Ria's Collection: ♥Daring Bakers Bakes a Dobos Torte♥ My 5th Daring Experience♥

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

♥Daring Bakers Bakes a Dobos Torte♥ My 5th Daring Experience♥

When this month's DB Challenge was announced, I was so thrilled because this was the first cake for me with the DB's. So I started planning ahead as to how to go about it. My cousin Roshini was coming down for a week and she doesn't blog. So I thought of keeping my excitement down for a while so that I can get her also in it. And we did bake together! :)

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 Torte

Sponge cake layers

· 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

· 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner's (icing) sugar, divided

· 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract

· 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)

· pinch of salt

Directions for the sponge layers:

NB. The sponge layers can be prepared in advance and stored interleaved with parchment and well-wrapped in the fridge overnight.

1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).

2.Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a 9" (23cm) springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn't touch the cake batter.)

3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner's (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don't have a mixer.)

4.In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner's (icing)sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.

5.Line one of the baking sheets with a circle-marked paper. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 3/4cup of the batter in an even layer, filling in the traced circle on one baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 5 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the centre and the edges are lightly browned. While this cake bakes, repeat the process on the other baking sheet, placing it on the centre rack. When the first cake is done, move the second cake to the top rack. Invert the first cake onto a flat surface and carefully peel off the paper. Slide the cake layer back onto the paper and let stand until cool. Rinse the baking sheet under cold running water to cool, and dry it before lining with another parchment. Continue with the remaining papers and batter to make a total of six layers. Completely cool the layers. Using an 8" springform pan bottom or plate as a template, trim each cake layer into a neat round. (A small serrated knife is best for this task.)

Chocolate Buttercream

· 4 large eggs, at room temperature

· 1 cup (200g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar

· 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions for the chocolate buttercream:

NB. This can be prepared in advance and kept chilled until required.

1.Prepare a double-boiler: quarter-fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.

2.Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes. You can use a balloon whisk or electric hand mixer for this.

3.Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken a bit. Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes.

4.Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. It should be quite thick and sticky in consistency.

5.When cool, beat in the soft butter, a small piece (about 2 tablespoons/30g) at a time. An electric hand mixer is great here, but it is possible to beat the butter in with a spatula if it is soft enough. You should end up with a thick, velvety chocolate buttercream. Chill while you make the caramel topping.

Caramel topping

· 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar

· 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water

· 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice

· 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)

Directions for the caramel topping:

1.Choose the best-looking cake layer for the caramel top. To make the caramel topping: Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. Place the reserved cake layer on the paper. Score the cake into 12 equal wedges. Lightly oil a thin, sharp knife and an offset metal spatula.

2.Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved into a smooth syrup, turn the heat up to high and boil without stirring, swirling the pan by the handle occasionally and washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush until the syrup has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.

3.The top layer is perhaps the hardest part of the whole cake so make sure you have a oiled, hot offset spatula ready. Using the offset spatula, quickly spread the caramel evenly to the edge of the cake layer. Let cool until beginning to set, about 30 seconds. Using the tip of the hot oiled knife (keep re-oiling this with a pastry brush between cutting), cut through the scored marks to divide the caramel layer into 12 equal wedges. Cool another minute or so, then use the edge of the knife to completely cut and separate the wedges using one firm slice movement (rather than rocking back and forth which may produce toffee strands). Cool completely.

Assembling the Dobos

1.Divide the buttercream into six equal parts.Place a dab of chocolate buttercream on the middle of a 7 1/2” cardboard round and top with one cake layer. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 4 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.

Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.
Propping a hazelnut under each wedge so that it sits at an angle, arrange the wedges on top of the cake in a spoke pattern. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can pipe rosettes under each hazelnut or a large rosette in the centre of the cake. Refrigerate the cake under a cake dome until the icing is set, about 2 hours. Let slices come to room temperature for the best possible flavour.

My daring experience:

The slice above looks good BUT we were disappointed!!

1.The layers cheated on us. It turned out to be a yummy crunchy biscuit without any traits of a cake in it and it was stuck to the parchment. So I made a whole sponge cake with the rest of the batter instead of individual layers. Then I cut the whole cake into 3. And they were crumbly :(

2.The buttercream took ages to thicken and when spread on the cake layers, they got soaked up!

3.Our butter was RANCID! EEKS! But there was no foul smell/discolouration. We realised it only when we served it to our guests! IMAGINE!! :(

4.The caramel was so chewy and it got stuck to our teeth. So we kept that aside and tried to taste the rancid buttercream and sponge.It tasted OK (with the rancidity n blah! )

All in all...this would be my first n last attempt at this torte. It wasn't rewarding enough for me!

But my other lovely DB friends did have a great experience with this recipe. So in case you were thinking of giving it a try... please go ahead! Never know ... I must have lost my mojo! :)


Anonymous said...

That slice does look beautiful! I'm sorry you were disappointed with the taste though :(

maybelle's mom said...

sorry you had so many problems. at least you finished.

ice tea: sugar high said...

Love how dark your chocolate buttercream.. so rich and sinful looking! Great job on the torte, they look stunning

Chez US said...

Great job & beautiful torte

Divya Kudua said...

First things first--kudos to you for attempting the challenge.A cake with 5 layers and that too a sponge??I would have turned and ran the opposite way:)So don't feel bad..you are very much a daring baker:)

I am not an experienced baker myself..but I really don't see anything wrong with the cake or the slice..and the butter turning rancid...guess what,it happened to me too last week..truly an eeeks moment!!

shaz said...

Ooh, that must have been a shock to find out about the butter. But it still looks very very good.

Shabs.. said...

Goodness me!!Hats off to u Ria darling. After reading such a long recipe and that too a one that looks very very challenging an complicated, you went for it. If I were to try this, It would take me 1 full day and I would be nuts by the end of that day!!But love to have a slice though;).

Shabs.. said...

Goodness me!!Hats off to u Ria darling. After reading such a long recipe and that too a one that looks very very challenging an complicated, you went for it. If I were to try this, It would take me 1 full day and I would be nuts by the end of that day!!But love to have a slice though;).

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your cake looks delicious!



Sanghi said...

Wow.. delicious this is tempting..!

Twinsy Rachel said...

Hats off Ria for trying it,especially with such long and complicated recipe :-) U r truly a daring baker... the torte looks fine to me..nywyz, keep up the good work without deterring


Jamie said...

Your recounting the sad tale had me smiling actually! Poor Ria! So much work to be disappointed by the results. But You are a sport and you tell the tale of woe with real humor. Usually your desserts are so fabulous (actually your Dobos Torte is very pretty!) that I am sorry you had such a mishap, but you seemed to pull it all together in the end! Good for you for seeing it through and making something so pretty.

Rachel said...

I am sorry it didnt work for you!

Zita said...

Wow...love your coplete step by step pics...your cakes looks so moist and delicious :)

Lena Jayadev said...

Ria...this looks amazing.. :)wonderful snaps..especially the first one...yummy n delicious....:)

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Oh dear! I'm sorry this challenge didn't turn out too good after all that effort.
Good luck withe next one. :)

Yasmeen said...

Still looks very delicious to me,bet you had a wonderful time baking with your buddy :D

Claire said...

Sorry you were disappointed after all that work. I was disappoined with the look of mine but it tasted great. I failed miserably with the caramel layer but maybe that was a good thing - although it wasn't a great looking caramel layer it did atleast taste good.

Parita said...

Wow Ria torte looks fantastic! I too made my first SB challenge this month, do check out when you find time, thanks, cia.

Rose said...

Oh dear! It sounds like you got a lot of Challenge in this daring bakers challenge! Nice job pulling it off though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Audax said...

Sorry to hear about all the problems but I love the spirit you showed on this challenge. It still looks OK. Well at least you got to cook with your friend which is nice, NO you haven't lost your mo-jo. And a big thanks for the recipes dosas and the toppings greatly appreicated. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Y said...

Ah, bad luck! It looks like a great cake, so it's a shame to read about your disappointing results.

Cakelaw said...

I have to say that your cake looks gorgeous Ria, so you are too hard on yourself. Well done!

Unknown said...

Sorry you didnt like it! But you should pride yourself on making it! It sure looks great!! And don't worry, you haven't lost your mojo! You will never be able to :P

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