Baumkuchen is a layered cake, the characteristic rings that appear when sliced resemble tree rings and this is what gives this German cake its name. “Tree Cake”
Basically it is made on a spit and the cake is brushed on in thin layers until a cake forms. you take the cake off the spit and slice it and it resembles tree rings. but our problem was how the heck do you do this without a spit.
hmmmmmm we really wanted it traditional so we started by making the batter.
1/2 cup + 1 TBSP butter or margarine (room temp) ~ 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar ~ 1/2 cup + 1 TBSP cornstarch ~ 3.5 ounces peanut butter (or almond paste) ~ 1 tsp vanilla extract ~ pinch of salt ~ 1.5 egg yolks ~ 4 egg whites ~ 1/2 cup white sugar ~ 1/2 Cup Tom Sawyer Gluten free flour (or flour blend of your choice) ~8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used more like 12oz) 1 – 3/4 tsp oil.
Take a strip of parchment paper and place in a cookie sheet (we used a long rectangle sheet) Spray it liberally with Pam. (by the way Pam Grill is the only one that is GF/CF/SF). Position the oven rack so that it is on the lowest level and fire up the broiler!
In a large bowl cream the butter or margarine until light and fluffy. Add in the almond paste or peanut butter in small chunks. Beat until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and sea salt. Beat in the yolks a little at a time. beating well after each addition. beat until smooth
(I transferred to a different bowl I could use the mixer)
in anther bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add in the sugar slowly while continuing to beat the meringue to stiff glossy peaks. fold the meringue into the butter/egg mixture. Then sift the flour over this and fold in again.
Spoon a small amount of batter onto the parchment paper, brushing it out THIN with a pastry brush. however large you want it to be. We did a small rectangle in the middle of the rectangle pan. Basically the length of our broiler. place in oven under broiler and watch it get nice golden brown. Once brown take it out (about a minute or two and turn the pan to get even heating throughout) and brush on another thin layer. keep doing until you run out of batter.
This was time-consuming, hot, tiring, and 1/2 way through we cut off a piece just so we knew our labor was not in vain. the Edges of the cake will become burned and yucky, just ignore. once the cake is all done you trim the edges and cut into little triangles or we just did little squares.
you then melt the chocolate and oil and dip the squares in it and then place on parchment paper and chill in the fridge over night. the layers turned out amazing the taste was awesome! it was a lot of work but the end product was something to be proud of.
I was impressed with the many layers of cake.