.
Here is a picture of the traditional baking process:
But, since I don’t have rotating spits and open fire, I baked the cake just layer by layer in my oven and suddenly it is a very easy cake to make…. If you are a patient person.
For the Baumkuchen you will need:
100g icing sugar
120g Caster Sugar
200g Butter (room temperature)
150g Marzipan (in pieces)
1/3 Vanilla bean
Lemon zest of ½ Lemon
+ Apricot jam
+ 200g dark chocolate
- Line a 24cm baking tin and preheat the oven to 250°C
- Separate the eggs
- Beat the egg whites with some salt and the caster sugar until forming peaks
- Beat the butter, marzipan, icing sugar, vanilla and Lemon. Gradually add the egg yolks.
- Fold the egg whites and the flour into the butter mixture
- Spread 2-3 tbsp. of the batter into the tin
- Bake for 4 minutes. Then spread 2-3 tbsp. of batter onto the baked layer and bake again for 4 min. Repeat that procedure until there is no batter left.
- Let the cake cool.
- Let the apricot jam (about 100g) come to a boil. Then brush the cake with it.
- Once the cake is completely cooled cover it with chocolate.
I cut out small round cakes and painted a flowery embroidery pattern with white chocolate on top of them (obviously I am too patient).
The cake is really delicate and not hard to make. I mean, it takes some time to bake all the layers but if you skip the fussy painting part, and leave the cake in one piece, it’s done in under one hour (excluding cooling time). So, try it.