I’ve made a lot of cakes in my time. When I was 9, my homemade, iced chocolate cake took top honors in my cousin’s Girl Scout baking contest. (My cousin says she’s not a baker.) From the time I was young, I helped Mom make and ice wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cakes for every occasion. And the hardest thing to do was to make torte cakes. They were frustrating, and never were as pretty as I wanted them to be.
But now, I can do it easily with the new Layer Cake Slicer!
The essence of a torte-style cake are moist thin layers, evenly split from a standard cake layer. And now, it’s so easy, anyone who can bake a regular layer cake can make a great-looking torte cake. All you need is the new Layer Cake Slicing Kit from Lehman’s.
First, you use a double batch of your favorite layer cake recipe (or boxed mix, that’s fine too) to make up to four 8 or 9 inch cake layers. Use pans like the Recycled Steel Cake Pans. You’ll notice that professional-style cake pans like these nearly have straight sides. Your cake layers will cook more evenly, and be easier to remove from the straight-sided pan.
My models here were made in 10 inch diameter professional pans, because this cake is booked for a large holiday party. I was happy to find out that the kit’s slicing guide ring can fit up to a 10″ diameter cake, because that’s the size I usually bake.
Using smaller pans will get you thicker original layers than I had, and you may be able to get three torte layers split out of your original cake. Next time, I’m doubling the recipe for the 10-inch diameter pans.
Once your layers are done, let them cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Then, one at a time, turn the layers out onto your hand, and flip them onto a cardboard cake circle so they’ll continue to cool. The flat side of the cake should be on the circle, with the crown of the cake facing up.
Slice It Up
When the layers are completely cool, you’re ready to slice it into layers. The directions that come with the Layer Cake Slicer are great–follow them to the letter. Everything in the kit is lightweight and easy to maneuver. Be sure you have enough working room to cut the layer with the included baker’s knife–it’s nearly 17 inches long!
Make sure when you place the slicing ring over your layer that you secure it with both the clip and the tab, so it doesn’t spring open while you’re cutting.
Slide the super-smooth steel lifter between your cut layers, and transfer the layers one at a time to the serving plate, icing in between layers.
Cover the cake with a teatowel for an hour or so, allowing the icing to set. The icing between layers doesn’t have to be thick, but it should cover well. Make sure it’s not really stiff! You can tear your layers with icing that’s too stiff.
Ice the sides and top. Or, top with liquid chocolate ganache. Either works, and both look pretty. I usually ice the whole cake, because I don’t like leaving layers exposed.
You can see that I added cherries between the layers.On the edge of each layer, I piped a thick ‘dam’ of icing, so the cherries wouldn’t leak out, and collapse the cake. I just drained some extra liquid from cherry pie filling, and spread the pie filling out from the center of each layer. The cherry filling just barely touches the icing ‘dam’.
Icing the Cake
First, do a crumb coat: make a liquidy glaze of the icing you made to top the cake. Simply put some of the icing in a separate, small bowl, and whip water into it until it becomes a liquidy glaze. Spread it across the top, and around all layers, and let dry. This will seal the crumbs in the split layers in, so they don’t pick up in your final icing. Once the crumb coat is dry, you can ice the cake.
This cake traveled 30 miles to a holiday party, and was a big hit. The cherry filling settled through the layers a little bit, so they weren’t as discrete as I would have liked, but other than that, I was really satisfied with the cake. The Layer Cake Splitter was super easy to use. My husband and I plan on experimenting with scratch-made German Torte Cake and filling recipes this winter.
I also think the Torte Cake Splitter would be great to use when making Petit Fours. That might be fun for Easter, dipping the small cubes of layered cake into pastel chocolates.