Please Pass the Ketchup!

German Strawberry Cake (A.K.A Erdbeertorte)

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I think one of the most memorable desserts of my childhood was this cake. My mom made it, my Oma (German grandma) made it. In fact, everyone in my church made it. Once a year my church would hold it’s annual Church Supper at the local German club and for dessert, the ladies would bring their erdbeertorten. They would all be this same style but the flavours would vary. You can also use any other berry you want, and kiwi and peaches also go well with it. Most families had their own traditional recipe for the base. At the supper, the cakes would get topped with whipped cream. Each table got a cake or two, and then the servers would come around, take requests, and trade cakes with other tables depending on what you wanted. My sister and I always hoped that we would get mom’s or Oma’s because they were the best (naturally), and they always had just the classic strawberries (erdbeeren).

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I miss those suppers. After I moved to British Columbia, I noticed quite the change in our desserts. There was a significant lack of strawberry cakes. I missed it SO MUCH and we just can’t go home whenever I’m craving it. So I asked my mom for the recipe and I tried it. A year ago. It failed. I had the wrong glaze guys. I thought I could use any sort of gelatin but it just sank right into the base and that was that. We still ate it but it wasn’t the same. You specifically need Dr. Oetker’s clear or red glaze. It looks like this:

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See, it even has a picture of the cake on it! Some groceries stores carry it and if you are stuck, try a European bakery/deli/store. It should be in the baking aisle. If you don’t get this glaze, your cake will turn out like this:

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This is what the cake looks like when it is not glazed. You can assemble your fruit however you want and if you use more than one fruit, a pretty pattern looks best. As you can see, I started out in a circular pattern but then because I had just a variety of shapes and sizes in my strawberries, I just put them wherever they fit.

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Once I used the right glaze and asked my mom some more questions about the cake, it turned out beautifully. The smell of the base cooking made me so nostalgic that I almost cried, no joke. It’s amazing how powerful your memories can be from just smell. Now whenever I feel a bit homesick, I can just whip up another cake and be instantly transported back to my childhood. Note: you will need a flan pan for this so that you have that nice bowl when you invert it (actually this cake is often called a flan). I have this one. You can also get this one as it’s a lot cheaper. It isn’t non-stick though so it might be harder to get the cake out and you will want to watch your baking times. In a pinch, they sell similar sponge cake bases in most grocery stores. You could also use a springform pan (check out this blog for an example).

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I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do!

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German Strawberry Cake (A.K.A Erdbeertorte)
 
Note: You can even use frozen fruit in this recipe. Just defrost and drain well! See tutorial on vanilla sugar here: http://pleasepasstheketchup.ca/2012/06/05/vanilla-sugar/
Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled for 5 min.
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup flour
  • vanilla sugar for dusting (approximately 1 tbsp)
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries or other berries, washed and trimmed
  • 1 package Dr. Oetker’s Glaze (in clear or red)
  • Optional: whipped cream or crème fraîche for topping

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil or spray your tart pan with with baking spray.
  2. Using a hand whisk or an electric handheld beater, whisk together the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, crack eggs and beat with a fork to thoroughly combine. Add eggs to butter/sugar and whisk in until completely incorporated.
  4. Add baking powder, vanilla and flour and whisk until combined.
  5. Gently pour mixture into greased flan pan and level with a knife.
  6. Bake for 17-20 minutes in preheated oven or until golden brown on top.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 10 min. Invert on top of cake plate and let cool completely (if you cool on a rack, you will need parchment paper inbetween as it’s a soft cake).
  8. Sprinkle vanilla sugar on top of cake. Layer your cleaned fruit in whatever pattern you want.
  9. To make the glaze, follow the direcitons on the back of the package exactly. Spoon over your cake, focusing on covering the fruit first and then the gaps in between. You might not need all of the glaze. The glaze will set up fairly quickly but if it hardens in the pot you can reheat it to melt it.
  10. Serve, topped with whipped cream or crème fraîche (optional).
  11. This cake keeps well in the fridge.

 

1 comment on German Strawberry Cake (A.K.A Erdbeertorte)

  1. Jenna
    June 28, 2013 at 8:12 am (10 months ago)

    Yum! Definitely going to try this!

    Reply

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