Ethan from Madison, WI (2018 Week 4: Desserts)




Madison, WI

Baking Challenge

Torte Cake

Give your dessert a clever name – and tell us about your recipe.

Hungarian Chocolate Walnut Torte. I’ve been craving chocolate this week, and since I don’t generally like traditional cake that much, I was curious to see if the nutty Torte would work out! I used a recipe from Epicurious and tried topping it with coffee whipped cream.

What was the biggest surprise during your baking journey? Did you use any unconventional approaches? What did you learn along the way? Tell us about it!

I’ve always thought of gluten-free baking as a sort of compromise between good texture, taste, and look. But this torte was light, moist, and perfectly chocolatey! I learned that tortes are commonly made for Passover, as they contain no flour or yeast, and this recipe actually used matzo meal (although I substituted corn meal).

As for unconventional approaches, my main flavor experimentation was purely by accident – when I reached for my vanilla extract to add to my coffee whipped cream, I accidentally picked up orange extract instead. I’m surprised that I didn’t hate the result – although I could picture Paul’s face as he said, “Interesting flavors… I don’t like it.”

How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?

I have to admit that I didn’t really think about my Wisconsin twist this week – so apart from adding local eggs and using local whipping cream, my cake was pretty generic. But I did get to share my baking with some of the best friends I’ve gotten to meet in Wisconsin (and indirectly, a newborn native Wisconsinite), which I don’t usually get to do, as they eat gluten-free. So I celebrated Wisconsin with this cake in my own way.

How did you do?

Pleasantly satisfied.