“Growing up, I’d wake up every Friday morning at 6 am...my mother would be in the kitchen with the noise of the mixer, and she’d be clanking pans and flour would be flying everywhere...and I’d complain about the noise. And she’d say, “If you’re going to complain, you’re not going to get any cake.”
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Shared by Idan Cohen
Recipe Roots: Germany > Israel > New York City
German Layer Cake with Marzipan, Coffee Meringue and Jam
For the yeast starter:
2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
6 tablespoons of lukewarm water
2 tablespoons of sugar
For the dough:
4 eggs separated, 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 2 egg whites
1 cup and 6 tablespoons (300g) butter, softened
4 cups of flour
For the meringue:
4 egg whites
1 cup of sugar
2 tbsp of instant coffee (powder - Nescafe)
2 pinches salt (¼ teaspoon)
For the layers:
1 package of marzipan - Odense brand (198g)
½ cup apricot or strawberry jam (the smoother the consistency, the better)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 13x9 inch pan.
2. Make the yeast starter: Combine the yeast, water, and sugar. Let rest for 15 minutes.
3. Make the dough: Sift flour into bowl of mixer. Add 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, butter, and yeast starter. Combine with paddle attachment until dough starts to hold together. Knead gently a few times and turn out onto work surface. Flatten into large 2” square, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. While the dough rests, roll out the Marzipan log between two pieces of parchment paper as thinly and evenly as possible, working to create one large 13x9” sheet.
5. Make the meringue: Combine the sugar, instant coffee, and salt. Add egg whites to mixing bowl. Starting on low, beat just the egg whites. They will start to bubble. Gently increase the speed, as the egg whites begin to foam, slowly add the sugar mixture increasing the speed to high as you go. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy and stiff peaks form.
6. To assemble: Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 4 equal pieces. Keep one piece out for rolling and return remaining dough to the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, evenly roll dough out into a 13x9” square. Using a bench knife cut around the edges so that the layer fits perfectly in the bottom of the pan. Spread jam over the dough evenly, being sure to reach the edges and corners. Next, spread a thin, even layer of meringue over the jam (an offset spatula works wonders here!).
7. Roll out second piece of dough as you did the first and layer over meringue. Using a small knife, cut the marzipan into 8 even strips (cutting lengthwise into quarters and then in half). Layer evenly over the second layer of dough. Spread even layer of meringue over the marzipan.
8. Roll out third layer of dough, and layer over meringue. Spread final layer of meringue over the dough. Using a fine sieve, lightly dust cocoa powder over the meringue, evenly coating the entire layer. Roll out last layer of dough and place on top of cocoa to complete.
9. Starting at the top of the pan, use a fork to poke holes in a straight even line across the entire width of the cake. Continue making rows of holes across the entire surface of the cake. Rows should be ¼ inch apart.
10. Bake for 45 minutes. Cake will puff up slightly and be golden brown on top. Let cool, then lightly dust with confectioners sugar.
Chef's tip: Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 2 days. Cake is best on day 3.