Schichttorte – pronounced “better than it sounds”

Ever since Mary-Jane first took on the challenge of the Great British Bake Off princess cake, we’ve been trying to bring a piece of the show that ties a whole country together every Wednesday night, to the café. As baklava hardly qualifies as a Nordic dessert (much to Rob’s dismay), we aimed a little closer (relatively) to home with the schichttorte.

schichttarte

If you’ve read enough of these blogs, you might’ve noticed that a lot of German and other northern European traditions have developed firm ties in the Scandinavian countries. This may be in large part due to the trade routes and agreements developed before and during the the late middle ages and beyond – German merchants built strong connections to the Nordic countries, and the cultural exchanges are abundantly evident (especially in the Nordic Christmas celebrations).

With this in mind, we thought we’d see how this traditional layered cake would to in the house. Without further ado:

Schichttorte:

What makes this cake a challenge is in its name – the layers. Mary-Jane has whipped up the egg-heavy dough and is ready to turn the heat on. A schichttorte is made by baking thin layers of dough one by one, on top of each other. This is what results in the desired texture of being spongy yet dense, and also answers for the trademark visual effect.

schichttarte

However having never tried this method before, we must admit a little nervousness as the first layer is placed in the searing grill, balanced rather precariously.

Our instructions require only 1 or 2 minutes of grilling for each layer, however there’s a sense of dismay as we do not achieve the first firm layer until about 3 minutes in. Keep crossing those fingers.

schichttorte

As we continue, the effort becomes less painstaking, but by the time the form has been filled, we still have no idea whether the desired effect has been achieved.

schichttorte

After tireless efforts, Mary-Jane still whips up the glossiest chocolate glaze you’ll ever see, and starts decorating the valiant attempt. What a trooper.schichttorte

Some more chocolate, a little decorative frosting and we’re ready to make a cut. Solemn looks are exchanged. This is the moment of truth.

schichttorte

Success! Despite a fair amount of uncertainty, we can safely say this schichttorte lives up to its name (and tastes even better). We’ll be serving it in the café for as long as it lasts, which judging from the preliminary sales won’t be long.

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