For our nutrition lockdown means eating less and eating healthier. We have reduced our daily meals to 2. Moreover, we try (try!!!) to eat smaller portions and to eat lighter meals. But after 1 month of lockdown, I decided that time has come for a little reward. I made a German classic perfect for all chocolate lovers out there. The Danube wave cake! The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe (after the Volga). It originates in the Black Forest in Germany and flows southeast for 2,850 km passing in total through 10 different countries before draining in Romania into the Black Sea. Most probably the cake was invented in a town on the banks of the Danube.
The Danube Wave cake is a cake made of dark and white pound cake with sour cherries, buttercream, and a generous layer of chocolate. The dark cake batter is spread on top of the white batter. Then, the cherries are strewn on top and pressed slightly into it. This creates the typical wave pattern during baking.
I prefer to use oil instead of butter for the cake. The oil makes it moister and in combination with the buttercream less buttery in taste. Traditionally the buttercream is flavored with vanilla. But I follow the the motto ‘either real vanilla or none at all’. Vanillin, the artificial vanilla flavor, I do not use. Since real vanilla is expensive, I only use it from time to time. Otherwise, I replace it with other natural flavors, such as cinnamon, or I simply leave it out. In this recipe, I flavored the buttercream with some orange zest, which went wonderfully with the chocolate in the cake.
When you make the buttercream, it is very important that both, the butter and the milk pudding, are at room temperature. Otherwise, you will not get a homogenous cream.
The cake is baked in a rectangular-shaped baking frame. But if you don’t have it, just like me, you can also use a round baking tray (about 30 cm / 12 inches in diameter). If you want to bake a whole baking tray of Danube wave cake, you should increase the amount of the ingredients at least to 50% (depending on the size of the tray)!
Sour cherries are rare in Morocco, but from time to time you can find them at carrefour supermarket. If you know other places where to buy them in Morocco, please write it in the comments below! You love chocolate, try also this super quick and easy chocolate cake recipe!
for the cake:
- 4 eggs
- 180 ml of vegetable oil
- 200g sugar
- 330g all-purpose flour
- 1 pack baking powder
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 glass sour cherries
for the buttercream:
- 500 ml of milk
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 70g sugar
- 40g corn starch
- 200g unsalted butter (room temperature!)
for the chocolate topping:
- 250g bitter chocolate
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350° F and also drain the cherries. You can drink the juice of the cherries, so don’t pour it away! Optionally, line your baking tin with parchment paper.
- Next, make the cake batter. Beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture is almost white. Then, mix in the oil. Combine the flour with the baking powder, sieve it, and stir it with a wooden spoon thoroughly into the batter. Spread about 2/3 of the cake batter evenly in the baking tin. Afterward, add the cocoa powder and the milk to the remaining cake batter and mix it well. Spread the dark cake mixture evenly on top of the white cake mixture. Strew the cherries evenly on the cake batter and press them in lightly with your index finger. Finally, bake the cake 180°C / 350°f for about 20 minutes until done. Then, let it cool down.
- While the cake is cooling down, prepare the milk pudding. Therefore, mix the sugar, the orange zest, and the corn starch with some of the milk until all lumps have disappeared. Heat the rest of the milk in the pot. When it has come to boil, add the corn starch mixture and stir the pudding well. Afterward, turn off the heat. Fill the pudding into a bowl and let it cool down. You can cover the surface of the pudding with cling-film. This way, there will be no skin on the cool pudding. I usually skip this step, because I’m going to strain the pudding through a sieve later anyway.
- When the pudding and the cake are at room temperature, you can prepare the buttercream. Therefore pass the milk pudding through a sieve. In a second bowl, whip the butter with a mixer until white and fluffy. Then, add the pudding spoon by spoon, stirring constantly. When all the pudding is mixed with the butter, the cream is ready.
- Spread the buttercream evenly on the cake and put it for about 1 hour into the fridge.
- When the cake has cooled in the fridge, melt the chocolate carefully in the microwave or over a water bath. Then, add the vegetable oil, mix it until well combined, and let the chocolate cool down a little. Next spread the chocolate evenly on the cake. Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Finally, add a wavy pattern on the chocolate using a cake comb or a fork. Let the cake cool for another hour in the fridge. The cake is traditionally served in rectangular pieces. Dip the knife into hot water before you cut the cake into pieces. This way the chocolate will not break!