Hi, and Happy New Year to all of YOU! I am starting this year with a German cake, which I came across few weeks ago. Although this is a cake usually made around Christmas, I left the baking to the new year, simply because we had enough to eat sweet and salty as well, and thought it would be a nice start to 2018. I loved making this! It needs a special equipment, which only professional bakeries have, but I found an adapted version to make it at home. I need to say up front that I have never tasted this cake before, or seen it either, so eating it I couldn’t decide whether it was how it’s supposed to be, but it was good nonetheless. And the bonus is that my kids liked it too, even though this recipe calls for Rum. But it also calls for marzipan, cinnamon, chocolate…..so, what’s there NOT to like, right?
Funny thing that when I first saw this recipe, I didn’t pay too much attention to it, then I clicked away and forgot the name of it. Except for the German part. So, when weeks later I decided I want to make it, I had some trouble finding it again. I searched Google for “Buchen Kuchen”, which was completely wrong, but after some time and deeper digging I finally got the name right and found the lost recipe again. Of course it wasn’t Buchen Kuchen, but Baumkuchen, or German Tree Cake instead.
-200 g butter, room temperature
-150 g caster sugar
-150 g golden marzipan, cut into small pieces
-8 eggs, separated
-250 ml double cream
-60 ml dark Rum
-1+ half tsp ground cinnamon
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-140 g self raising flour
-100 g cornflour
-100 g dark chocolate
-150 ml double cream
-2 Tbsp dark Rum
-15 g butter
-sprinkle candies to decorate
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the marzipan and whisk into the butter mixture. Add the egg yolks and whisk in. Add the double cream, dark Rum, ground cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of salt and whisk to make a smooth batter.
Sift in the flour and cornflour until everything incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks then fold into the batter by first taking a large spoonful of egg white and beating it in, to loosen, then folding in the rest gently, a spoonful at a time, trying not to knock out all the air.
Butter the base and central spindle of a 25cm round, flat-bottomed ring pan. Put two large spoonfuls of batter into the pan and spread out with a silicon pastry brush, or a spatula, into a very thin layer. You shouldn’t be able to see the base of the pan through the batter.
Bake under a hot grill for about 3-5 minutes until the top of the batter turns golden-brown. The cooking time will depend on many factors, such as how hot the grill is and how far the pan is from the grill, so watch carefully. Once the first layer is done you’ll have a good idea on timings for the rest. When the top is golden brown, carefully remove from the grill and put another two spoonfuls of batter on top. Spread them out in the same way, making sure that all the cake below is covered but keep the layers thin. Bake again, in the same way, and continue until all the batter is used. I got 13 layers this way, although this depends on the size of the pan and thickness of the batter. As the number of layers increases, the top of the cake will get nearer the grill and will cook faster, so watch very carefully towards the end.
Once finished, slide a knife round the edge of the pan to prevent sticking, and leave the cake in the pan to cool.
Remove the cooled cake from the pan and invert onto a cooling rack, putting foil or baking parchment underneath to catch drips later. I have seen several versions of decoration for this cake, mostly with only chocolate, I decided to make it colorful with the sprinkles.
Heat the chocolate, syrup, cream, Rum and butter in a saucepan until melted together into a smooth, glossy sauce. Pour the glaze over the top and sides of the cooled cake and leave to set. Drizzle with the sprinkles to decorate and leave to set.