Sunday, 26 January 2014

Baumkuchen



It has been a while. It has been a while indeed since Divine Cherry and Celestial Dragon have graced us with their presence. Numinous beings: they're all the same. Smug buggers.
Perhaps, though, it only seems like it's been a while. No need to go full Einstein (never go full Einstein), but time is relative. Especially if you have all the time in the universe, that is to say, if you have no time. So while it may have seemed like a long time to a mortal, for Divine Cherry and Celestial Dragon no time has passed at all.
However, just because time does not pass doesn't mean that space does not move either. Indeed, one of the greatest and as-yet undisclosed fallacies of modern physics is that it has to date failed to recognize that space moves quite a bit faster than time--even than light. Light travels at breakneck speed, recklessly racing without seatbelt and never stopping for gas through pretty much all of the universe, but when it arrives whenever it wishes to arrive, space has always already preceded it.
And so it has been with Celestial Dragon and Divine Cherry. Time and speed are irrelevant, but space always moves. And they with and within it.
Now, however, they have decided to stay still for another (in fact meaningless) while. They have erected themselves a new palace in an old place. They've gone back where they originally came from, all those eons ago when continents had not played musical chairs yet and jumbled up their places.
And in order to celebrate their having come back, Divine Cherry has decided to bake a cake. Surprise surprise.
Not only is this a special cake (it is especially delicious), but it also holds a special significance. Indeed, Divine Cherry has used 11 distinct layers to bake it. And in an exclusive interview Celestial Dragon has revealed their meaning. "Well Ken, it's simple really", Celestial Dragon said. "The eleven layers represent our 11 best memories of what your kind might terms the last year. At first we had only 10, as would be customary, but we Old Ones know that the number 10 is only an illusion: there is always that one thing more you wish you had included. That's why 11 is the new 10. Or rather, the true 10. But don't tell that to your mathematicians, they might get very confused indeed."
And so it is that the 11 layers represent, each one separately but wholly inherent in and of itself, respectively Hanoi, Hoi An, Halong Bay, Koh Rong, Angkor Wat, Chiang Mai, the Golden Triangle, Koh Samed, Koh Tao, Ayutthaya and Bangkok.
No. Don't ask. Just bake.



This recipe participates to the January Daring Bakers Challenge.

Blog-checking lines: 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). 

Baumkuchen

- 100g flour
- 80g corn flour
- 160g burro at room temperature
- 160 g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 60 g cashewnuts (originally almonds)
- grated lime (or lemon) zest
-1 teaspoon of baking powder

Separate the whites and the yolks. Whip the whites until stiff. Ground the cashew nuts with some of the sugar. Beat the butter with the sugar and the lime zest until soft and creamy. Add the yolks one by one and continue beating. Add the ground cashew nuts, the flour, the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix until homogeneous. At this point you can delicately add and mix the whipped whites.

Preheat the oven on grill mode. Take a silicon (or a greased traditional one) rectangular mould and spread 2 spoons of batter on the bottom. You need to have a smooth, even layer of batter, 2-3mm thick. Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes until the surface is brown. Take it out of the oven and spread another thin layer of batter on top. Bake and repeat until you run out of batter.

When the cake has cooled down, you can spread the surface with some sugar glaze (icing sugar+ lime) or apricot gelatin.


Baumkuchen

- 100g farina
- 80g fecola
- 160g burro morbido
- 160g zucchero
- 4 uova
- 60g anacardi (mandorle originariamente)
- scorza grattuggiata di lime (o limone)
- un cucchiaino di lievito per dolci

Separare i tuorli dagli albumi. Montare gli albumi a neve fermissima. Frullare gli anacardi con un po' dello zucchero.
Con una frusta, montare il burro con il resto dello zucchero e la buccia grattuggiata del lime per ottenere un composto soffice e cremoso. Aggiungere i tuorli un po'alla volta, unire la farina di ancardi, la farina, il lievito, un pizzico di sale e amalgamare il tutto. A questo punto unire con delicatezza gli albumi montati, senza smontarli.

Accendere il forno in modalità grill. Prendere una teglia rettangolare imburrata o uno stampo in silicone da plumcake come ho fatto io.
Spalmare un paio di cucchiai di impasto sul fondo della teglia. Lo spessore non deve superare i 2-3millimetri. Infornare per 4-5 minuti o finchè la superficie risulterà brunita. Estrarre dal forno, spalmare su questo strato un altro po' di impasto, livellare bene in modo che risulti lo stesso spessore dappertutto. Cucinare come prima. Ripetere fino all' esaurimento dell'impasto.

Quando la torta è fredda, si puo' ricoprire la superficie di glassa (zucchero a velo + succo di lime) o di marmellata di albicocche scaldata e leggermente diluita.

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