Can I tort a frozen cake, or do I need to let it thaw first?
You should let it thaw a bit, yes. If it's frozen solid, it will be like trying to torte a brick - dangerous!
Yeah, I woudl let it thaw out some before you tort. I did it once when it was frozen, and the knife blade had a tendency to bend, so I really didn't get a level cake the first time out.
You really can't torte a fully frozen cake and yes it is dangerous! I got in a rush once and nearly sliced my finger in half when the blade slipped. Let it defrost about 15 minutes before torting. It should still be semifrozen for easy handling. But not so frozen that a knife won't go through easily.
The only caveat I'd add to cakesdivine's advice is, 15 minutes if it's a relatively small cake. If you're planning to torte a 16-inch round or a 12x18 sheet, you're going to have to let it thaw a little longer.
Just a note for next time...level and torte before freezing and you won't have to deal with it after...just fill and crumbcoat! You don't have to let it thaw all the way out but you do need to give it some time so you can actually saw thru it. So much of caking is live and learn..sigh...
When I would torte my cakes before freezing them I found that the layers would still stick together until fully thawed so I would have to wait. Lately I have been torting, then use a thin, rimless cookie sheet and lift off the top layer, place a sheet of wax paper and place the layer back on top, trim the corners of the paper and wrap to freeze. Now all I have to do is take the cakes from the freezer lift off the frozen top layer, take out wax paper, fill and top with the other frozen layer. Then I let the tiers settle for 3-4 hrs and they thaw in the meantime. I love doing this, saves me time!
I torte while cool then wrap each layer in press and seal. That way they are not stuck together when it's time to fill and crumbcoat. I also do this while they are frozen and let sit and settle/come to room temp for about 3 hours.
Hmmm, never used press n seal for cakes, great idea! I don't know why it never occurred to me to wrap them seperate.....blonde moment(s)!!!!