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.
Where do I even start? I was horrified by the prospect of making chocolate butter cream and having one of the layers covered with caramel. But I decided to go ahead and give this cake a try (because who knows if the next challenge will be even more challenging? We are allowed to only skip 2 challenges and I've already skipped one earlier this year).
The Dobos Torta is a five-layer sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate butter cream and topped with thin wedges of caramel. 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 halved the recipe and made a mini cake. Making the sponge layers wasn't too difficult: instead of making individual round layers, I made one big layer and cut out the circles. It was definitely spongy and not too flavorful.
The chocolate butter cream was pretty easy to make, but I must have made a mistake somewhere because it did not turn out as thick as I would have expected (even after chilling in the refrigerator) and it was rather hard to work with.
The caramel layer (you top the top layer of the cake in caramel and then cut it into slices) was truly a pain. It stuck to the paper and was chewy to eat...I was afraid all my fillings would be pulled out.
Uhm, anything else I could complain about? :) I guess I am just disappointed by both the taste and the look of the final product. I will definitely not be making this cake again. In fact, I gave most of the cake to Jenn to share with Luis and his roommates.
And now for "what were they thinking?"....SeriousEats chose my cake as photo of the day! This just made me laugh (not out loud, because I'm at work). This just proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
In the words of my friend Jenny, toodles for now.