Thursday, August 27, 2009
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.
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.
I really did not feel like making doing this challenge. In fact, I didn't make finish making the cake until yesterday in the evening (hence the awful pictures and sloppy assembly). I'm not crazy about sponge cake, and the buttercream was just okay to me. I made the buttercream about a week ago, and the sponge cake two days ago. I did the caramel section and assembly yesterday. Also, I halved the recipe and shaped the cake into a square.
I'm not proud of this torta because I know I could have made it look better with more effort and motivation. But with the very little excitement I had for making this, I'm lucky I produced anything at all. For better looking tortas, go to the Daring Baker blogroll.
Learned from Challenge: I have made caramel many times, so that wasn't really anything new. I think the only new task I got to do was the egg-based buttercream. It was pretty easy, but it was very exciting to try it out.
Taste: The cake was okay. Like I said, I'm not crazy about sponge cake or cake without butter. It still tasted better than I had expected. I ate only a small piece, and I will be giving the rest of the cake to my neighbor today.
Thanks for the challenge, Nigella!