Tips & Help


Joined Aug 31, 2001
I was just wondering what one can do to increase the volume on a cake. I was making a cake that Morgane and Wendy had mentioned was good (Chocolate & Almond Torte)from the Chocolate Bible. The recipe calls for slicing the cake into 3 layers. but my cake is only 1 1/4" tall which makes for a challenge. This happens to me every now a then with some recipes and was wondering how you guys deal with this. I do all the usual things by beating the egg whites till stiff and carefully folding in so as not to deflate too much. The cake looks perfectly fine and would be great if the recipe called for cutting into two. Would adding an extra egg white do the trick or what do you guys suggest.
Wendy, do you remember if you had the same problem with the cake?
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Hum I pulled out my book, I haven't made that specfic torte. I make a chocolate almond torte from Martha (maybe something got confused?). But a couple points: I have found the recipes in this book to be off at times. Perhaps it's a translation problem, but you can not follow everything literally in the English version.

That aside, looking at the photo this is a thin European torte. I also have a hard time slicing some items as thin as recipes call for with-out the cake being distroyed. I OFTEN bake in multiples in these cases where there's a photo and I can see it's a thin torte. I'll make the recipe x2 (or more) so I can slice each cake only into 1/2's instead of 1/3's and double my fillings accordingly. I tend to make taller (more Americanized looking) tortes than what I see from French bakeries (and I portion larger too). I don't have any great tips on slicing when it comes to milimeters, my knive, my hands and my professional cake slicer can only cut sooooo thin.

In this case it seems like it's the recipes that's thin. You can also use a smaller pan for a thicker cake.... but there are lots of times where you'll remember this happening (from now on)and before you bake, think about doing it 2x the recipe (freeze what you don't use and challenge yourself to make it into something else, even a mini pastry of the orginal). This is about experience and you now know one more thing to pay attention to.

I wouldn't add an extra white, that might change a richer texture. But sometimes you can decrease your volume by over whipping your whites. Becareful not to get too stiff, I always stop a tad short.
Joined Jan 15, 2001
I agree wih Wendy. When making genoise and egg-foam cakes(or any other plain layer cake for that matter), it usually is better to do more than a couple of sponge cakes, keep a couple as back-up layers in the freezer. When my assistant makes the sponge cakes, they usually come out lower than mine. Factors influencing this is temp. of the eggs and overmixing. We do American style cakes, our clients tend to prefer hi-ratio yellow and chocolate sponge cakes. Since we eyeball the cake batter going into the pan, once in a while we do have cakes that are a bit lower then other ones. I get 3 layers out of one cake, and this is were those extra cakes are useful.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
One way to deal with this problem is to cut the cake in two layers instead of three. :)

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