I made the "King of cakes" for the first time. I was curious about this cake when I first saw them in the book "professional baking". I was first introduced to cakes with lots of thin layers by my Indonesian friend who gave us a box of "kueh lapis" – a traditional cake to Indonesian Chinese during Chinese New Year. That kueh lapis is more moist and softer than this baumkuchen. What is amazing about these two multi-layer cakes is that I can "peel" one by one layer easily. It is very interesting to do that, of course when you have some time to spare while chitchatting with friends.
It takes lots of time and patience to make this cake. I had to stand by the oven all of the baking time until I finished the last batch of the batter- each batch was only 30g. The method of baking this cake is very new to me, so I over-baked some layers, that’s why my cake didn’t have a uniform color. Still, I felt happy with this first trial as the cake looked more natural. How time consuming and complicated the baking process is, it is not comparable with the traditional way of making this tree cake with the turning spit.
Ingredients: (one 8” square pan)
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 80g egg yolks
- 210g egg whites
- 90g white suger
- 175g corn starch
- 65g ground almond
- 1/3 tsp salt
- Line one 8” square pan with parchment paper.
- Put together the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in a bowl, beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks, little at a time and beat to combine after each addition.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until shiny and stiff. Fold the corn starch into the whipped egg whites.
- Combine the ground almond with salt.
- Fold the egg whites and almond mixture alternately into the butter mixture, beginning and finishing with egg whites.
- Turn on the grill function of the oven.
- Take out 30g batter and spread into the pan using a palette knife. Insert the pan into the oven, bake until golden (approximately 1 minute), then take out.
- Repeat the same process until all the batter is used up. You will have a cake about 4cm thick. .
- Cover and preserve in the fridge.