Saturday, September 3, 2016

Torte

According to Merriam-Webster a torte (pronounced tor-ta) is a cake made with many eggs and often grated nuts or dry bread crumbs and usually covered with a rich frosting. It's also typically known as a layered cake. There are many kinds of tortes.

To me, torte is a specific cake that is tradition to my family. My father is German, and this recipe has been in our family since before I was born. As long as I have memories, my dad has requested it every single year for his birthday.

This year, I decided to choose it for myself. It's sweet and delicious. The cake is light, but the icing is everything. It's a butter cream with pudding. We always cut the cake into multiple layers and spread strawberry jelly between. It holds many memories, and I thought it was time to share it. My grandma and great grandma made this torte from memory. This recipe is from my mother who asked them a lot of questions and made notes on how to prepare it.

The cake is a little finicky and will not be your typical dump the ingredients into a bowl, mix, pour, and then bake kind of cake. This cake is special. It requires time and love. I think that's what makes it taste so good!

torte recipe

The Cake
Preheat your oven to 375°.

Separate 6 egg whites and 6 egg yolks into two different bowls. The egg yolks will get the largest bowl to be used later.

Start with the egg white bowl. Beat 6 egg whites on high speed. Once it's stiffening, gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar. Set aside.

In a new bowl, mix these dry ingredients together:
  •  Little less than 1 cup of flour
  • 3 heaping tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

In your third and final bowl, beat until fluffy:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbs. lukewarm water
Add dry ingredients into the egg yolks bowl. DO NOT STIR. Add egg whites into the yolk bowl. DO NOT STIR. Use a large rubber spatula and gently FOLD all ingredients together. Be very careful to not mix, or you will mix the air out. 

Bake in an ungreased Angel Food pan at 375° for 30-35 minutes. Be careful when you close the oven door. Because if you slam it, the cake will fall, or be lopsided.

The top should be a golden brown color.  Make sure to let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it upside down to continue cooling. You can put the cake pan up on a cup or a mug. The cake needs a lot of air flow while it cools. Once it's completely cooled you can take it out.

Cut cake into three sections. Be sure to cut it very carefully so you don't smash it. The easiest way to cut the layers, you can take the inner part of your Angel Food cake pan out of its outer shell. You don't need to remove the cake from the pan yet. If you keep it on the flat pan you can now twirl the cake while you are cutting it.

You can add any flavor you like to your layers. We normally put jelly on one layer and the buttercream icing on another. To make the jelly easier to spread, mix in a little hot water.

The last time my mom made the cake she decided to make her own strawberry jam. It tastes SO much better than a jar of jelly. She cut up some fresh strawberries, she added a little bit of sugar, and she cooked them on the stove. She made sure to mash them while she cooked. It's thinner and easier to spread than the jelly is. It was a definite success!


Buttercream Icing 
3 oz. pkg. of cook and serve vanilla flavored pudding
(NOT INSTANT)
1/2 lb. unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened

Make pudding, and cool to room temperature. Whip butter until creamy. Beat while adding pudding a little bit at a time.
  • IMPORTANT: Keep butter and pudding at the same temperature. (Warm)
  • You can add cocoa powder to the icing to add a chocolate flavor, or experiment by adding any flavor you like to it.
Once the cake is iced, you must put in the refrigerator to harden. The icing will melt since it has so much butter in it.

This cake is so delicious! Enjoy!

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