Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dobos Torta

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!


  1. You were smart to do this cake in stages. I'm sure your neighbor will be very pleased!

  2. I wish I had just half of your talent, young lady, so don't fret! With buttercream and chocolate, it's all good!

  3. I don't mind telling you that I wish I was a neighbor. While I generally don't like chocolate I wouldn't mind giving this a try.

  4. Hi!

    I'm Eniko, and I'm Hungarian. I really like your blog, and your recipes, but this post dissappointed me. This cake or torta is a hungaricum, and for us is painful to see a bad version like this. Its ugly and not so appetizing. This liquid butter cream is a shame for a good cook as you are, and this really good cake is shown as a bad, and gone wrong recipe. So I want you to ask to try it again. If you need an original hungarian recipe write me on, or on and i send it to you.

    With all my respect,


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