The traditional version of Baumkuchen requires special equipment normally not available in an average household. So a simpler horizontally layered version of the cake also exists and can be baked in a conventional household oven that has a broiler inside. It has horizontal layers instead of circular rings. More information about on Wikipedia.
Baumkuchen is not very difficult to make but it is extremely time-consuming. That’s why people rarely do it at home. That’s why it is an impressing gift!
I did it on the weekend to pamper my dear who loves Baumkuchen and he was extremely happy with the result. So was I. I managed to make 16 layers but I am pretty sure to achieve 20 the next time.
250g ground almonds
2 vanilla sticks
1,5 tablespoons rose water
1,5 tablespoons cherry brandy
0,5 teaspoon ground cardamom
1,5 tablespoons cacao powder
1,5 tablespoons rum
For the icing:
½ glass of apricot jam (only the liquid, no pieces)
400g chocolate to your taste. I think dark chocolate is the best but feel free to experiment. I took one with 70% cacao and almond crocant. The bumps you see on the chocolate surface in the pictures are the crocant pieces.
4 teaspoons cacao-butter
1. Separate yolk from the egg white. Put 6 yolks into one cup and another 6 into another. Put egg whites aside. You will need 2 equal parts of dough in 2 separate bowls so in the beginning you will have to do everything twice.
4. Add cacao and rum to the second portion of the dough. Stir.
5. Beat the egg whites and fold in half of it into every portion of the dough.
7. Put a very thin layer of one dough onto the bottom of the form and bake (preferably in the grill mode) until firm. Take it out, apply a very thin of the second dough and bake until firm again. Repeat until you are out of dough.
9. Heat the chocolate in a bain-marie. Don’t boil the water! Chocolate shouldn’t get too hot. Ideal temperature for the chocolate to melt is between 38 and 41 grad Celsius. Melt the chocolate together with cacao butter (helps the chocolate to keep shiny look afterwards but doesn’t really add to the taste, so you can skip it when you want). Let the chocolate cool down to 30-32 degrees Celsius and apply it onto your Baumkuchen pieces with a brush.