Soon we arrived in North Carolina to try the still-fresh cakes with Theo, my good buddy and host. It was time to give the cakes a proper and thorough tasting!
Okay, so the video isn't really the "proper and thorough tasting," more of a precursor. Good thing I took detailed notes, because I'm writing this up like ten months after the fact. The whole affair drove home the point that there is an impressive variety possible in rotisserie cake-baking. Artisanal one-off baumkuchens and vacuum-sealed Japanese-grocery-store baumkuchens are incomparable, it's true. But how do you compare baumkuchen and šakotis and gâteau à la broche?
Well, let's start by fawning over the two baumkuchens that were on that table. Herr Taesler's cake was a treat for its nuanced flavoring. It was not as sweet as cakes often are, which made room for subtle flavors to come through. Rum, vanilla, almond, butter, and fruit notes played in harmony as we chewed and pontificated. The Lutz baumkuchen, meanwhile, stood out for its luxurious texture. The flavor was fairly uniform, sweet and rum-like, but the cake was moist and texturally decadent in a way that only layer-by-layer cake baking can achieve.
This was my first proper šakotis, too! I was not expecting it to be so thin! As a result it was dry and crunchy. I'm not sure how typical that thinness is. The Pyrenean gâteaux I saw varied greatly in thickness, so I'm hesitant to judge all šakotis by this one's dimensions. The flavor was eggy, like a cookie that would pair well with a strong coffee on a winter morning. Mmmm.
All in all, a very good day!