December 17, 2014
17th December! Only one more week!!!
I have to admit, coming up with 24 delicious christmas/winter related recipes was not that easy. But I had lovely help and inspirational input from my mother, sister, boyfriend and his mother. This recipe in particular was my boyfriends idea. I had never heard of or tried tree cake ever before – but it will definitely be on my regular baking list now.
The cake is actually really easy to make – even if it doesn’t look that way. The batter is a no-brainer – just the baking takes a bit of time and patience. The lovely wood texture is created by layers of dough. Each baking cycle 2 tablespoons of batter are added on top of the old one and baked for 4 minutes. Thereby the top gets a little darker than the rest – creating the ‘year lines’.
If you get the chance – go and have a look how professionals make tree cake – looks like so much fun. They have something like a horizontal ‘Döner’-spike. The cake is slowly rotating in front of a grill – and every few minutes they add another layer of cake. In the end they turn it 90° up and it actually looks like a hollow piece of trunk!
BAUMKUCHEN [TREE CAKE]
_ butter a baking pan and line the bottom with baking parchment
_ preheat oven to 220°C [on circulating air]
[if you have the option for ‘upper heat’ – heat it to 250°C – don’t use ‘upper/lower heat’ – it will burn your bottom to a crisp]
_ divide egg whites and egg yolks
_ beat egg whites with salt until stiff
_ beat in sugar
_ cut marzipan into small pieces
_ whisk marzipan, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar until creamy [you will need to whisk on high speed for quite a while to get rid of all marzipan lumps]
_ add one egg yolk at a time
_ whisk in flour and half the stiff egg whites
_ carefully fold in the remaining stiff egg whites
_ spread 2 heaped tablespoons batter into the baking pan
_ bake for 4 minutes
_ spread another 2 heaped tablespoons batter over the small layer of cake
_ bake again for 4 minutes
[brush some apricot jelly over the cake every 2-3 layers – optional]
_ proceed the same way until all batter is used up / or baking pan is full
_ let cool shortly
_ turn over onto a plate [remove baking parchment]
_ coat with a thin layer of apricot jelly [if you use apricot jam – press it through a fine sieve – discard the solid parts]
_ let cool completely [jam should set]
_ melt chocolate and coat cake on all sides