Years ago, I fell in love with this Marzipankuchen. In all its simplicity, it has always been among my favorite cakes. It was the secret treat my best friend and I loved to share on rainy afternoons when we were school girls, growing up in a small town in the South of Germany.
Back in the day, we used to spend many hours at the `boutique` owned by my friend´s mother, a little shop with the most beautiful, handpicked selection of children´s clothes. It´s easy to imagine what drew two nine year old girls there. Choosing random outfits and trying them on in the privacy of the back room, we secretly gave in to the unuttered thought it was all ours … to us, this wasn´t a shop, it was a spatious dressing room worthy of not one, but two princesses.
But there was another thing: the bakery on the other side of the street. Stealthily my girlfriend and I would snatch a few coins from her mum´s wallet to buy warm, oven fresh loaves of rustic bread and indulge on them with a jar of Nutella – or little marzipan cakes, moist, golden, with a subtle almond flavor and thickly coated with dark chocolate glaze. Slice after slice, we would do our best to make them disappear within the afternoon, or perhaps reserve some to have a sweet snack during school the next day.
Over the years, I lost sight of the marzipan cake, until I digged out the recipe a few days ago. And when I took the cake out of the oven a little later, it almost felt like being nine again. Well, almost. But it´s still true that a good friend´s company and a nice slice of Kuchen will always brighten up a cloudy day.
90 g fine sugar
1 small pinch fine salt
180 g unsalted butter, melted
150 g flour
75 g ground almonds
6 g baking powder
150 g marzipan, finely grated (the best quality you can find)
a few drops almond extract + 1 tbsp rum (optional)
Using a kitchen machine or electric whisks, whisk eggs with sugar and salt until frothy, 4-5 minutes at high speed.
Mix flour with almonds and baking powder. At low speed, gradually add to egg mixture .
In a thin stream, pour the melted butter until fully incorporated.
Add grated marzipan, almond extract and rum (if using).
Transfer dough into a well buttered baking tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C /350 °F for about 40 minutes.
Leave to cool and unmould.
Once cooled, melt cholocalte in a bain-marie/double boiler and glaze cake.
150 g good quality dark chocolate
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 tbsp cream
Break chocolate into chunks and melt over a bain-marie/double boiler. Add butter and cream. Leave to cool slightly, then pour onto the cake (cooled) in a “zigzag pattern”. Takes a few hours to harden.