November. The days are getting shorter, the weather is wet and cold. Now comes the time when we long for the smell of pastries and mulled wine. But why are there so many pastries at Christmas?
Even in pre-Christian times there was ritual baking for festivals such as the winter solstice (but that is not until December 21st). Today we have shifted our joy of baking to the Christmas season. It used to be considered a homage to Jesus Christ. But calories used to get people through the winter better. And those who could afford it gave away the valuable pastry.
If you also like this old custom, I would like to introduce you to a recipe that will make the recipients wonder: the Baumkuchen.
We know the tree cake as a symbol of the bakers' guild, it is also called the "king of cakes". It probably has its origins in Hungary, although the ancient Greeks also baked a cake on a skewer over the fire. Since we are not using a skewer, we will bake the Baumkuchen in layers under the grill of the oven. The recipe seems very complex, but the result makes you forget the effort.
Grease the springform pan with butter. Place them on a parchment paper and draw the bottom on the paper. Cut out the base and place it in the shape. Turn on the grill function in the oven and place the grid so that the springform pan just fits under the grill.
Now fold the flour, almonds and egg white into the egg yolk mixture until a smooth dough forms. Pour several tablespoons of batter into the mold and spread to the edge. Bake under the grill for about 2 minutes until browned. Then remove the mold and spread a few more tablespoons of the mixture in it. Place under the grill for another 2 minutes and continue until the batter is used up.
Allow the pastry to cool and then turn out onto a wire rack. Now the parchment paper can be easily peeled off. If desired, drizzle with liqueur.
Melt the coconut oil in a water bath. Then carefully melt the chopped couverture while stirring. Cut the Baumkuchen into triangles, diamonds or squares. Spread the glaze generously all over or pour it over. When the pastry has cooled down well and the glaze has set, you can decorate it with gold powder that has been dissolved in a little water. The pastries can be kept until after Christmas. But since it's a treat for the palate, it probably won't last long.
The recipe takes some practice, but once you've made it, friends and family will soon be hoping for a repeat.
Good luck wishes Marc Ladiges