The French term tarte came to our tongue What cake. The concept is often used in reference to a large size cake which can be sweet or salty and which is filled with various ingredients.
For instance: “Tonight we are going to eat spinach and cheese cake”, “I’m going to go to the bakery to buy a strawberry cake to take to Liliana’s house”, “I asked Clara to prepare a ricotta cake: it is always very tasty”.
It is important to bear in mind that the notion can refer to different preparations, which share certain characteristics but are not the same. At a general level, it can be said that the cake has a base of mass which is cooked in the oven. According to the ingredients, it can serve as main dish (salty), dessert (sweet) or for snacks.
When the cake is sweet, in some countries it is called cake or pie, beyond the fact that differences between the two words can also be established. Sweet cakes can be made with fruits, chocolate, cream or other elements.
Many times the cake or pie is used as part of a celebration: the wedding cake, the Birthday cake, etc.
As a main course, the cake can be offered open (that is, with the fill in view) or closed (the dough is folded or a kind of top, also made with dough). Cakes of this type can be made with cheese, spinach, chard, ham, tuna, pumpkin or chicken, among other ingredients.
Talking about food dishes always carries endless versions of the same recipe, which occur for multiple reasons, the “broken phone” effect being one of the main ones. Just as paella can be made in many different ways, all of them official in their respective regions, the same happens with cakes. In this case, adding to the confusion is the fact that this term may represent a dessert or a savory dish, with or without a lid.
In the first place, if we think of its salty version, we could say that its dough differs from that used for pizza in a couple of aspects, such as the absence of yeast, the inclusion of butter or the fact that it must be kneaded with another way, until a much smaller thickness is achieved. However, this is not always true: not everyone uses butter (or margarine, of animal or vegetable origin, all valid options) or refines the layers, since there is a preparation whose dough can become thicker than that of pizza.
Generally, the pie crust is made more airy and thicker when it is not intended to cover the filling, and this is true for both savory and sweet recipes. Some examples in which this difference in thickness and consistency can be clearly appreciated are the vegetable cake, the ricotta cake or the quince paste (also known as «pasta frola«); if we compare these three recipes with one cake Pascualina, stuffed mainly with chard, we will notice with the naked eye that the latter has a considerably finer and less aerated dough.
Sweet tarts that are also called cakes or cakes tend to be taller and “closed,” although they can be cut into multiple layers to add various toppings, such as cream and fruit. In this case, the possibilities are also many, especially when cultural differences, ideologies or health problems come into play that prevent the consumption of certain products: For example, using soy drink instead of cow’s milk, and vegetable margarine instead of butter to create a vegetarian version of a recipe, it is possible to obtain results very similar to the originals, and many people would not notice the difference.