Torta (from Italian. Torta, earlier from Lat. Torta, round bread) is a dessert, a type of cake, consisting of one or several cakes soaked in cream or jam. On top of the cake is usually decorated with cream, icing and / or fruit.
There are also savory types of cakes (for example, a liver cake), while the name “cake” indicates rather the design of the dish: laying the ingredients in layers with possible subsequent decoration of the top layer. In the example with a liver cake: fried bread cakes made from liver mince with a layer of mayonnaise, decorated with greens on top.
Basic rules for making cakes
Cakes for most cakes are made from biscuit or shortbread dough, classic cakes are a combination of thin shortbread (for a more stable base) and one or more biscuit cakes. Also for cakes sometimes use puff pastry or wafer cakes. To lubricate the cake usually use jam, cream of butter or cream with sugar, condensed milk. You can also lay a layer of fruit, berries, nuts between the cake layers, moisten the cake layers with a small amount of alcohol (rum, liqueur). As in the dough, and in the cream, you can add different flavoring and aromatic additives: cocoa powder, vanilla; food colorings.
Traditionally, cakes have a rounded shape, but some varieties, as well as industrial-made cakes, are baked in rectangular shapes. Such cakes are often cut into pieces and sold in the form of cakes (for example, the cake “Napoleon” and the eponymous cake). In Italy, hemispherical cakes are popular. Recently, unusual forms of cakes have become popular, for example, in the form of a star or a heart – these cakes are most often made for special occasions.
A pastry chef is engaged in baking and decorating cakes.
For the decoration of cakes, cream is usually used (usually the same as that used for the layer of cake layers), squeezing it out with the help of a pastry syringe onto the top layer of the cake and its sidewall. You can also cover the cake with icing or ganache. Elastic sugar marsh marshmallows, which can be used not only as a cake coating, but also for sculpting decorative figures to decorate confectionery products, have become widespread.
Thanks to the sugar mastic, the sugar confectionery mastic cake looks elegantly smooth and stands out among other goodies.
The main advantage of mastic over traditional glaze is its plasticity. Mastic easily takes any form. So, from it you can fashion different figures – animals, men, flowers. Today, pastry chefs combine the use of mastic and fudge, while applying royal icing to make the desired form of mastic.
Common motifs in decorating cakes
There are many similar “motives” that are used when decorating cakes. The most famous of them are the flowers and the decorative edge of sugar glaze, marzipan and mastic figures, fudge, different types of glaze.
This traditional method uses sugar pattern technique. On the cake, covered with fudge, put a pattern using royal icing. Then add another pattern that looks like lace. Other techniques used in the Lambeth method include forming the comb edge of a cake, applying various curls and drawing air patterns from thin strings of icing sugar.
But in this popular method, which is often called the Australian method, a pattern of royal sugar glaze, applied to another intricate pattern resembling lace, is used.
The Wilton method, in which a butter cream is used for decorating a cake, is quite popular. Usually cream cover the entire cake, or use it to decorate the cake not only with different curlicues and flowers, but also with complex patterns. Decorating cakes is now hard to imagine without the method of Wilton. He quickly became popular, as even beginners can use it, gradually improving their skills. In the Wilton method, there are three “levels” of skill: the first is the application of a floral pattern and a decorative edge, the second is the production and application of fondants and tierra technique on the cake, and the third “level” includes very special and very complex techniques and techniques.
In addition, fruits, berries, nuts, marzipan figurines, chocolate and coconut chips, whipped cream are used as decorations for cakes.