Germans are famous for their bakeries, so I usually bake German recipes. The following are step-by-step instructions for baking the basic cake, called a “Bisquitkuchen”. You can use this in any cake form, and it’s good for berry tarts, rolls, bases, or just dusted with powdered sugar and eaten plain. I also bake a sheet-cake version of this and cut it into ladyfingers for tiramisu.
You can reduce the eggs down to 5 without making any other changes, and still get good results. That’s the amount you’d need for a thinner base or a smaller cake.
1. Separate 8 eggs, and add 1 teaspoon of flavoring (vanilla, lemon, or almond usually) to the yolks. Measure out 125 g each of sugar and flour.
2. Smear a cake pan with butter or shortening, dust with flour. I used an angel food cake pan because my daughter likes that it looks like a flower. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Beat the egg whites until fluffy, then beat in the sugar. Should be shiny and stiff, when you’re finished.
4. Stir the egg yolks with a fork, then pour them onto the egg whites.
5. Fold them in gently with a spatula or big spoon.
6. When you’re done, it should look like light-yellow batter.
7. Shake in flour through a sieve, folding in periodically.
8. Finished batter looks like frothy pancake dough. The spatula should rest on top without sinking in.
9. Pour it into the prepared form. Turn oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Bake until golden-brown on the top, and it pulls away from the sides of the form.
11. Turn it over onto a rack to cool. It should be slightly spongy.
12. This is what it looks like sliced.
Sorry for the unfocused photos. My camera was a bit wonky.
Update: Here’s a photo of the next version, a strawberry roll. It’s just the same dough baked as a sheetcake, slathered with sweetened whipped cream and fresh strawberries, rolled up with a towel, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The cake is a bit too thick and the presentation leaves something to be desired (everything I make looks sloppy), but you get the general idea. Tastes delicious.