The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.
Dobos torte (/’doboʃ/, Hungarian: dobostorta, Slovak: doboška) is a famous Hungarian cake. The Dobos Torta is a five-layer sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate buttercream and topped with thin wedges of caramel. (You may come across recipes which have anywhere between six and 12 layers of cake; there are numerous family variations!) It was invented in 1885 by József C. Dobos, a Hungarian baker, and it rapidly became famous throughout Europe for both its extraordinary taste and its keeping properties. Dobos’s aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries, in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The caramel topping helps keep the cake from drying out. The recipe was a secret until Dobos retired in 1906 and gave the recipe to the Budapest Confectioners’ and Gingerbread Makers’ Chamber of Industry, providing that every member of the chamber can use it freely.
After taking a long summer hiatus, spent with my 2 amazing children, I am back. Very back and very ready to BAKE!
When I read this challenge I was so very excited. My daughter has a sweet little friend from school named Lili, and over the past year we have become quiet good friend with her whole family. Her parents are both Hungarian, living and working right here in Georgia. They love the kitchen as much as we do. In fact we eat dinner together quiet often and try out new recipes. Last month we made sushi rolls and even made fresh tuna sashimi. Upon reading the recipe I immediately called them to see if they could give me any hints or advice on making this cake as accurate as possible. They had eaten the dessert many times, just never made it. Needles to say, we decided to eat the finished product together.
The fist batch of batter I made was just too thin and fine, it never rose and cracked where ever the parchment wrinkled from the moisture. However I do not believe in waste, so we ate them for breakfast the next morning with giant Georgia peaches and homemade whipped cream. It was like a cross between a pancake and a crape! Delicious!
For my second go around I decided to make 1 1/2 times the recipe hoping to use 1 rounded cup of batter per layer. I also decided against the parchment paper, as I was not happy with the “wrinkling” on the first batch. I used a silpat instead. I drew my circle pattern right on my pan with permanent marker (which will wash off of the pan), then placed my silpat on top and could see the line perfectly. This plan worked marvelously and my layers were nice and even. I did not trim the edges either.
The buttercream recipe was WAY TOO RUNNY for me. It would not set up at all. There was no way I could use it pipe, I was so disappointed. Next time I will stick with my own tried and true Mocha Buttercream recipe found here at Zoe Bakes. The Hungarians agreed that the overall cake was too sloppy and the traditional cake was much firmer and would generally have more layers.
The Carmel, hum, what to say about the Carmel. The lemon was not needed. Even if it was added, 1 teaspoon would have been enough to add a hint of flavor, 8 teaspoons just overpowered the whole thing.
Overall I had a fun time recreating this famous dessert, can’t wait to try it again with a few tweaks. Stay tuned to see what else I made with this “cake” recipe!
Click here to view the recipe we were challenged to make: Read the rest of this entry »