Sunday, April 22, 2018

German Marble Cake (Marmor Kuchen)


Craig and I just return from a 2 week vacation to Bavaria, Austria and Tyrol (Northern Italy). We had a fabulous time, of course, and we took at least 2000 pictures. I know I have a summer school break project on my hands, as I cull the best of the best. If you're curious to see some of our photos on my Instagram, I invite you to come and take look.

We spent nine days of our vacation in my mother's birth city of Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria.  If you ever decide to visit this part of Europe, this beautiful town is a hidden jewel.  It is only about 20 minutes away from Berchtesgaden and about the same distance to Salzburg, Austria.  We love how quaint and quiet this city is. Of course, I have childhood memories of living here and visiting my Oma until she passed away in 1989. My ancestors lived here for many generations, and there is so much history here. But, that's another story I should write about. One of these days...

The Bavarian food we enjoyed was so familiar to me, since my Mutti taught me how to make so many of the traditional  recipes that inspired me to start my blog, in the first place.  However, I realized that I had never made Marmor Kuchen (Marble Cake). I saw these cakes in many of the bakeries we passed by, and I thought of my Mutti-- who used to bake these for us.  However,  I passed that by to eat Bienenstiech (Been-en-stee-ccccch) Kuchen/ Bee Sting Cake (our favorite).  I made a mental note that I wanted to bake a Marmor Kuchen when I returned home.  So, today, was the day!


I am not particular fond of the flavor of rum in my desserts, nor was my Mutti. I remember she always added lemon zest to the cake batter instead.  The recipe I found uses almond extract (and I love it), but I wanted to make it Mutti's way. I am very fond of Lorann Baking Emulsions and so I added one teaspoon of the lemon emulsion to the batter.  To half of the batter, unsweetened cocoa powder is added and then  rum. I discovered that I had Imitation Rum Extract, so I added  1/2 teaspoon so that it would "amp up" the flavor of the chocolate.



There is a distinct difference between German cakes and American cakes. They are very different, so please take this into consideration-- should you try this recipe.  American cakes have a more tender crumb, are moist and have buttercream frosting (unless you venture into making Swiss or Italian Buttercream...but then that's not American is it?!).  When my Mutti would serve this to my American friends, some of them would call it "choke cake".  I never told my Mutti, or her feelings might have been hurt.

I read that some Americans add a package of vanilla pudding to make this moister. I chose not to do this, because I wanted to stay more traditional. I just made sure to make sure that I did not over bake my cake. The recipe said to bake for 70 minutes, but mine was ready in 50 minutes!



There's always that moment of holding one's breath, when it time to remove a cake from a bundt pan.  So far, Baker's Joy (I buy mine at WalMart) has not let me down. The cake slipped out, in once piece, once it cooled completely. Yay!
Please think of this cake as a pound cake hybrid.  This cake is drier than American cakes and that's how it's supposed to be! Often times, you might find it sprinkled with powdered sugar.

I chose to make a chocolate glaze, just like my Mutti used to do. 
To make this job less messy, I balance a cooling rack of my kitchen sink. Voila! The job is done!
TASTING NOTES: This recipe was a success.  There was just a hint of lemon and the little bit of rum extract added a little extra flavor to the glaze. A cup of coffee or tea is mandatory, though. The cake wasn't "choke cake" (thank goodness), but it's meant to be enjoyed with a hot beverage.  I wish I could bring a slice of this cake to my Mutti, but there are no deliveries in heaven.  I'm very grateful for the Bavaria culture and the traditional recipes that she taught to me.

Bavaria will always be one of my favorite places in the world to visit.  The lush green hills and the magnificent Bavarian Alps are a photographer's dream!  We will be back again...and again.

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.










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