I learned about Torte the other day.
A loose definition from the internet:
a rich, round, flat, sweet cake, often with cream and fruit;
usually multilayered, often made with very little flour and ground nuts or breadcrumbs, egg yolks, sugar and stiffly beaten whipping cream.
All that I know now. Before Friday, all I knew was that they were delicious, time consuming, and borderline worshiped by all the staff here at the lodge. Becky’s Twenty-three Layer Cinnamon Torte from a few weeks before, a work of art taking hours of compilation and reaped a standing ovation from guests.
Spectacular, was the word.
This week, she was generous enough to pull out her recipe for me and walk me through it.
So today, folks, you are going to learn
How To Make a Torte:
(the abbreviated version.)
Step 1:Pull out the kitchenaid. It’s the kitchen-persons best friend. (Along with dough scrapers. Those are pretty good, too.)
Throw in some butter/marg, eggs, cinnamon, and some other stuff. Cream it all up!
Step 2: Then pull out your inner arts & crafts elementary school kid, along with some parchment paper and a pic plate. Trace big circles. Cut them out, leaving a little triangle tab.
Most intriguing, you say? Oh yes, I was curious about that little triangle too…
but it all made sense later.
Step 3: With one finger on the handy triangle to keep the paper from sliding around(aha! you say! But wait, there’s even more uses for that little tab!) evenly spread a thin layer (think like, four pieces of paper?) of cinnamon spread over the ENTIRE piece of paper.
It’s fun. I like it.
It’s messy and smooth and gritty all at the same time. Arts and crafts grade 2 style, with FOOD! It’s awesome.
Step 4: Using that handy-dandy little tab, gently lift it up from the counter and
voila! YOU HAVE A PERFECT CIRCLE OF THING CINNAMON SOGGY CRISP!
I mean, if your cutting skills are good. Then it will be a perfect circle.
Oh yeah, and the reason it’s soggy crisp is because after the cinnamon goop is baked it makes a crunchy wafer for inside the cake. I forgot to tell you that part. But it’s still not-crispy at this point. Very smeary, actually.
Soooooo ya keep on doing that for a long time after you throw the first ones on a pan and in the oven at a hot temperature for 3 to five to 8 minutes, depending on your oven and crisp-thickness. Let them cool for a eensy bit on the pan and then flip them onto cooling racks before they harden completely.
If you wait too long they get crumbly and easy to crack and shatter. Eep! Don’t want that.
I hope nobody is trying to actually make one of these with this. That might be a disaster. Remember, This is a walk-through, not a recipe…
After humming and smearing and smoothing and walking back and forth from the oven and the oven mitts about a hundred and fifty times and an hour or so later, cover up an upside-down cookie sheet with tin foil.
(See, you get to practice gift-wrapping too! Another one of my favourite activities. Told you this is fun.)
Where are we, maybe Step 7?
Sure, let’s call it that!
Step 7: Whip Cream. Make it stiff.
Step 8: Add Cinnamon.
Step 9: Start stacking. Thin smear of whipping cream, evenly placed on the upside-down pan, then smoosh a crust on it, and then another layer of cinnamon whipping cream. Smooth and steady, keeping everything thin.
Step 10: Rinse and repeat, x10,000. Except not actually! No rinsing! That’s just weird. Ignore that. And only go as high as you have crusts for! Becky did a towering 23. It was amazing. I used 11 wafers and made two normal-heighted cakes, using 22 shells in all.
Stacking them up straight and careful is a combination of precision and fragility that rivals a good game of jenga. Except you don’t even need another player! Just cake! And whipped cream! How awesome is that?!
And every once in a while you might find a crakced or shattered or curmbled piece that didn’t survive the transfer from the pan to the cooling rack.
That’s ok – you can just make another grade 2 craft and stack it right on that cake! Practice those mosaic skills! Just plop those pieces down and call it art!
You’ll stack it higher….
until you are all done.
Then complete the final step of icing the sides and top and adding a wee bit of cinnamon-whipped cream decoration,
place it in the fridge for the flavours to seep together (ruminate?) and slightly soggify. I mean, soften.
I need to work on my sophisticated food vocabulary. Clearly, I don’t read enough food magazines.
(I always think of a cows’ digestive system with the work Ruminate. They have something like four stomachs, did you know?! Ok, technically, one stomach, four parts. but still! Cows are cool! I digress.)
Step Final : Serve and Devour!
It’s like a giant, scrumptious piece of cake made of Cinnamon Toast Crunch that melts in your mouth. Dee-lectable.
So there you go: We all learned something new this week!
Me – how to make a torte.
You – Cows have four stomachs! (sort of.)
How educational! How Satisfying! Yum.