The January 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by 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).
This was an interesting challenge. I hadn't heard of this cake before, so, it was nice to try something different and unknown. What was more interesting is the baking technique. You start baking one layer of the cake and then you add one layer at a time and bake it and when you cut the finished cake you can see the different layers. They look kind of the lines that you see inside a trunk and that is why it is called Baumkuchen (tree cake). You normally do that on broiler and because I don't have in my oven I was a bit worried that I will end up with a half-burnt cake but in the end it turned out perfect. The consistency and the taste were both amazing. I used the given recipe with some small changes and I loved how soft the cake turned out and I liked that it has marzipan since I love almonds. Here is the recipe then:
You can find the original recipe here
6 large eggs
pinch of salt
120 g (½ cup & 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
200 g (¾ cup) marzipan
200 g (¾ cup) soft unsalted butter
100 g (¾ cup) icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
100 g (2/3 cup) all purpose flour (sifted)
1 drop of almond extract
4 tablespoons apricot jam (sieved or without pieces)
2 tablespoons rum
150 g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat your oven to 230 °C/ 450°F. Line a 24 cm (10 inches) round pan with parchment paper and grease both the pan and the paper.
Divide the eggs. Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt in a bowl until nearly stiff, add the granulated sugar and beat until really stiff. Set aside.
Grate the marzipan, place it in a bowl with the butter, the icing sugar and vanilla sugar and beat until soft and creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the almond extract. Add the egg whites to the mixture and the flour and fold them carefully into the batter with a spatula, without losing too much air.
Using a scoop (mine was about 1/3 cup) place the batter in the tin and spread it neatly with the help of a spatula to cover the bottom of the tin. Bake for about 4-5 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown on the top. Take it out spread a second scoop of batter and bake again until brown. Repeat until the dough is finished. You have to watch it the whole time. For me sometimes it took 4 minutes, sometimes 5 or 6 so I was just watching when it had a good colour and I was taking it out then. Leave in the pan for a few minutes, then remove it from the pan, remove the paper, place it on a rack and let the cake cool completely.
To glaze the cake heat a little the jam, mix it with the rum and cover the cake with it. Let it cool. Heat the chocolate with the butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan with shimmering water until it melts and cover the cake completely. Let it dry.
You can keep it in an airtight container for up to a week or cut it in portions and freeze it.