Once upon a time, a long, long time ago ... No. It's just a few weeks ago that we had plans to go to Germany for a few weeks to settle some matters, but mainly to celebrate my in-laws' birthdays together with them.
We asked ourselves how we could celebrate a birthday together but 16000 kilometres apart. Actually quite simple, we will be there via video chat.
Mike and Steff have baked a delicious birthday cake and will be visiting my parents-in-law today. I baked the same cake. Since we will be eating the same cake at the same time - for us shortly before midnight - we will certainly feel very close.
This cake is called Donauwelle (Danube wave). In some regions it is called Snow White Cake. It's a chocolate-covered cake with vanilla buttercream and sour cherries.
For the cake:
350 g butter (unsalted), room temperature
250 g sugar
7 medium eggs
450 g flour
18 g baking powder
45 g baking cocoa
45 g powdered sugar
2 tbsp. cherry juice
700 g canned sour cherries, drained
For the vanilla buttercream:
500 g milk
1 vanilla pod
45 g cornstarch
225 g butter (unsalted), room temperature
75 g powdered sugar
For the chocolate glaze:
250 g coconut oil (hardened)
75 g powdered sugar
75 g baking cocoa
1 egg (as fresh as possible)
2 tbsp. milk
Preheat the oven to 175 °C. Grease a baking sheet or a baking pan. I use a baking frame measuring 30 cm x 38 cm x 5 cm, which I place on the baking sheet. Set aside. Let the cherries drain in a sieve.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and mix on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one after another mixing well after each addition. Mix the flour with baking powder and salt and add in three portions to the bowl and mix until just combined. Pour a little more than half of the batter (I take 700 g) onto the prepared baking sheet, spread evenly and smooth out the top.
Sift the cocoa and the powdered sugar over the remaining batter, add the cherry juice and mix until all is well combined.
Add this dark batter on top of the light batter and spread evenly. Try not to mix those two layers. It works best if you add the chocolate batter with a smaller spoon all over the light batter and then distribute it evenly. Add the drained cherries evenly distributed on the chocolate batter and press a bit into the batter. Place in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Take out of the oven and let cool down
Prepare the vanilla pudding for the vanilla buttercream filling. Mix the cornstarch with some of the milk until smooth. Add the remaining milk, vanilla pulp to a saucepan, mix and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until the pudding thickens. Take off the heat and let cool down a bit, then place a piece of plastic wrap right on top of the pudding so it does not develop a 'pudding skin'. Let cool down completely. I prepare the vanilla pudding the evening before and take the butter out of the fridge so that all the ingredients for the buttercream are at room temperature the next morning.
For the vanilla cream add the butter and powdered sugar to a large bowl and mix on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the cooled pudding one tablespoon at a time and mix in. Make sure the pudding and butter have the same temperature - room temperature! If one is too warm or cold, the cream might go bad, cause the two ingredients won't stay together. Spread the vanilla cream on top of the cooled cake and smooth out the top. Place in the fridge and let cool down for at least 1 hour. Note: If you use a baking frame, the cream stays where it should be and you get a nice edge.
Let the coconut oil melt slowly. It is important that it is liquid for further handling, but not too warm. I usually let it cool down further until it gets a wee bit opaque. Mix the cocoa with the powdered sugar in a stainless steel bowl, add the egg and the milk and stir from the middle with a stirring spoon. (It is not necessary to stir in the entire cocoa-sugar mixture at this stage.) Add the coconut oil in several small steps and stir in more and more of the cocoa-sugar mixture until everything is nicely blended together. The consistency should be rather viscous. If the mixture is too firm, simply place the bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water.
Pour over the cake with the vanilla cream and cover everything. Wait a moment until you can see that the chocolate thickens again (this usually happens very quickly), then use a fork or a toothed spatula and decorate the cake with a wavy pattern. Let cool down completely, then cut into slices and enjoy.