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 (German for tree cake) is a layered cake that is cooked on a big spit. Even layers of the batter are brushed on the spit and then it is rotated next to a heat source. Each layer is allowed to brown before a new layer of batter is poured.When the cake is removed and sliced, each layer is divided from the next by a golden line, resembling the growth rings on a crosscut tree, hence the name “tree cake”.
Schichttorte (layered cake, Schicht means layer) is a simple version of Baumkuchen, with horizontal layers. The Schichttorte is baked in a pan and the layers are smeared on top of each other resulting in a flat multi-layered cake.
I chose to make a spin off the Schichttorte that is called Spekkoek or more popularly lapis legit.It is a (Dutch-Indonesian) version of Baumkuchen and contains a mix of spices between the thin layers of cake. I found the recipe on lakii forum, it was posted by a wonderfully talented lady called Hind.
I changed the proportions of the chocolate spice mix and the topping. I topped my cake with homemade dulce de leche and crumbled toasted pecans. The combination of the caramel frosting, light cake layers, warm cinnamon and cocoa notes and the crunch of the pecans made this cake simply irresistible!
Cinnamon layer cake with caramel frosting
For the cake
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1. Preheat your oven to 180 C and place your rack in the middle.
2. Brush your pan with oil and sprinkle it with flour
3.Beat the eggs with the sugar, vanilla, and oil until pale
4. Add the milk and beat until combined
5. Add the baking powder to the flour and whisk to combine
6.Add the flour and baking powder to the liquid mixture and beat until the flour is incorporated
7. Pour 3/4 cup of the batter in the prepared pan
8. Bake the first layer until a cake tester comes out clean (8- 10 minutes)
9. Mix the spices and cocoa powder and sprinkle 1-2 table spoons of it on the first layer
10 Pour another 3/4 cup of the batter on top of the first layer. Tilt the pan to make sure the batter covers the first layer completely
11.Place the pan back in the oven but this time turn the broiler on instead of the lower flame
12. Bake the second layer until the top is golden brown
13.Repeat until all batter is used. If you need to flatten a bubble insert a tooth pick or similar to deflate the bubble.
14.Let the cake cool down completely
To make the caramel frosting
Place the can of sweetened condensed milk after removing the paper label in a pot and add enough hot water to get the water level to 2 cm higher than the level of the can
Place the pot over medium heat for 2 hours. Make sure to check on the water level every 2o minutes or so. Add more water when needed.
After the two hours take the can out of the water and allow it to cool completely.
The result is an amazing dulce de leche that will really test your self control
Top the cake with the caramel frosting and crumble some pecans or walnuts if you like
If you are not too fond of caramel, you can top the cake my amazing cinnamon roll topping or with chocolate ganache
The cake actually tastes better the second day (if there is any left that is :))
There are so many ways to get creative with this cake.You can substitute the spice mix with finely ground nuts. You can divide the batter in half and color them in different colors or you can make one half plain and the other with chocolate and then alternate the layers.