TNIE reporter Arya U R delves into luscious layers of the latest viral dessert — the 5-in-1 Torte Cake aka Dream Cake
KOCHI: In a viral sensation that has taken Instagram by storm, the luscious ‘5-in-1 Torte Cake’ aka ‘Dream Cake’ has found its way into the hearts of dessert enthusiasts across India. Originating in the Middle East, this multi-flavour treat has become a fave among foodies and bakers alike.
It all started with the chocolate flavour dream cake becoming an instant rage, with its chocolaty, moist five layers and hard top sprinkled with cocoa or choco-malt powder. All the foodie fun is loaded inside a tin, and one should crack the hard surface to relish the dream.
Executive chef of Zam Zam Group, Arun Vijayakumar, says the cake fever has hit Thiruvananthapuram for the past month and is continuing. He adds that it is basically a variation of layered mousse cake. “Social media has played a major role in making it the viral dish of the year,” says Arun. “Though it is a 5-in-1 torte cake, due to its texture and taste, people found it ‘dreamy’. The trend has made people crave it, and we even get enquiries from people who do not even know the correct name and refer to it as ‘the viral tin cake’. The top-seller is the five layers or more made with dark and white chocolate. Our mango variety is popular, too.”
Baking a dream cake is not an easy affair, says Thiruvananthapuram-based home chef Priya Kolassery, who has been exploring with a variety of layers. “I was the first to bake a dream cake in the city,” she gushes. “It is believed to have originated in Dubai, but the name 5-in-1 torte comes from a German word. Torte means less cake, more dessert or pudding. Torte is known as egg custard cream. In Kerala, the trend gripped the Malabar region first, and later spread across the state.”
Priya details the secret of the now-legendary dream cake’s yum factor. “The base will be a dark or white chocolate cake sponge,” she reveals. “Then comes a pudding layer, ganache, chocolate pastry layer, or cream, and then the hard layer, sometimes white or dark chocolate garnished with cocoa powder or nuts of choice. The secret to the taste lies in the use of premium chocolate.”
Moving beyond chocolate, Priya has been experimenting with a fusion of dream cakes that involve traditional Indian sweets and fruits, too. “I have loaded fruit torte with layers of mango and strawberry with a hardened layer of mango pulp. In Indian sweets, dream cake is a mix of ras malai, rasagulla, and gulab jamun. Fusion cakes require a lot of patience and perfection,” she beams.
Parvathy Ravikumar, who owns Cake’d in Thiruvananthapuram, is equally excited to speak on the dream cake. “We need to frost and fill the cake well inside the tin,” she says. “Also, this cake is an easy recipe for those who know the basics of baking, and profitable for those who have an eye for the market. I guess the validity of this trend is time-bound, like the former viral cakes, tres leches cake and pull-up cake.”
Down in Kochi, home baker Sunayna Abid has been flooded with orders for the dream cake, yup, the chocolate one. “It has become a competitive thing among bakers,” she laughs. “Many customers opt for dream cakes for celebrations such as birthday parties.”
Sunayna reveals she finds the dream cake comparatively easier to make. “We need to make just one single thin sponge cake layer; the rest is made of syrups and cream,” she explains. “Due to the easy-peasy method, we could bake multiple dream cakes in the time needed to bake a normal cake. And this one is profitable, too.” The only challenge, she adds, is getting quality chocolate and the right kind of tins in the market, as the demand has surged due to the fad. “The shopkeepers say that they are out of stock of ingredients, especially chocolate and tins. A lot of people are trying it out, as plenty of recipes are available on YouTube,” she says.
Well, one recipe that’s trending is the tender coconut dream cake. It comes with layers of vanilla punch, coconut cream, pudding and jelly. Be it any mix, the dream cake, which comes in half to one-kilo tins, is a good choice for a pocket-friendly celebration with friends, says Hari S Prasad, one of the admins of the Trivandrum Foodies Insta page. The youngster, whose favourite is white chocolate dream cake, has explored many flavours such as mango, red velvet, and butterscotch.
“Curiosity is the first element that makes us try this viral cake,” he says. “Then, the act of crushing the hard layer with a spoon or fork and dipping it into the filling. Due to the fresh cream and spongy texture, it is a moist dessert to savour. It is also another trend that will last for some more weeks, like the Russian cake and full-jar soda.”
Food vloggers Shilpa Ravi and Sneha Ravi who run the ‘Cravings of Kerala’ Insta page say they usually are not into following viral food dishes. “ But being dessert lovers, we could not help but gorge on dream cake,” they say. “We have tasted many varieties of desserts, but the dream cake was unique. The multiple layers and the moist texture have made it a hit. It is a good choice for gifting your dear ones. However, it is likely to fade away with time like other food trends.”