Torting Like a Pro, Almost

20 Jul

Do you have trouble torting cakes? Are you too scared to even try? Does the look of that nifty cake saw scare the bejeebers out of you? Are you worried if you bought a cake saw your husband would commandeer it and you’d never see it again or if you saw it again you couldn’t use it anymore because who-knows-what was done with it or to it while it was gone? No offense to those of you who saw away at cakes with little effort, but some of us just aren’t that handy. What’s a caker to do?

Fear not, fellow cakers! There’s another way to torte cakes and it doesn’t involve implements of destruction at all! Nope, nothing harmful here. In fact, your friendly medical professional wishes you would use this nifty little tool a lot more often. What is it, you ask? What could be so spectacular that it stops you from purchasing yet another I-gotta-have-it cake bauble?

 Dental Floss

 That’s right, take a lookie in your bathroom cabinet and see if you can find where you stashed your stash of floss to keep it out of the hands of those-who-shall-not-be-named-but-who-always-takes-stuff-and-doesn’t-put-it-back. If all you can find is the floss the fam’s been using, it’s probably cruddy with gunk so splurge a little and buy one to keep in your stash of cake stuff. It’s still cheaper and smaller than a saw. Plus, hygiene and cake isn’t such a bad idea, either.

 Here’s what you need for start-to-finish torting:

A cooled cake that is flipped out of the pan, leveled, and sitting right side up

Dental floss- flavor doesn’t matter, but I do prefer waxed over unwaxed

Cake boards

 I also used a rack, but you don’t have to use one.

That’s it- that’s all you need for this neat little trick. Now, grab your tools and meet me in the kitchen!

 lion out of pan compressed

Position your cake on the board where you want it. Go ahead and add that dab of buttercream between the board and the cake to hold it still if you like, but you can do that later if you wish.

Pull off one long strand of dental floss (make sure it’s long enough to go all the way around the cake) and place it around the cake at the height you want it torted- kind of like tying a package or wrapping ribbon around a box without the tying part. Hold it taut enough to stay in place but not so tight it starts cutting into the cake just yet. Like your hubby, once it starts moving it kind of has a mind of its own so you want to start it off right for the best results.

 torting lion 1 compressed

Now, adjust floss for level so it doesn’t cut wonky- you can use toothpicks to guide the floss if you wish, but I’ve never found it necessary. After all, as long as you replace the top exactly where it was before you torted it, everything should be fine, fine, fine.

torting lion 2 compressed

Here’s the trickiest part of the whole process: cross the ends of the floss one end over another and then switch which hand is holding which end of the floss. Crossing the ends means the floss does the work and not you. It also means that if something goes wrong, it’s the floss’ fault and not yours. J That won’t happen, though- trust me. Deep breath annnnddd switch hands! Go!

torting lion 3 compressed

Whew! Thought you’d never get that right, did you? LOL Okay, so maybe it’s not that confusing to most of us. Some of us, however, get confused a lil more than others, so go easy on our confused left/right brain challenged folks.

 Here’s where the torting/cutting actually begins: Gently begin to pull evenly on both ends of the floss, slowly. As the floss tightens, pause to make sure it’s still level before the floss cuts into the cake. It might help to have the cake at eye level if you’re having issues keeping the floss level.

torting lion 3 compressed

Here’s a shot of the process as the floss is just beginning the torte cut. The floss is nice and tight at this point and is starting to cut through the cake. At first, you will feel a bit of resistance as the floss cuts the firmer outer edge of the cake. Like punching a hole paper, resistance is to be expected but, in the end (as we all know), resistance is futile and the floss will cut through the outside. At that point, you will feel the resistance lessen so be alert for it. Once the resistance is less, it will be easier to cut and you don’t want to keep pulling on the floss like you’re starting the lawn mower or something. Easy does it!

 torting lion 4 compressed

Keep pulling the floss gently and evenly and let the floss cut through the cake. Feel free to move your hands in the direction the floss pulls them or you can keep your hands stationary and let the floss come to you. Either way works. See the pretty cut in process? It’s a beautiful thing!

torting lion 5 compressed

We’re aaallllmost out the other side. Keep pulling gently!

The floss can come out where you started with your hands crossed, the opposite side where you started, or somewhere in between. It doesn’t matter where it comes out- as long as the cut is level and nothing gets stuck. You will feel the total release of pressure when the cut is complete. As soon as you feel that pressure release, stop and check that it’s torted all the way around. Once you’re sure it’s completely cut, release one end of the floss and gently pull on the other end to remove it from the cake.

torting lion 5a compressed

Voila! The finished cut. Oooohhh! Aaahhh! Simple, simple, simple- and no sharp objects required. You don’t have to find space to store yet another cake tool, borrow from hubster’s tool box, snatch from your neighbor, or worry about, “how on earth do I smoothly move a saw through a cake for goodness sake?” You may have to hit up your dentist for some extra floss, but I’m sure he’ll be happy to provide you with a stash for nada- just don’t tell him it’s for cake!

torting lion 7 compressed

Now that the torte is complete, gently slip a board under the top layer and lift it off the bottom. Your cake is ready for the icing dam and filling. People will think you’re a real pro when they cut into the cake and see it’s actually two filled layers instead of one tall hunk o’ cake.

torted lion compressed

I’m sure you’d like to know why I even bothered to torted a simple character cake, huh? Well, I’m not going to tell you just yet. To find the answer to that question, you’ll just have to, “C’mon back and see us y’all! Ya’ hear?”

*Note: Character pans can be purchased at http://www.wilton.com *

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2 Responses to “Torting Like a Pro, Almost”

  1. Frosting chick July 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    I love, love, love my cake saws, but I must admit, you have me intrigued!

  2. chick2 July 21, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    I love cake saws like I love hardware saws- in theory. It looks so simple and powerful but the blade (on hardware saws) gets stuck with the first pull. Every dang time. The saw does this bendy twang thing, the hubby laughs, and I hand over the tool silently. Due to this previous experience, I’m pretty sure the same thing would happen with a cake saw.
    Hey, at least I can use a drill! LOL

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