For the April Daring Bakers' Challenge, Francijn of "Koken in de Brouwerij". She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake). We were to follow the Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte technique of smearing thin layers of batter on top of each other, and baking them one by one, so creating a layered cake structure. Originally, Baumkuchen is supposed to bake on a big spit and this challenge recipe is a layered cake version. I am very excited as this is my first Bakers' challenge in 2014 and I have been away for a while and can't wait to get back! I have tried a couple Baumkuchen recipes but they always on dry side, this recipe looks amazing, so I am going to try it!
For this amazing Baumkuchen, I follow most of the original recipe and scale it down by one third since my cake pan is a bit smaller,
- four large eggs (room temperature and separated)
- pinch of salt
- 80 g sugar
- 100 g marzipan (crumbled)
- 134 g softened unsalted butter
- 38 g butter (room temperature) and more for mold
- 67 g confectioner's sugar
- 5 g vanilla powder (suppose to use vanilla sugar)
- 67 g AP flour (sifted)
- nappage (see recipe below)
- dark chocolate glaze
Making this amazing Baumkuchen needs a bit time, patience and preparation. Once you get your batter ready, you need to bake your cake layer by layer. Okay, let's start my Baumkuchen time....
First thing is to preheat your oven to 450 F, grease you cake pan with butter and line it with parchment paper. Beat egg white in a clean dry bowl until foamy, add salt when it become soft peak. Add sugar in a few additions and beat until it become stiff.... about five minutes or so. Hmm my egg whites looks like snow white now....
Have another bowl and crumbled marzipan ready. Beat butter until creamy, add confectioner's sugar, vanilla powder and marzipan. Add egg yolks one at a time and beat it well..... hmm color looks nice! Unfortunately, my marzipan is not good and kind of dry and coarse....next time I'll use another brand...
Next step is important, we need to put together our batter. I mix one third of egg white into butter-egg-marzipan mixture, then fold it and flour back to my remaining egg white. Its important to fold it gently so it won't deflate too much....of course a bit deflation is inevitable!
Now, we are heading to the fun part.... bake our cake in 10 to 12 times to build up lovely layers. First I weight my batter and smear one tenth of my batter by weight in the pan. I baked each layer for about 5 minutes... tell you the truth, kind of labour intensive and need some patience... but worth it. Make sure you have enough time, so after an hour or so of repeating baking all my batter.....