Daring Baker's Challenge January 2014

The January  2014 Daring Baker's challenge was hosted by Francijn of Koken in de Brouwerij.She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baukuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

Since Francijn provided us with a mandatory recipe, but one to guide us, I decided to make Spekkoek, also a  layered cake that does not contain marzipan,where the layers are achieved by baking each one individually under the grill, rather then baking it in the conventional way with  layers added on the top of the previous one. 


3 tsp of mixed ground spices ( nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger, you can use  ready made Spekulaas mix)
325 g unsalted butter ( 250 g chopped, 75 g melted)
1 tsp vanila extract
10 eggs separated
220 g caster sugar
255 g plain flour

Preheat the oven to 160 C and grease a 22 cm springform cake pan. Beat butter, vanilla and half the sugar until fluffy and pale., add egg yolks one at the time beating to combine and add the flour in few bathes. Set aside.

Whisk eggs whites separately to stiff peaks and add spoon at the time the remaining sugar, whisk until glossy. Combine two eggs mixtures by folding the egg white slowly into the yolk mixture until smooth. Divide in half between 2 bowls and add spices to one.

Spread 2 tablespoons evenly of the non spiced batter on the base of the prepared pan and bake for about 7 minutes or until baked. Switch to grill, medium to high temperature and move the wire rack to the upper third of the oven. Brush the cake with melted butter and evenly spread one heaped table spoon of spiced batter over baked layer and cook under the grill for 3 minutes or until cooked through. Repeat, alternating spiced and plain batter and cooking under the grill until you run out of batter. I made about 20 layers, but looking back now,  I think that they could have been a little bit thicker or at least a bit more distinguished in colour. 
Leave in the pan to cool down to a room temperature, then unmould and dust with an icing sugar or cover with melted chocolate. 
Store in the air-tight container or wrapped with cling film.

The recipe was adapted from " Bake" by Paragon books

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