The Schichttorte Technical Challenge


Today I decided to do something a little different; instead of sharing with you my own recipe, I challenged myself to one of the more difficult technicals from this years Great British Bake Off- the Schichttorte. This cake is made up of twenty layers, each baked under the grill for 2 or 3 minutes at a time. I can see why the bakers lost their patience with this bake- it really is a tense task! If you think you’re up to the challenge too, here’s the recipe (sourced from the BBC website)!

For the cake
10 large free-range eggs, separated
100g/3½oz unsalted butter
150g/5½oz caster sugar
1 large lemon, zest only
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
150g/5½oz plain flour, sifted
65g/2¼oz cornflour, sifted
oil, for greasing
6 tbsp apricot jam
For the chocolate glaze
50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp rum
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
75g/2½oz plain chocolate (36% cocoa solids), finely chopped
For the vanilla glaze
250g/9oz icing sugar
1 tbsp rum
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
1-2 tbsp milk

  1. Whisk the egg yolks in the bowl of a freestanding mixer on a high speed for five minutes, until pale, thick and creamy.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla paste and mix well. Add the whisked egg yolks and beat well. Add the flour and cornflour and mix.
  3. In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter to loosen the consistency. Then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Preheat the grill to high.
  5. Grease a 20cm/8in round springform tin with oil and line the base with parchment paper.
  6. Spoon some of the batter into the base of the cake tin and spread evenly across the bottom. Give the tin a gentle side-to-side shake to even out the top of the batter. Place on a shelf 10cm/4in below the grill and cook for two minutes, or until light golden-brown.
  7. Remove from the grill, add another spoonful of batter, spread out with a pastry brush, and place under the grill for three minutes, or until dark golden-brown. Continue layering and grilling until you have 20 layers alternating in colour from light golden-brown to dark golden-brown. (Or continue until you have used all the batter.)
  8. Remove from the grill and leave to cool in the tin for five minutes. Carefully release from the tin and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  9. Melt the apricot jam in a small pan over a low heat. Pass through a fine sieve, then brush the top and sides of the cake with jam. This will help the glaze stick to the cake.
  10. For the chocolate glaze, melt the butter in a small pan with the golden syrup, rum and vanilla paste and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for five minutes. Stir in the chocolate until melted. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to a coating consistency.
  11. Place a large piece of greaseproof paper under the wire rack holding the cake. Pour the glaze evenly over the cake to cover completely. Any excess glaze will be caught on the greaseproof paper and can be reused to fill in any unglazed areas of the cake.
  12. For the vanilla glaze, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the rum, vanilla paste and milk, stirring until completely smooth. Drizzle over the chocolate glaze.

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  1. This looks amazing, you must have a great deal of patience! I can’t get the GBBO as it airs ( I’m in Australia), but I do love catching up on it when it eventually shows. I’ll look out for this challenge!

  2. Well done. The old silver fox (ie Mr Hollywood) himself may very well shake you by the hand. I do have one question, and this came into my head when I watched the GBBO. It looks good, but is the taste for this recipe really worth all of the trouble that goes into baking it? I know our lovely German friends can bake great cakes, but typical of them to come up with a recipe that almost demands heavy industry.

    1. Haha great question, and I have to admit, I don’t prefer it to any classic British cake- in fact I would have to say I would much rather have a big old chocolate cake- it doesn’t feel as luxurious despite the effort and time!

    1. It doesn’t taste rubbish but I would rather have a regular sponge- I think people don’t like it because its a very different texture to the cakes we are used to- it’s a little dry as there is no moisture between the layers.

  3. Oh wow, I’m certainly not up to that challenge! The result looks amazing, though 🙂 I’ve been looking through some of your recipes (the peanut butter white chocolate cookies really caught my eye) and I like that some are geared toward healthier ingredients. Every little bit helps 🙂

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