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Baumkuchen


Adam Balic
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I was invited to lunch yesterday and one of the other guests bought and interesting desert. From what I could tell he was a German pastry maker and had recently become a Master baker/pastry maker. I think that this means he is good?

Anyway he bought a "Baumkuchen" which is a cake/bread baked on a spit. Basically a metal spit is rotated in front of a fire and a layer of enriched sponge batter is applied. This is rotated a speed which is slow enough to evenly spead the batter around the spit and prevent it falling off. Another, and another layer are added, each layer being cooked before the next is applied. Each layer is about as thick as a crepe and the cake ends up being 1.2 metres (4 feet) long and 10 inches in diameter. The whole is moistened with apricot jam and covered in a rum glaze. When cut in thin slices you get a layered effect, like tree rings, and hence the name. It takes about 3 hours to make.

It is utterly delicious and I have never heard of anything like is. A great experience.

Is there anyway of getting a similar effect without the spit etc? Maybe under a grill?

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my understanding of the way they make it at Danube is to bake it in a pan and keep adding a new layer. they always used it there to secure things like ice cream and i thought it was the best part of the dessert. it might be in the new bouley cookbook

nkaplan@delposto.com
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my understanding of the way they make it at Danube is to bake it in a pan and keep adding a new layer. they always used it there to secure things like ice cream and i thought it was the best part of the dessert. it might be in the new bouley cookbook

unfortunately not in the new book.

Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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Baking it in layers on a sheet pan at a fairly brisk temp works, because I did it in school too. I'd have to look it up to get the details. It was a little like marquetry to assemble the cake, which had an orange yogurt filling, but it was amazing looking when done.

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I've had success making it in a sheet pan in very thin layers with a rather hot oven. If youe ver get to Germany you absolutely must get yourself to the town os Salzwedel. It's just a bit East of Hamburg, and it's the home of the Baumkuchen. The whole town is filled with it. The KaDeWe in Berlin also sells Salzwedeler Baumkuchen if you want to buy the original but can't make it to the town. I've had many versions, but the cakes from Salzwedel are the best.

P.S. Master baker means he's done some extra schooling and gotten himself a degree.

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