Making Rehrücken 2

Alright. All you men out there, take a knee.

Gentlemen, let’s face it, it can be hard to hold your head up high when you tell people you make cakes for fun. Pastry has certain pantywaist associations that can be hard to live down. But right here is a cake that any man would be proud to lay on the table: a rehrücken. Just saying the word makes you feel manly. And what about that presentation? On the one hand it makes you want to try a piece, on the other it makes you wonder whether the experience might leave you with a dueling scar. Yessir, a rehrücken is man’s cake. So puff out your chests and let’s do this thing. Start by turning the cooled cake out of the pan. If you’ve buttered and floured your mold, it should release easily.

Next, trim up the sides. Cutting away the edges not only gets rid of the driest part of the cake, it adds a little verticality to the shape, which is a very good thing.

Save those trimmings for later with tea…er, I mean BEER.

Position a serrated knife high on the cake, about where the curved top meets your trimmed sides.

And gently saw the top off. You can take your time with this. There’s nothing that says you have to make the cuts quickly. Cut a little, look on both sides to check your angles, and cut a little more until the deed is done.

Slide the top off and set it aside on the board. Repeat the process, slicing the remaining cake into two layers. You’ll get crumbs. Spongecakes are a little on the dry side.

Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam onto the bottom layer.

Replace the middle layer…

…apply more raspberry jam…

…and put on the top.

Cover the cake with apricot glaze. Why so much jam? Because, as I said, spongecakes can be a little dry (they make up for it with flavor and texture).

Once that’s done, insert the slivered almonds. Some people prefer to do this after the chocolate glaze has been applied. I like to do it before. In part because it’s easy to mess up the chocolate coating by touching it, in part because it’s easy to crack the coating if it’s cool, and in part because I like the way the almonds look with some chocolate on them. Call it a style thing.

Melt your chocolate glaze in the microwave as you did when you were preparing the cake. It should be barely warm to the touch. Let it stand and thicken a little, maybe ten minutes, then apply it to the cake. You may need to tip the rack slightly to get the glaze all over. Make sure you glaze the ends as well.

Let the cake sit for twenty minutes or so to firm, gently slide an offset spatula underneath to loosen it, and slide it onto a platter of your choice.

Uncut, the glazed cake will keep at room temperature for days if need be. It would never last that long in my house, but I’m just sayin’.

Men, enjoy.

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