Once more, my mom and I paired up to create another elaborate cake. This time we decided to make a Hungarian cake for my son’s birthday. A globe apart, in different hemispheres, two different kitchens, we came together to have fun, create and celebrate.
We started this sort of mother-daughter throw down a while back and completed several challenges like that.
This time we choose Dobos Torta, an ingenious creation by Jószef Dobos.
Who was Jószef Dobos?
He was a culinary aficionado and gastronomic impresarios of Belle Epoch Hungary.
He was beloved in his own country; in particular Budapest. His culinary book Hungarian-French Cookbook published in 1881 served as a manual for chefs and home cooks around Europe for years.
In 1895, queen Elisabeth and Franz Joseph were the first to give a royal and glorious endorsement to this cake at the first General National Exhibition.
Why did the Dobos Torte make triumph in Europe?
The cake was a novelty at the time. Five thin layers of sponge cake, sandwiched with chocolate buttercream and domed with caramel glaze. After the Hungarian debut, the cake became famous in all capital cities in Europe. The caramel coating gave the cake a longer shelf life. Dobos made specially designed wooden boxes; soon the cake made its way across Europe.
The recipe itself, however, was a mystery for a year until Dobos finally handed over the original recipe to the Metropolitan Confectioner and Gingerbread Industry Association, on the condition that any member of the industry association was free to use it.
Today, Dobos Torta is known all over the world, with 100 derivations. In 2017, a ministerial decree in Hungary defined the shape and composition of the cake: the cake should be circular and have five sheets. The Dobos Sheet and Dobos Cream are nearly equal in thickness to sponge cake and buttercream. The top of the cake has a golden brown caramelized sugar roof.
First and foremost I got my inspiration from the Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague by Rick Rodgers.
I also watched Ann Olson’s video on Dobos torte, where she bakes this iconic cake so elegantly and effortlessly.
I also want to inspire you to create this elaborate yet gorgeous cake.
- 6 egg yolks large
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp valilla extacts
- 6 egg whites large
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 100 g cake flour
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 30 g unsalted butter melted
- 5 egg yolks
- 120 g granulated sugar
- 100 g semisweet chocolate
- 170 g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 50 ml water
- 30 g corn syrup
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts toasted and peeled
- 50 g semi-sweet chocolate
- 8 hazelnut
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
- Using a cake pan draw an 8-inch (20cm) circle on six pieces of regular paper. Line the baking tray with the parchment, and slide the papers underneath the parchment. You will need three baking sheets to make 6 layers.
- Measure all the ingredients so they are ready.
- In a stand mixer, add the egg whites and sprinkle with the cream of tartar. Start to whip the egg whites to soft peaks using the whisk attachment.
- Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip to medium peaks.
- Transfer the whipped egg whites to a clean bowl and set aside.
- In the same bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolk with 50g sugar and vanilla extract until pale and thick, about 4-5 minutes until it doubles in volume and is pale yellow.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
- Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until fully incorporated. Avoid over-mixing.
- Sift and fold in the flour until just combined.
- In a separate bowl (use the same bowl from the egg whites) combine half a cup of the batter and the melted butter. Add this back into the mixture
- Pipe the batter on the prepared parchment paper, using the circles as a guide.
- Bake the layers for 5 minutes, until light golden brown.
- Using the spring-form pan (or any other 8-inch ring) trim the edges of the layer so they are even and perfectly round.
- At this stage you can store the layers by stacking them up on each other with parchment papers in-between.
- Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or over the bain-marie. Set it aside to cool.
- Combine the egg yolks with quarter cup of sugar and whisk in on high speed until light and fluffy.
- In a sauce pan, combine the rest of the sugar with a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of corn syrup.
- Bring the sugar to a boil until it reaches 115 °C (238°F).
- Slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl into the whipped egg yolk while the mixer is running. Continue whisking until the mixture cools down to room temperature.
- Once the egg mixture is cool to the touch, add the room temperature butter piece by piece until fully incorporated.
- At this point the chocolate mixture should be cool enough to add to the buttercream.
- Beat the buttercream until smooth and velvety and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.
Caramel crown and praline
- Have everything ready before you cook the caramel.
- Line the baking sheet with a parchment and pile the hazelnuts on top.
- Option 1: Line a wooden cutting board with another parchment paper and arrange an oiled tart ring on it.
- Option 2. Line a wooden cutting board with another parchment paper and one of the sponge layers on it.
- Make the caramel by adding the cup of sugar and 2 tablespoon water and a tablespoon of corn syrup. Boil it on high heat until it develops an amber color.
- Pour about the half of the caramel into the prepared ring (option1) or on top of the cake layer (option 2).
- The rest of the caramel drizzle on the hazelnuts.
- For option 1: Remove the ring and score and then cut the caramel disk into 12 wedges. Set aside.
- For option 2: Score and cut the caramel covered layer into 12 wedges. Set aside.
- Break the caramel covered hazelnuts and put them in a food processor. Pulse for a few times until they are courtly grinds.
Assembling the cake
- Have all the components ready for the assembly. Cake layers Buttercream – bring to a room temperatureCaramel wedgesPralineDecorations
- Arrange the first layer on a cake board and spread the thin layer of buttercream on top. Alternate the layers sponge and buttercream. Cover assembled cake with the remaining buttercream both sides and the top.
- Sprinkle the praline on the sides of the cake, press gently until they adhere to the sides.
- Evenly arrange the hazelnuts on the edges of the top of the cake.
- Pointing to the center, arrange the caramel wedges on the cake in an angle and rest them on the hazelnuts.
- Add any additional decoration if you like.
- For this cake I melted the chocolate and made monogram initial coins with the letter G.