Friday, June 29, 2012

[Baking] Olga's 11-layer Cake (aka 7-layer Chocolate Cake) or Torte

(pictures forthcoming)
This is my Baba's famed Eleven Layer Cake.  Also known as the Seven Layer Cake (we'll get into that)

I have no idea where she found this.  She says she found it in a cookbook, probably in the 50s.  She said it was a German Chocolate Torte.  What it is, to be honest, is divine.  A royal pain to make, but worth it.

It's an all-afternoon affair.  Since I hadn't made it by myself, I split it into 3 nights.

On the first night, I baked the 7 layers.  As I got better at it I figured out why it used to be an 11 layer cake and is now a 7 layer cake - even with just 7 layers it's an amazing-looking cake, and you probably don't miss them.  If you practice on the first couple until you get it right, it'll easily spread into 7 layers.  Once I'd gotten the hang of it, I see how you could conserve frosting and wind up with 11 - but it'd be a beating.  Next time I do want to try 11, just to see if I can.

On the second night, I made and applied the filling.

On the third night, I "glazed" (iced/frosted/coated/etc) the cake.

On the fourth night, I rested.

On the fifth night, PARTY!

Here's the recipe.  Originally in high-altitude, low-humidity.  I didn't have to change anything.
The ONE tip I would give: weigh the intermediate steps.  If I knew exactly how much batter I had to work with on each layer, it would have gone MUCH more smoothly.

1 cup sugar
3 jumbo eggs
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon (mexican) vanilla
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cup flour
In mixer, mix butter and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs and mix well.  Add baking powder, vanilla and cornstarch and mix well.  Add flour and mix well (getting the picture-mix well!).  This will make 6 layers in a 9-inch cake round.  Spread the batter in a thin layer (with a super old blunt butter knife) in the bottom of the cake pan and bake at 350 degrees about 7 minutes.  It should be brown all over when you pull it out.  Let cool in the pan a few minutes then put on a colling rack to finish cooling.
3 egg yolks
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Nestle Quick (Nesquik) chocolate drink mix powder 
3 tablespoon Hershey's syrup
1/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoon flour
Mix yolk and sugar until smooth.  Add Nestle Quick and Hershey's syrup and mix well.  Add flour and 1/2 up milk.  Mix well.  In a 3 quart pot, boil the remaining milk and add the chocolate mix.  Blend well and stir until it starts to boil.  Simmer for 1 minute.  Shut off stove and let cool.
Soften 2 sticks unsalted butter.  Beat well with mixer and add to cooled chocolate mixture.  Mix well.
Take 1 layer and put it on the cake dish.  Frost the top portion and add layers until done.  Leave the top portion unfrosted.  You will use the "Glazing".
1 1/2 cup powder sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips
OR  1 1/2 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup hot water
In small pot, add butter and chocolate together and melt on stove.  Add sugar and water.  Mix well.  It should be thick like syrup.  If it is too thick, add water.  If it is too thin, add sugar.  Frost cake.

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