Cakes-CtoM 4: Tangy Berry Torte

2006-03-31

Tangy Berry Torte (1)I guess I don't really know what torte means because it seemes to be used to describe decorated layer cakes especially ones with a lot of ground nuts. The cake layers we made contained no nuts but part of the “tang” came from buttermilk and lemon zest in the batter. No one noticed during the demo when Chef swapped the quantities for whole eggs and egg whites so her cake wasn't as white as expected. The idea was to include whole eggs for structure, but a larger quantity of egg whites to yield a paler product. After ours was baked, my partner and I noticed ours was quite yellow despite using the right number of eggs. Chef was very excited because she thought we must have added too much baking soda which tends to darken cakes. (Cocoa powder, which is acidic, is often combined with soda to yield a dark brown, rather than red, cake.) I'm pretty sure I measured the leavener correctly but since my scale is only accurate to 2 g, I may have been off by a bit. In any case, the cake tasted fine.

Tangy Berry Torte (2) We made the tangy frosting, which was just whipped cream, sour cream, sugar and gelatin. Our instructor gave us vanilla beans to use which was nicer than the clear extract. For example, we split the 7" cakes in half then soaked them simple syrup. Our recipe says to make 4 layers but everyone opted to make a less ridiculous two-layer torte. We spread the frosting on the bottom layer, then piped a border around the edge before filling it with sliced strawberries, mandarin segments and blueberries. A zigzag of cream on top helped to anchor the top layer. We masked the whole thing with more frosting, combed the sides and garnished the top. An apricot glaze helped to protect the fruit from drying out.

I really like this torte, with its soft cake layers, jumble of fruit and tangy frosting. This is something I will definitely make again.

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