Guys, it´s officially Christmas time. We already had our first snow, the Christmas decoration is up, the Christmas market has opened its doors and I´m guessing most of us have either made or eaten the first cookies. So I´m using this first Advent to present you the most christmassy recipe of them all: Danube waves cake! Wait…what?
Don´t worry, there will be Christmas cookies on this blog. But I still had to make one traditional cake this month and since most of the local fruit are out of season right now, I decided to go with something more timeless. Like chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream. Add some cherries in between and you got yourself a very traditional German cake recipe.
Danube waves cake is very well known and popular here in Germany. The Danube is very long a river which flows through southern Germany and a bunch of other European countries before emptying into the Black sea. Don´t ask me what chocolate and cherries have got to do with the river but at least you can see the waves in the couverture right? Another (more fitting) name for this cake is Snow White cake. You know, because “skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony”. Whatever you want to call this cake, it is pretty delicious. So let´s get started, shall we?
Notes to the recipe:
- All ingredients have to be at room temperature.
- It´s best to prepare the cake and the pudding the day before, that way everything is cooled down and ready to use the next day.
- Apparently my book didn’t exaggerate when it absolutely stressed the point that pudding and butter have to have the same temperature when making the buttercream. Otherwise the whole thing will start to clot, I found out. After panicking for five minutes, I found a remedy (thanks google). If you buttercream clots, use a bain-marie to slowly heat the cream while continually whisking. That way, the butter will dissolve and the cream will be smooth and shiny again.
For a medium sized casserole dish:
400 g sour cherries (fresh, frozen or canned)
3 small eggs
125 g butter at room temperature
100 g sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
175 g all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. cocoa
1 tbsp. rum
For the buttercream:
500 ml milk
1 vanilla bean
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
30 g sugar
40 g corn starch
200 g butter at room temperature
For the chocolate glaze:
200 g dark chocolate
10 g coconut fat
1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a medium sized casserole dish. Drain fresh or canned sour cherries in a sieve. Frozen cherries don´t need to be drained.
2) Separate the eggs and beat egg whites until stiff. Beat butter, 100 g sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract until white and creamy. Mix flour, salt and baking powder and add to the mixture. Afterwards carefully fold in egg whites.
3) Place half of the batter into the casserole dish and spread evenly. Add the remaining sugar, cocoa and rum to the remaining half and mix well. Spread evenly on top of the first batter. Scatter the cherries on top of the batter and bake the cake for 40-45 minutes until well done. Let cool completely.
4) For the buttercream heat milk, core of the vanilla bean, vanilla extract and sugar until cooking. In a cup, mix corn starch with a couple of tablespoons of milk until it has dissolved completely. When the vanilla-milk-mixture is cooking, take the pot of the heat and stir in the corn starch. Keep stirring until you have thick texture. Let the pudding cool completely.
5) Beat the butter until fluffy. Keep mixing while folding the pudding one spoon at a time into the butter mixture until you have white fluffy buttercream. Spread the buttercream evenly on top of the cake. Refrigerate.