Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daring Baker's Dobos Torte!

Second Daring Baker's challenge for me! Woot! Everyone do a little happy dance now. =)

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.

Didja get that? I'm making a torte from Eastern Europe. How cool?!? And to think, soon after making it I'll actually be in the Czech Republic for a few days vacation with the husband. Good planning ladies, you picked just the right dessert for my schedule.

Back to the baking. A traditional Dobos torte is 5 layers (of course you can find recipes with lots more layers if you look) of sponge cake with chocolate butter cream frosting and caramel on top. YUM! The original was created in 1885, by a man named József C. Dobos, who kept his recipe secret until he retired in 1906 and then shared it for all to enjoy. Lorraine and Angela were nice enough to give the Daring Baker's a lot of leeway with alterations to the basic recipe including using egg-less butter cream (I took full advantage of this for baby's safety), shape of the cake, flavor variants, and nuts or no nuts. Some bakers took full advantage of the leeway, while I stuck pretty close to the original flavors and made a nice pretty square cake.

Since this recipe included so many steps, I'm just going to link you to the Daring Baker's homepage where you can find pictures of others work as well as the recipe once the reveal date has passed.

Sponge cake--
I halved the given recipe and only used one pan to make it so mine was quite thick. Since I was waiting until the last minute I figured it'd be ok If I cheated a little and had thick sponge cake vs. tiny little layers. Kudos to all those patient enough for the tiny layers. You deserve a medal.

Butter cream--
I used an egg-less recipe I had laying around.
1 stick softened butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar (add more if needed)
about 1/3 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Put in a bowl and mix! Not rocket science, but it works for me. And it's delicious!

Halved the recipe again. Not a fan of the lemon in it, maybe I just didn't let it get dark enough, but it remained sticky and pretty flexible. I was worried about burning it to my pan since I didn't want to actually have to scrub so could have been my fault. Although if I had used it to coat a piece of the sponge cake like directed it might have been perfect? Who knows! Needless to say, I forgot to take pictures of it before it graced my cakes top.

Finished product--
Oh my! It was delicious! Not sickeningly sweet, but just right. I ended up with two little square cakes, one with nuts and one without, and put them in the freezer since husband and I are leaving this morning for a few days in Czech (the army hasn't said no so we're just assuming they mean yes. Stupid army anyway.) I did snitch a piece for breakfast just to make sure it tasted ok, and boy howdy does it! Definitely would make this again, probably without the caramel since I'm not a fan, but overall, not as hard as I predicted it would be and it was perfect for a little light snack cake. Good choice ladies!! See you all next month.

Caramel and chocolate
Cashews, caramel, and chocolate.
My breakfast the day after. It was AWESOME!

The inside cut. Three chubby spongecake layers each.


  1. wow, your sponge was very moist looking. good job.

  2. Mmmmm... I love cashews! Your sponge looks beautifully airy :)

  3. Too cute! I wasn't really a fan of the lemon in the caramel either.. I would probably make a different caramel next time. I hope you have a great vacation!

  4. I think the "chubby" layers look perfect. Though caramel is not a favourite of mine, I'd vote for chocolate and cashews anytime. :)

  5. Well I think the overweight layers are the nicest for this torta and lucky you going on a trip to Eastern Europe. Lovely looking cakes and yes they are better the next day. Congrats on your 2nd challenge. It seems that you are loving the challenges. Cheers from Audax in Australia

  6. I love the square shaped dobos! Great step-by-step pictures. Have fun on your trip! :)

  7. Way to make it your own with the shape, the alternate buttercream and the cashews. Looks delish!

  8. What a beautiful cake - love the shape and the cashews!

  9. Adorable! I love the chubby layers - what an awesome breakfast =D!

  10. I made thick layers on my basic Dobos Torte too! The other two, I succumbed to paper I love how beautiful yours turned out, and love the cashews around the cake! Delicious! OH, enjoy your visit to Czechoslavakia!! (Did I spell it right? LOL)