What Does It Mean To Torte A Cake?
The centerpiece to every celebration, the cake is a crowd-pleasing dessert that is versatile enough to transform into just about any flavor you or your loved ones like, and it's time to normalize how approachable they are to make on your own.
There are endless ideas and techniques that come into play when baking and decorating a cake. From learning different styles of piping, leveling the cake layers evenly, and smoothing the icing into a crumb coat, to even working with fondant, or shape-shifting into your favorite animal or object, it can get quite overwhelming seeing that it truly is an art. This intimidation factor often leads many to buy a cake instead of making their own. However, a lot of the techniques aren't nearly as complicated as you might think, and it's important to learn the fundamentals.
For starters, leveling a cake is important. Cake layers tend to dome after baking, so trimming the tops with a serrated knife to ensure they're perfectly flat will lead to a beautifully symmetrical cake. Domed cake layers actually increase the risk of the center of the cake cracking due to too much pressure (via Life, Love and Sugar). Another technique that can make or break whether your cake is level is torting — let's dive in.
If you've never heard of the term 'torting' before, you're not alone. According to Wilton, to torte a cake is to divide a cake layer into extra layers. This technique creates height, seeing that each cake layer requires an approximate ¼" thick layer of frosting in between. While this method stems from those wanting a taller cake, it can also be a great saver if one of your cake layers flopped and you need to create an illusion. However, a long serrated knife and a turntable are important tools to divide the layers evenly. This prevents the risk of the cake sliding, and if you're holding the knife completely perpendicular to the cake, the spinning of the turntable helps maintain that precision. Check out this video for a visual demonstration of how to do it.
According to Delishably, some extra tips for easy torting include working with a cold cake, drawing your halfway point with an edible marker, and ensuring your serrated knife is as sharp as possible. Cold cakes are firmer and produce cleaner cuts. An edible marker will act as a guide to help you stay on an even track during the cutting process. Lastly, the sharper the serrated knife, the smoother your cut will be, reducing the risk of jagged edges and extra crumbs.