January 2014 Daring Bakers' Challenge: Tree Cake (Baumkuchen)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Almond cake uniquely baked in layers and coated in chocolate
Ingredients
  • Batter:
  • 6 large eggs (room temperature)
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) (4-1/4 oz) (120 gm) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (160 ml) (5-1/3 oz) (150 gm) marzipan
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (1-3/4 sticks) (7 oz) (200 gm) softened unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) (3-1/2 oz) (100 gm) confectioner's (icing) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (1 package) (8 grams) vanilla sugar
  • ⅔ cup (160 ml) (3-1/2 oz) (100 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour (sifted)
  • Glaze:
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) orange liqueur (optional)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) (7 oz) (200 gm) dark chocolate couverture chunks
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to hot 450°F/230°C/gas mark 8.
  2. Line your cake tin with parchment paper, grease both paper and tin.
  3. Divide the eggs. Beat the egg whites with the salt until nearly stiff, add the sugar and beat until really stiff.
  4. Crumble finely the marzipan. Beat it with the softened butter, confectioner's (icing) sugar and vanilla sugar until soft and creamy. Add the egg yolks one by one and beat well between each addition. Add the stiff egg whites and flour and gently fold it into the batter. Trying not to lose too much air.
  5. Smear 1/12th to 1/10th of the batter on the bottom of the pan, keep the sides of the pan clean, and bake for (about) 4 minutes in the oven, until it is cooked and brown. Take the pan out of the oven, smear the next portion of batter carefully over the first, and bake for another 4 minutes or until cooked and brown. Repeat until all batter is used. If you need to flatten a bubble insert a tooth pick or similar to deflate the bubble.
  6. Let the cake cool down for a few minutes, take it out of the pan, remove the parchment paper and let the cake cool completely on a wired rack. Trim the edges.
  7. Heat the jam a little, pass it through a sieve, and add the orange liqueur (optional). Cover the cake with the jam and let it cool.
  8. Melt the couverture with the coconut oil in a bowl above warm water. Pour it over the cake to cover completely, move the cake to a cool place and wait until the glaze is dry.
Notes
Freezing and storage : The tree cake tastes better when you wait one day before eating it. Eat within a week. Store in an airtight container, but not in the fridge. Freezing is possible: cut into portions, wrap tightly in cling film and freeze up to two months.

If you have a broiler, you may want to try making this cake with the broiler instead of baking it. Place the pan about 5 inches under the broiler and cook each layer for about 1 - 2 minutes until browned on top. This will result in a cake that is more evenly baked throughout and less brown on the bottom and sides.
Recipe by BakeNQuilt at http://www.bakenquilt.com/2014/01/january-2014-daring-bakers-challenge-tree-cake-baumkuchen/