This is my version of Baumkuchen. It is one of the first cakes I ever made on my own for Sunday tea when I was in my early teens. If you can manage to leave it that long the cake is best made a few days ahead and left to mature. I have layered it with pistachio marzipan and apricot jam. Almonds and a dash of rum make the cake tasty and moist and of course there is that chocolate glaze.
For the Marzipan Layers
- 400g marzipan
- 50g pistachios, ground
- 50g icing sugar, sifted
- 50g apricot glaze or jam, heated until liquid
For the Cake
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g caster sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- grated rind of a lemon
- 50ml dark rum
- 50g ground almonds
- 125g plain flour
- 125g corn flour
- 5 egg whites
For the Glaze
- 200g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)
- 15ml nut oil
- To decorate
- 30g pistachios, chopped into large pieces
- Knead together the marzipan, ground pistachio and icing sugar and divide into 4 equal pieces. Wrap one of the pieces in cling film and set aside. Roll each of the remaining pieces of marzipan into 23cm rounds. This is best done between sheets of cling film. Leave the rounds of marzipan wrapped in cling film and set aside.
- Preheat the grill of your oven. (I start with the grill on the highest temperature and then turn it down a little about a third through the bake).
- For the cake, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. This is best done in a freestanding mixer or in a bowl with an electric hand mixer.
- Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla essence, lemon rind, rum and almonds.
- Sift together the flour and corn flour and stir into the mixture. In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until stiff then fold the egg whites into the batter until combined.
- Grease and base line with baking parchment a 23cm spring form. Spoon 2 tbsp of the batter into the tin and spread thinly over the base. Place under the preheated grill and bake until golden brown. Spoon over another 2 tbsp of the batter and spread in a thin even layer. Place under the grill and bake until golden. Repeat twice until you have 4 layers.
- Spread the cake with a third of the apricot glaze and top with the first of the marzipan rounds. Spread the marzipan with 2 tbsp of the batter and bake until golden. Repeat the cake batter layers another 3 times.
- Spread the cake with a third of the apricot glaze and top with the second of the marzipan rounds. Spread the marzipan with 2 tbsp of the batter and bake until golden. Repeat the cake batter layers another 3 times.
- Spread the cake with a third of the apricot glaze and top with the third of the marzipan rounds. Spread the marzipan with 2 tbsp of the batter and bake until golden. Repeat the cake batter layers until all the cake batter has been used up.
- Run a knife around the outside of the cake and remove the ring. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and remove the baking paper. Leave the cake to cool completely.
- For the chocolate glaze, break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan with barely simmering water. Add the oil and stir until the chocolate is liquid and smooth.
- Thinly roll out the remaining marzipan and cut out 4cm circles. Cut the circles halfway through and roll into cone shapes. Dip or sprinkle each cone into the chocolate and set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry.
- Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake and gently spread over the top with a pallet knife until even and smooth or tilt the cake a little from side to side.
- Leave to dry a little then decorate the cake with the marzipan cones while the glaze is still slightly wet.
- Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and set aside for the glaze to set.