A “Torte” by any other name would be a “Cake”…

Madame Chocolat’s Blog:

My Beloved Chocophiles,

Chef Genny and I had such a very interesting discussion the other day. It was in regards to the term “torte” vs “cake” and the differences between them. You see, Genny seems concerned that if we call our specialty cake offerings based on my truffle flavors “Truffle Tortes” as opposed to “Truffle Cakes”, we will confuse our beloved guests. She noted an earlier incident she had experienced at another pastry shop she had worked at. A customer came in wanting a “cake” and when Genny guided her towards a “torte” offering, the woman replied that she just wanted “cake”.

If you haven’t yet noticed, I’m a little eccentric and I love words! (can you tell?!?) The more flowery the better! I especially love words that have many different meanings and can multi-task as both nouns and verbs – throw in adjective function and I get all too excited!!!! (I know Genny is rolling her eyes at me this very moment and simultaneously wanting to poke me with one of my beloved spoonulas – she’s not fond of those either- ha!). Yes! “Torte” is, indeed, a much fancier word for cake -but it is so much more than just “cake”!

In my Prentice Hall Dictionary of Culinary Arts, it states that “torte” is, literally, the German word for “cake” (Heidi will be so thrilled!). In Europe, especially in France, a traditional torte has many different flavor and textural components to it – it’s not just “cake”! It might have a heavenly, creamy component in the form of a mousse or pastry cream filling. It might have a crunch component in the form of a garnish or a biscuit (pronounced biss-swqee)… Oh! Goodness! I can just about feel the blunt end of a spoonula just under my rib-cage come Monday morning!

Shall I also mention that “torte” used as a verb also means “to cut”- primarily horizontally? So you can, in essence, “torte” a “torte”. You can have a “torte” with many even layers of “torted – torte”. When you are removing the (Goddess Forbid!) dome from the top of your baked torte, you would be “torting” your “torte”

However, I doth protest, mon Liege du Pastiserie (Dearest Genevieve)!

“Torte”… what a fun and sexy word to say! Just say it a couple of times out loud and notice how the sounds involved activate all the muscles in and around your mouth. Notice how it travels across your palate – how you have to pucker and enunciate ever so slightly more to produce such a beautiful word! Any word that makes you pucker up, is a winner in my opinion! Now, in contrast, say “cake”… mmmmm? See what I mean? “Cake” is not nearly as engaging as “torte”.

Now, (thought bubble appears above my head) if I can only get Chef Genny to agree to call our “Chocolate Cup-o-Love Cakes” – delicious multi-component cup cakes with rich chocolate mousse filling and extravagant chocolate garnishes – “Chocolate Cup-o-Love Tortettes”… Perhaps, that might be pushing it a smidge. She may just poke me with a star tip after this… not that I wouldn’t deserve it!

So, just to re’torte’:

I think we have agreed to call our too-sexy-for-our-pastry-case cake offerings that are based on my truffle flavor creations, “Truffle Torte Cakes”. Rest assured, they are DEFINATELY JUST CAKE… clutching a Gucci bag and wearing Prada and chocolate pearls…

Today, we are debuting our “Raspberry Truffle Torte Cake” -two layers of deep, dark and moist chocolate cake kissed with a raspberry infusion separated with a layer of white chocolate raspberry mousse filling and a luxurious layer of fruity raspberry gelee on top, garnished with 72% dark chocolate truffles and dark chocolate pearls. I am hoping our “Champagne Truffle Torte Cake” will not be jealous- both available by the whole or slice. Next week, you will see our “Espresso Truffle Torte Cake” vogue-ing it up within “Trudy’s” revolving glass runway…

Genny is going on her annual spring family vacation excursion to visit her Grandmother in El Paso next week. Shhhh! Don’t tell on me, but I am considering dropping the “cake” part of the name of our “Truffle Torte” offerings for that week just because I am curious and I am feeling a little ornery! If I get a little out-of-control and you feel that I have confused or confounded you in any way, I will leave a spoonula on the counter next to “Trudy” and you can poke me for Genny. I am sure she would approve of such control measures!

Before I go, I will also mention that our Chocolate Linzertorte which is not a “cake” in any way shape or form, nor ever has been, (even in Austria – where its humble un-chocolate cousin originates) but rather a “tart”, with a decadently rich, buttery, spiced almond chocolate crust and tart raspberry filling has proven wildly popular this past week! Are you confused, yet? Ha! Things are definitely getting a little crazy around here!

I must now prepare for my much deserved spoonula poking…

That is all for now, my friends!

Warmest XX’s and OO’s, Sarah


One comment on “A “Torte” by any other name would be a “Cake”…

  1. You have the loveliest, most personable writing style! I just had to comment on that. I stumbled across this page when I was looking up the difference between a torte and a cake. You’ve been most helpful. Thank you for the wonderfully entertaining explanation and take care!

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