Thursday, June 19, 2008


Heidi, is my middle sister who loves to bake. She is quite good at it, and her cakes are delicious. Our mother was German, so tortes, were the only cakes we knew growing up. No store bought cakes for our birthdays, but delicious butter cream tortes that were lovingly created by her. Her reference , when she needed one, was a soft covered book called,"Backen Macht Freude", from the Dr. Oetker Backbuch series.
When my older sister Christel came for a visit, Heidi took the opportunity to make a Baumkuchen Torte. The literal translation means Tree Cake, as in the rings of a tree when you get a cross section to see how old a tree is. Heidi doubled this recipe,and made it in a square cake pan, cause we love our coffee and cake, but I will give you the single recipe that you make in a round springform. It takes a little preparation and baking time but well worth the effort.

Baumkuchen Torte

250 g. butter or margarine
250 g. sugar
1 pkg. Dr. Oetker vanilla sugar
2 eggs+4 yolks
1-2 T rum
150 g. flour
100 g. cornstarch
9 g. backing powder (3 teaspoon)
4 egg whites
175 g. icing sugar
2-3T hot water
1 walnut size pat of butter (melted)
Glaze (dark)
1 t. of white icing mixture
1 tsp of cocoa ( a drop or two of water to get the same consistency)
Beat butter and gradually add the sugar, vanilla sugar, 2 eggs and 4 yolks and the rum.
Sift with flour, cornstarch and baking powder together and gradually add this to the batter, mix well to incorporate the ingredients.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, carefully fold into the batter.
In a greased and floured springform, make your first layer.Approximately 3-4 T of batter should cover the base. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven,8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.Continue in the same way for the second layer. Repeat this process until you have 7-8 layers. When done cool cake before frosting. I can bake this cake in my oven without making any adjustments, but depending on your individual stove , if you feel that your first layers are browning too quickly, by all mens, adjust your rackes, raising them as you get closer to the last layers. Or place a bowl with water on a lower rack and proceed with the baking of the layer by placing the springform on the rack over the water bowl.
Whisk the whit icing in a bowl and set aside a tablespoon of icing for the dark icing. Cover cake with icing sugar. Take chocolate icing ,and put in a small plastic baggie. Cut the tip off the corner, and proceed to make rows of chocolate circles on the top part of the cake. With a clean knife, run it through the circles to make the design. Remember to clean the knife before making the next ray dissection.You will need to work quickly as icing wants to set.

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