8/27/09

Daring Bakers: The 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.

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.

27 comments:

Mary said...

If ever you're tempted to try this again use Maida Heatter's recipe. When it works this cake can be a delight. It's a shame you had a problem and it looks like the recipe was not all it could or should be.

LittleRed said...

Ditto on the thin buttercream and sticky caramel:) But your presentation is lovely and those plates are positively groovy!

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love the look of this cake. The thin caramel on top is mouthwatering..

limo bus said...

Actually i thanks to you for this beautiful idea.. i also decide to baking some cakes and your idea is fabulous now i follow your recipes.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Whoah, making a cake that complicated would definitely scare me off. Good job for attempting it.

Sophie said...

waw!!
What a delightful & delicious looking complicated filled cake!!

Georgous too!

5 Star Foodie said...

This cake looks so complicated to make, but I'm sorry to hear that after all your efforts that you didn't like the cake :(

Zoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zoe said...

Im sorry it didn't come out the way you had wanted..It really looks great though and I love the almonds on the outside for added crunch!

Megan said...

I was disappointed too. My favorite part was the buttercream, but I would definitely never deal with that caramel layer again. At least the cake looks delicious!

Elra said...

It looks perfect Olga. You did well with the caramel, I forgot to slice the sponge before I poured in the caramel. So, you can guess that I was having hard time to cut it.

Kathryn said...

Your cake looks so nice! I did this Daring Bakers challenge too, and after I ate my first bite I was so let down. I thought it actually got better after it sat in the fridge for a couple days. And I had the same worries about the frosting and the caramel. Hopefully the next challenge will be better!

Jill said...

Your torta turned out really great! There is something about cake in a mini size--it just looks so darn cute! :)

Q said...

I think we are all in the same boat. For all that work, what an incredibly lackluster taste. So blah. The caramel layer is insanity. Yours looks great, but I understand the disappointment with the taste:(

Juliana said...

I am sorry that you were not happy with the outcome, although to me looks nice and yummie!

Rebekka said...

That's PRETTY!

Lauren said...

I'm sorry your didn't enjoy this challenge - Your torte looks amazing! Wonderful job =D.

Lisa said...

I agree with you, I also thought the caramel was a bit too chewy. But I love the look of your caramel layers (and the caramel sticking out of the cake)!

Q. said...

Too hilarious about Serious Eats featuring your cake:)

isa said...

Your cake looks beautiful - I love the presentation! Sorry you didn't love them.

Lisa Michelle said...

WOW, your Dobos Torte turned out beautiful. I'm sorry you didn't flip over it, but I'd eat the whole thing if you offered it to me. It seems most loved the frosting, and felt 'eh' about the rest. Regardless, great job!

Sasha said...

Good job. The cake looks beautiful, but I'm sorry you were disappointed..
'Tis better to try and fail than not to try at all : )

Chef Fresco said...

I still think it looks pretty impressive!

ice tea: sugar high said...

Sorry to hear you didn't like the torte, it still looks fabulous. Love the lime green teardrop plate.

Natalie said...

Sorry to hear the end result was kind of disappointing. At least it looks delicious. :)

Sara said...

I agree with Photograzing and thought the cake looked cute.

It's so disappointing to put so much work into something and have it not work.

hangeng said...

Looking for a great present for your mother, thomas sabo charms the woman who gave birth to you, raised you, and was there for you every step of the way? What can you give her that she would love, and at the same time would cheap thomas sabo charms remind her of you, and her grandchildren?Give Mom personalized jewelry - personalized jewelry thomas sabo charm is a great gift for a Mother and it could be personalized with different things, thomas charms such as a names, initials, birthstones and many other things. The best thing about it is that it can be personalized with Mother's name, or names and initials thomas sabo charms uk of her kids and grandkids. This will make the piece of jewelry one of a kind, and your Mom will know sabo charms that you picked the gift just for her.