Ttt....terrified To Torte

Decorating By calebsmom45 Updated 19 Sep 2008 , 12:37pm by MichelleM77

calebsmom45 Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:46am
post #1 of 31

I am scared to death to torte a cake. I am making my sisters wedding cake, which I have posted about before and I am thinking about torting it because I want it to be tall and look awesome but I have never done it before. I am thinking about doing a 8,10,12 and torting 2" pans, mostly because I do not want to buy all new three inch pans. Here is the cake that I am attempting to recreate with some changes.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1046543.html

I definitely need to torte, don't I? I need to make it look like a wedding cake not some dwarf cake. What is the easiest way? I don't want my cake to slide and look uneven. Any tips? I don't want a collapsed cake, I am already having a hard time trying to figure out how to make the topper on this cake. Thanks!

Brandy

30 replies
karateka Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 1:01am
post #2 of 31

Instead of torting, why not bake an extra layer? You can either bake another full size layer, or divide your batter up into 3 pans. Then you wouldn't have to torte anything, just take them out of the pans and stack them up.

Make sure you have a thick icing dam between layers, whether you torte or not. I do like Sugarshack taught me and add a bunch of PS to my icing to make it really thick, almost like play do, and use it to go between each layer, whether I'm using a filling or not. Then you don't have bulging when you ice it.

Use a really good support system like the SPS or Stress free, and you won't have to worry about the cake collapsing.

I can't help on the topper, I don't do gumpaste flowers....yet...

Good luck..

calebsmom45 Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 1:09am
post #3 of 31

That's a good idea... but by the time I get them level it will look like two layers anyway..hehe. I usuallly use dowels because I cannot really afford any kind of support system being that I only do this as a hobby. No problems yet but I have not made a cake quite so big or with filling instead of buttercream. Do you think my dowels will be alright? I have made a three tiered cake and a couple of two and I will be stacking it at the site. Thanks!

karateka Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 1:31am
post #4 of 31

I've used dowels before, and as long as you are stacking at the site, I think you'll be ok. Just make sure it's level (I actually use a pocket level to check this). I'm sure you'll be fine. Don't forget to post pics...

calebsmom45 Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 2:09am
post #5 of 31

Thanks!

calebsmom45 Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 2:38am
post #6 of 31

Anyone else have any tips? I read somewhere about a toothpick method to make sure the layers are level? I need to buy a pocket level I guess. I am definitely going to try that dam method.

Henna20 Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 3:12am
post #7 of 31

just a side note, the sps system is really not expensive at all. check it out.
also, don't be so scared of torting. just think of it as leveling your cake and making two cakes. as long as you know how to fill a cake, when you torte its the same idea. what are you planning on filling it with? maybe fill the cake with something sturdy so that you won't be scared. i use a "mousse" that is made out of jello pudding and whip topping and it comes out delicious and sturdy enough.

Petya Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 5:24am
post #8 of 31

OK, silly question but... what does it mean to torte?

ceshell Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 6:37am
post #9 of 31

Torting means to cut a single cake layer into individual layers. If you baked two layers of cake, you'd torte each for four thinner layers of cake; this ups your filling to 3 filling layers rather than just the one. Some even torte a layer into three layers. Brave souls, I say.

I love torting cakes, I agree, I love the extra height. But I hate actually TORTING cakes! LOL. I use the (horrible) Wilton small leveler. While it is a total PITA it is still more accurate than the serrated knife/toothpick trick (toothpicks just mark your cake so you have a guide for the knife to follow...I am however incapable of cutting a straight line with a knife). I've seen a similar trick with fishing wire or dental floss, I would think that technique is similar to what the Wilton leveler does (after all, it's just a wire strung on a metal frame) but perhaps with more control?

Can't someone please invent an Agbay knockoff for those of us who don't torte enough to justify the purchase of a $150 tool?!

BTW if you want to simply bake a taller layer, you could consider collaring your pans. I've never done this myself but have seen it done here numerous times. Beware of baking thin layers in your current pans, I've had a heckuva problem with shrinkage on white/yellow cakes which I am beginning to believe is due to "underfilling" of the cake pan e.g. trying to bake a thin layer in the pan. 3x in a row I baked the same recipe, and the only time it didn't shrink was when I finally filled up the pan properly. Just my 2c.

disneynutbsv Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 11:53am
post #10 of 31

I don't torte icon_redface.gif
I can't level a cake for the life of me...I bought that wilton leveler and promptly threw it away and I wish I could afford the agbay. So, I always make two layers of each size, do as Sugarshack says and make a nice stiff dam in between the layers. If you don't have her dvd, I highly suggest it! Its great!

leah_s Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:22pm
post #11 of 31

Please look at SPS. I wouldn't do a wedding cake without it. it is really, really inexpensive.

bkdcakes Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:30pm
post #12 of 31

I have never torted a cake. I just don't see that it's worth all that work! (Plus, I would have a stroke, if it fell apart!) If you have a full 2" for each layer, plus filling/bc between, each tier will be over 4" high.

mama_can_bake Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:31pm
post #13 of 31

I am also afraid to torte, was thinking of doing my first one for my sis in laws baby shower cake. I use the wilton leveler to level my cakes, well actuallty I make my husband use it! LOL he is really good with tools, but recently he is makin me use it icon_surprised.gif . I haven't had to much of a problem so far LOL!! Hope it works out for you! The cake is gorgeous by the way!

Maria_Campos Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:36pm
post #14 of 31

I came up with this method to tort cakes, but have not tried it yet.
After my cakes are chilled, I am going to place them back in the pan but with a formcore board cut to the size of the pan inside about 1" more or less to get the cake above the rim of the pan, and high enough to get it right in the middle of the cake, then I will take a long serrated knife and cut through it using the rim of the pan to guide me through. I will be trying it tonight. If all goes will it will be my new torting method until I can buy me that darn expensive deluxe Agbay leveler I covet!!!!

If anyone trys it let me know how it works out for you.

aswartzw Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:50pm
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria_Campos

I came up with this method to tort cakes, but have not tried it yet.
After my cakes are chilled, I am going to place them back in the pan but with a formcore board cut to the size of the pan inside about 1" more or less to get the cake above the rim of the pan, and high enough to get it right in the middle of the cake, then I will take a long serrated knife and cut through it using the rim of the pan to guide me through. I will be trying it tonight. If all goes will it will be my new torting method until I can buy me that darn expensive deluxe Agbay leveler I covet!!!!

If anyone trys it let me know how it works out for you.




I saw this thread the other day and was going to suggest the same thing! I seriously think (without the Agbay) this is the easiest and most-stress free way of cutting a cake. My Wilton large leveler is starting to give me issues so I won't recommend it.

Also, have you tried ways of getting your cakes to bake without the hump? Some suggestions on a thread I posted are....1) Use equal parts veg. oil, shortening, and flour and mix well. then apply to pan. 2) Bake at 300 for 20 minutes then increase to 325. 3) Soak cake strips (or pieces of towel) for 30 minutes then apply. People say they never have to level their cakes using these methods. It's worth a shot! thumbs_up.gif

Maria_Campos Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 1:00pm
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswartzw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria_Campos

I came up with this method to tort cakes, but have not tried it yet.
After my cakes are chilled, I am going to place them back in the pan but with a formcore board cut to the size of the pan inside about 1" more or less to get the cake above the rim of the pan, and high enough to get it right in the middle of the cake, then I will take a long serrated knife and cut through it using the rim of the pan to guide me through. I will be trying it tonight. If all goes will it will be my new torting method until I can buy me that darn expensive deluxe Agbay leveler I covet!!!!

If anyone trys it let me know how it works out for you.



I saw this thread the other day and was going to suggest the same thing! I seriously think (without the Agbay) this is the easiest and most-stress free way of cutting a cake. My Wilton large leveler is starting to give me issues so I won't recommend it.

Also, have you tried ways of getting your cakes to bake without the hump? Some suggestions on a thread I posted are....1) Use equal parts veg. oil, shortening, and flour and mix well. then apply to pan. 2) Bake at 300 for 20 minutes then increase to 325. 3) Soak cake strips (or pieces of towel) for 30 minutes then apply. People say they never have to level their cakes using these methods. It's worth a shot! thumbs_up.gif




Yup I started that thread, I don't see why this will not work, it make perfect sense to me, if folks use it to level why not use it to tort, but I'm sure it will work better if you chill the cake first to firm it up so it will be easier to slice and handle. Still want an Agbay though!

twooten173 Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 1:38pm
post #17 of 31

I have the cheap Wilton cake leveler. I use that for cakes up to 12". I just fits. I also use the Wilton cake lifter to move the cakes once they are torted. With the 40% of coupons, they are like $15 total.

Franluvsfrosting Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 3:07pm
post #18 of 31

I torte everything and I use the cheap Wilton levelers (large and small but the large one we took the blade off and replaced it with a wire).

I bake my cakes and allow them to cool completely before leveling and torting (usually over night).

Because I don't have the really cool Agbay leveler I have a wooden dowel that I've made markings on at 1/4" intervals. This is a quick way for me to make sure my cake layers are the right size so I end up with a 4" cake. I compare the dowel to the cake layer to be torted and make sure my leveler is set appropriately.

When torting larger layers like a 12" or 14" I use those really thin plastic cutting boards to slip between layers. If it's larger I will put it on a cookie sheet or a cake board for support but usually I just use the cutting board. I dust the board with powdered sugar or plain cocoa powder (depending on whether it's white or chocolate cake). This allows the layer to slide easily back onto the cake as I build it.

It used to freak me out to torte but after you've broken a few layers in half (on accident!) and glued them back together with no one the wiser you realize that frosting will hide a multitude of sins! lol icon_biggrin.gif

+1 on the SPS system. It's very inexpensive and the cost is worth the peace of mind you get from using something so stable. I won't leave home without it (with my cake anyway!) HTH

buttercream_dreams Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 3:40pm
post #19 of 31

i dont understand what everyone is so stressed out about! i'd be stressed if i had to bake two layers of everything!
do you guys that do this have doubles of the pan sizes you use? or do you wait for one to bake, and then rebake in the same pan?
i always torte when my cakes are frozen. it works perfectly to set the cake on its side and with a restaurant size/xl serrated knife cut it into 3 even "slices".
be extra careful with larger cakes-i usually get my husband to "sandwich" these between two cutting boards while i cut- as well as petal and comma shapes. your cake has to be absolutely frozen for this method- if it is, it works (for me) everytime.
hth

calebsmom45 Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 4:57pm
post #20 of 31

Thanks so much everyone! I got a lot of tips, I think I will torte the cake I am making this weekend so i can see how that goes! I will definitely look into the sps system!

Maria_Campos Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 5:53pm
post #21 of 31

Please post the pictures here so we can all see, and good luck!!!

Oh and one more tip, when you start to tort your cakes, before you move the top off to fill it, mark a side of the cake with a little buttercream, so you can place the top part of the cake back in the same position, that helds to keep the cake leveled thumbs_up.gif

Maria_Campos Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 4:54pm
post #22 of 31

OK, so I tried my new torting method and it work like a charm!! Very simple & easy! My camera is sick so I could not add any pictures on here, and here are my tips if you are going to try this method,

* the cake must be 2" high
* use a very long serrated knife
* chill the cake if it's crumbly
* Saw through the cake
* used two 1/2 inch thick form boards to the cake raised high enough over pan rim, (thats why your cake must be 2" high)

calebsmom45 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:24am
post #23 of 31

Sounds good I will definitely try that next time, this time I had my husband hold it between two boards like I read and just sawed away...it was alright but I forgot to match up the sides like you said, so I wil try again. Practice makes perfect, right?

calebsmom45 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:39am
post #24 of 31

Thanks buttercream dreams by the way for the ideas to get the hubby involved....he likes nothing more thatn to have to help during cake anxiety attacks!!

gateaux Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:50am
post #25 of 31

All I can say is to use mortar to dam your cakes when you torte, it's more dense and keeps the cake from moving.

Motar: 1 part BC 1 part cake cutting from the leveling of the cake.

mix and put in parchment bag cut to 1/2 inch opening or just use a coupler without a tip. you get 1/2 inch of mortar and then put your filling in the middle. I have seen where people will make little dabs of mortar in center and 4 other spots just to add extra support.

It also takes really good. It's sweeter than cake but works really well. You can also use this as your crumb coat and there is no swelling at the seems.

Good Luck.

Henna20 Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 5:15am
post #26 of 31

for this "cake mortar"-what consistency buttercream do you use? does this work better than making the buttercream super thick by adding powdered sugar? does anyone else do this?

gateaux Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 12:41am
post #27 of 31

Hi, Mortar is stiff buttercream with cake and it works great. It's like making cement with a bit of crushed rocks it just makes it that much stronger.

I know of a few "Cake Artists" that have books out that use "mortar" they dont all call it that.

I will look up my class notes.

Hope that helps.

Good Luck.

maimai16 Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 3:18pm
post #28 of 31

hi CCer!

i just want to share my experience in torting cakes... i bought a wilton leveler and just tried it. it works great for me... i torte my cake into 4 layers without any fuzz... here's the pic of the cake i made

Image

aswartzw Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 3:27pm
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria_Campos

Please post the pictures here so we can all see, and good luck!!!

Oh and one more tip, when you start to tort your cakes, before you move the top off to fill it, mark a side of the cake with a little buttercream, so you can place the top part of the cake back in the same position, that helds to keep the cake leveled thumbs_up.gif




Thanks for the great tip! I always have issues with this.

I glue back my cakes all the time. Just made a stacked cake this weekend and I dropped one of the layers taking it out of the pan. It broke completely in half so I just glued it back together! No issues there. icon_lol.gif

muddpuppy Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 1:10am
post #30 of 31

I also have the little Wilton leveler... not too bad for torting but to level a cake it sucks.. I can never get a good thin layer off the top, so I've been taking my cakes out of the oven, waiting a few minutes, then placing another cake pan with a layer of parchement underneath, on top to the freshly baked cake and putting a weight...like my kettle, into the top pan.. levels out the hump super easily...

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