This sponge cake batters the cornerstone for most of the famous tortes. Sponge cakes (Biskuittorten) are made from beaten eggs without any chemical leavening. Most American cakes depend on creamed butter and sugar for flavor and structure and get an extra lift from baking powder/baking soda. However, butter cakes harden when chilled, making the layers unpleasantly firm. Chilled sponge cakes stay soft, an important consideration as refrigeration is imperative for the many tortes with cream fillings. While butter-based cake batters do exist (Sachertorte comes to mind), there is no basic recipe that is used as often as Biskuitmasse.
The German word Biskuit comes from the French biscuit, a similar whipped-egg cake made by the cold method. In the French pastry kitchen, the warm-method cake is called genoise. To the Austrians, they’re both Biskuittorten.
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