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.
In usual Daring Baker fashion, or maybe usual JennyBakes fashion, I put this off until the day before the challenge needed to be posted. It was the first day of classes at the university where I work, and since I run the music library, I couldn't be sure I'd even have time at home! I set aside two hours and was able to finish most of it during that time, although the buttercream was too soft to put the cake together until 11 pm or so. Then my brain woke me up at 5 this morning demanding that I take pictures and blog about it before I went to work. So here I am, a bleary-eyed baker, wishing I realized I didn't have any hazelnuts before the wee hours of the morning. This cake would have looked nice with nuts under each caramel wedge, and sprinkled around the outside, wouldn't it? Ah, well, next time.
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. 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.
Dobos is pronounced with an "sh" sound at the end, because that is how you say the Hungarian "s." I might be delirious, but I have been giggling and saying Daring Bakersh Challenge Augusht 2009.... you get the picture. Thanks to my co-worker who is from Hungary and could tell me how to pronounce it! He will receive a slice of torta this morning.
You might notice that this recipe involves caramel, and anyone following me for a while knows that caramel is my nemesis. It went pretty well this time. It took the sugar/lemon juice/water mixture a long time to get to the beautiful amber color, and I only burned two of my fingers while I spread it over my cake wedges, so I consider it a caramel success. Take that, nemesis. I am not sure its worth much to eat - I found it super lemony in a bad way.
So without that special wedge of caramel on the top, you are left with a cake of thin sponge cake with chocolate buttercream. It tasted good, and in the end that's really all anyone cares about! You can see many other versions of the dobos torta by heading to the The Daring Kitchen.
Categories: Cake, Caramel, Chocolate, Daring Bakers