Daring Bakers, January: Bamkuchen (tree cake)

The January 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Francijn of "Koken in de Brouwerij". She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

*doink!* Oops, lost a piece! The first slice often refuses to cooperate. I used toffee- and chocolate-coated almonds to decorate the cake.

So the beauty in bamkuchen is in the striations that form as you bake one thin layer of batter at a time on to the cake. I needed to brown my layers a bit more so you could actually see the beautiful striations that are part of the point. I guess my cake went through a single long epoch.

I might have overbeaten my egg whites. In fact, I know I did--it's why they're more foamy than smooth and shiny. I got way too excited when I saw the instructions to whip the egg whites until they were really stiff. That might account for why I didn't get much rise out of each layer, but it could be because every layer was super thin and spread over hot layers.

The first layer is the hardest because you're trying to spread the batter onto the greased parchment. Be firm. Be demanding! Show it who's boss. Use the finishing trowel that cement layers use to smooth out concrete. Or be like me--I used my fondant smoother.

It worked out! Don't worry about ridges or wrinkles--they bake out.

Here's the baked layer! It flattened out completely, but I should've browned it more.

So when you make your own bamkuchen, make sure the baked layer you're spreading your raw batter onto is a bit browner than that raw batter. Just plain ol' brown would be better. At this point, I was confused because the foam you so carefully beat into the eggs completely melts away in the heat.

OH NO!!! I really should've put parchment around the sides of the pan, but I'm cheap and lazy. Unfortunately, slicing the outsides of the cake off took much more time than just putting parchment around the sides.

*sigh* The bottom is a wee bit dark. Okay, it's also black. It could've been worse, but I at least put parchment on the bottom of the spring form.

So it took less than 2 hours to bake the cake and about 3 hours to fix it. HA!

When you pour your glaze on, just go with gusto--pour it on quickly, gently push it over the side so you have some luxurious drips you can spread around the cake's sides, and move quickly, but carefully.

*doink*! Ha--that still makes me chuckle.

Check out my fellow DBers' results through our blogroll.


Aisha said…
It looks delicious!!! :)
Anonymous said…
2 hours to bake and 3 hours to fix it - lol! that is funny. Great post. It was tough to get it to brown on top without burning the bottom...

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