Torte Definition and Description

Delicious homemade honey cake on stand
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A torte (TOHRT) is a multilayered dessert or savory food item, 

Tortes Start with a Sponge or Crepes

  • A dessert torte is made with layers of nut-meal sponge cake that get its characteristic light and airy crumb from egg yolks, sugar and stiffly beaten egg whites, but no shortening.
  • Savory tortes typically start with crepes or other thin pancakes.

Typical Torte Fillings

  • Dessert tortes can be filled with buttercreams, mousses, jams, sweetened nut pastes, meringues and other fillings.
  • Savory tortes are filled with creamed meat mixtures, roasted vegetables, cheeses and more.

Eastern European Torte Recipes

In most Central and Eastern European countries, a torte is known as a torta.

Dessert Tortes

  • Hungarian Walnut Torte Recipe:  Known as dios torta in Hungarian, this decadent three-layer torte is made with a walnut sponge and chocolate buttercream.
  • Hungarian Esterhazy Torte Recipe This rich dessert is another example of Austro-Hungarian baking at its finest. It's made with almond flour sponge cake and chocolate buttercream.
  • Hungarian Stacked Pancake Torte Recipe: In this recipe, this dessert torte is made with crepes sandwiched together with apricot jam and cherry pie filling.
  • Hungarian Dobosh Torte RecipeKnown as dobos torta in Hungarian, this classic rich dessert with a crunchy caramel top is time-consuming to make but so worth the effort.

Savory Tortes

  • Hungarian Ham Torte Recipe: Once again, in this Hungarian savory torte recipe, crepes layered with ham replace the sponge cake and sweet filling.

A Tart Is Something Else Entirely

  • A tart typically is only 1 inch high and starts with a pastry crust dough that is patted into a pan and then filled. 
  • There are dessert and savory tarts just as there are dessert and savory tortes. 
  • Dessert tarts can be filled with fruit, custards and flavored whipped cream while savory tarts can contain meats, cheeses, and vegetables. 

Eastern European Tart Recipes

Dessert Tarts

  • Rhubarb Cream Tart Recipe: This tart starts with a sweet pastry dough that is then filled with sweetened chopped rhubarb. The pucker power of the rhubarb gives it a green apple flavor.
  • Fruit Tart with Nut Crust RecipeSweetened chopped nuts are combined with melted butter and then topped with a no-bake cream cheese filling. The coup de grace is the seasonal sliced fruit on top.

Savory Tarts

  • Tomato Tart Recipe: This savory tart starts with a pie crust dough that is filled with ricotta cheese and topped with multicolored sliced tomatoes.
  • Leek and Potato Tart Recipe Again, a pie crust is filled with leeks, potatoes and Gruyère cheese for a great main course or brunch dish.