Cakes can have many genres. They can be light and fluffy, dense and rich, slathered in icing or marzipan, good or carrot, fruit that adds to the deliciousness or an abomination that has peel in it. The Nutella Cream Torte was a light sponge broken up by two layers, a Nutella and a jam, with creamy icing.
The beginning hook of a cake is visual. Sometimes the visual dimension can be enhanced with slight fragrance, and the Nutella Cream Torte didn’t disappoint; gentle vanilla notes wafted into the nostrils from the creamy icing. From first glance it’s apparent that this cake has been well planned. The layered sponge, smooth icing, and piped cream entice at first sight. It’s not that a single layer un-iced cake can’t be enticing, it still requires craft to make such a cake (In chemistry labs back in the day, we often would talk about how cooking is a subset of chemistry, getting the ingredients in correct measure and proper application of technique is a crucial part of both cooking and chemistry) but seeing higher tier techniques such as layering and piping show that this cake has depth to explore. From a glance, the Nutella Cream Torte hooks its observer with anticipation of what is to come.
The middle build of the cake is the sponge. Starting from the tip of the slice, because obviously only madmen eat a cake from the large end (and especially mad, madmen from the bottom first) the first bite is mostly sponge with just a hint of creamy icing and just a touch of chocolate from the chocolate shavings. The sponge was very fluffy, but sweeter than I would have preferred, but that is merely a matter of taste. As the cake progresses, it enters Nutella and jam layers, these progressive complications add little diversions to keep the sponge from monotony.
As we near the climax of the cake, the thick piped icing and almond shavings, it’s clear we’ve entered the ending payoff. Until now, the thin top layer of icing has hinted at the ending, now only sugar heaven remains. With the last of the sponge holding morsels of Nutella and jam, the whole cake reaches a crescendo. Not simply the punch in the face that pure icing would be, these last structural elements make the final bites the delicious combination of flavours the cake has been hinting at. As the sugar explodes the final notes of the cake bring a resolution to help transition back to the bland and boring world of no cake, as the almonds add a little crunch and drop the sweetness back.
The Nutella Cream Torte entices delightfully then delivers on that anticipation with a sugar coma any cake lover can enjoy.