Torte Definition

A reader has asked: Is a torte a cake that uses ground nuts as a substitute for flour?

A: No, torte is the word for cake in German. Torten (the plural) may be made in any way possible to make a cake, thus there are sponge, butter, meringue, and nut tortes. The Viennese/German baking tradition favors cake layers rich with ground nuts, and this is where the misconception arises.