Baumkuchen or Tree Cake

A delicious and amazing German dessert

Known as Baumkuchen, Tree Cake, or grated cake, this sweet of German origin consists of several layers. Its name refers to the thin sheets that resemble the inner rings of a tree trunk.

As the story goes, the first recipe comes from a cookbook from 1426. It is also said that a rural doctor who worked for Prince Johann Sigismund Elsholtz prepared this recipe in bread form. The truth is that it began to gain popularity in the region of Saxony (Germany) in the nineteenth century.

Currently, this dessert is found around the world, mainly in Austria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland and Sweden. In Japan it also served in almost every bakery.

The traditional version differs greatly from the current one, because previously, this dessert was made on rotating skewers, as if it were a rotisserie chicken, gradually adding the dough to form different layers over a burning flame. As the flame cooked the dough, these characteristic discs formed. Today, its preparation has been modernized by preparing each layer on an oven grill.

After cooking, the Baumkuchen is covered in chocolate or powdered sugar. It’s an ideal dessert to finish a meal accompanied by a sweet wine of the Muscat of Alexandria variety.

Baumkuchen y San Pellegrino
Baumkuchen and San Pellegrino

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 50 g butter, soft
  • 250 g of sugar
  • 7 medium eggs
  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g of refined cornmeal
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 30 g of pure cocoa powder

To frost and decorate

  • 200 ml of liquid cream to assemble, minimum 35% fat content
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 15 g butter
  • 75 g chopped walnuts
  • Pure cocoa powder

Step by step preparation

  1. Beat the butter and sugar with the help of a hand mixer until creamed.
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and reserve the whites.
  3. Beat in the yolks, one at a time, to the butter and sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
  4. Sift the two flours and incorporate into the previous mixture, stirring carefully until even.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff (a pinch of salt can help firm them). Add the egg whites to the batter, little by little, and stir carefully. Divide the batter into two equal parts, add the cocoa to one of them and the vanilla essence to the other. Turn on the oven grill to 200ºC.
  6. Line an 18 cm cake mold with removable base with parchment paper and cover the base with two tablespoons of white batter. It has to be a very thin layer.
  7. Place in the oven, on a rack placed at medium height, and cook for two to three minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Remove the mold from the oven and, very carefully, distribute two tablespoons of chocolate dough over the previous layer. Return to the oven and cook for another two or three minutes.
  9. Repeat this step, alternating between the vanilla and chocolate batter, until finished.
  10.  Let cool before removing from mold and decorating.

Frosting and decoration

  1. In a saucepan, heat the cream and remove before it boils. Add the chopped chocolate and butter and stir until you get an even cream. Let cool.
  2. Flip the cake, remove the parchment paper, and place on a cooling rack. Frost with the icing, covering the sides well.
  3. Allow to harden slightly before decorating with chopped nuts and sprinkling with cocoa powder (optional).

‘Harmonies in Flavors and Fragrances’ by Juan Muñoz Ramos.

After so many and such varied culinary gatherings, advising at the start of the new year is always a bit difficult, but perhaps among the different wines that were gifted to you by friends and families, a bottle of a perfumed Moscatel will remain.

S.Pellegrino y Floralis
S.Pellegrino and Floralis

In this case, the traditional and Mediterranean Floralis Moscatel Oro, intense and fragrant, which by itself would be a bit heavy. If we combine it with S.Pellegrino water and we know how to balance the flavors of the fruit and chocolate with the citrus fragrances of Moscatel and the fine acidity and bubbles of the water, we will create an almost perfect trilogy.

That little glass of Floralis accompanied by a generous glass of S.Pellegrino water will bring us a fresh and pleasant warmth whose memories will accompany us all day.

Tips

  • The decoration can be adjusted to your taste, using only chocolate, almonds, or other dried fruit instead of nuts, etc.
  • For a taller cake use a 16-14 cm mold. The tree effect will be more impressive.
  • The vanilla essence can be omitted or substituted for almond essence.

Make it a perfect meal with our  Turkey Wellingtonfind the step-by-step recipe here!

End this amazing meal with a Brownie with Caramel and Toffee Sauce-click here to see the complete recipe.

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