I got very excited when I saw January's Daring Bakers' Challenge. So excited, in fact, that I promptly dropped the rest of my plans for the weekend, marched to the grocery store to buy almonds, and began baking. This month's challenge was baumkuchen - a traditional cake throughout Europe that has also become very popular in Japan. The name translates to "tree cake" in German. Usually, the cake is ring-shaped, so the layers look like tree rings. Unfortunately, getting this ring-shaped layering requires some specialized equipment, so my baumkuchen has horizontal layers.
The January 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Francijn of "Koken in de Brouwerij". She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).