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Friday, August 28, 2009

The fatest cake you will ever eat?

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 Caff├ęs of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

Since there was no way Syd and I were eating this on our own (and I don't even think I want to make a gf-version for me...but we will see), I decided to make a half recipe, even though we are maybe going to share this with a couple of friends for a (belated) birthday. Although birthday girl's husband is kind of being a jerk at the moment, so...maybe not. He is not deserving of cake. He is more deserving of a good punch in the nose. :3

I haven't changed this recipe much (shocking!). The cake layers themselves aren't terribly fattening, it is mostly the buttercream frosting that does it. :P Although there is rather a lot of sugar as well.

So, a Dobos Torte is a tart/cake/torte that originated in Hungary. It consists of three essential parts:
multiple layers (5 here, but can be more) of sponge cake,
It's spongey and it's cake!Sponge cake layers

(dark) chocolate buttercream icing,
Buttercream...but it has no cream in it O_oChocolate buttercream

and caramel wedges on top.
Dark Caramel...oopsCaramel covered sponge cake wedges

I beat the eggs for the recommended amount of time, and they seemed to come out better than some of the other eggs that I have beaten previously.
The egg mixEgg whites and yolks mixed, before adding the flour

I kind of estimated the amount of batter to use for each layer, so I hope my layers are thick enough. They didn't burn or anything, and they look good. They also smell good. Too bad I can't eat them. :(
Batter on the baking sheetsBatter spread in circles...it was hard to get an even thickness

I grated my chocolate instead of chopped it. I used half a baker's chocolate bar leftover from making ystervarkkies.
Chocolatey goodnessFinely ground chocolate, castor sugar all measured out

I think I may have over cooked the carmel juuuuuuuuust a bit, ooops. I was doing laundry. ^^' I should not mutlitask while daring kitchening!

Icing the cake was the fun part!
No, Donkey, Ogres are not like cake!You can see the layers!

And the finished cake! It was kind of hard to get the wedges to stand up and look nice without nuts underneath propping them up. Oh well, I still think the final effect is nice.
you can't even tell there are five layers inside...It looks good enough to eat! ^_^ ...I hope

I'll post pics of the insides of the cake once I see them. :P

Here is the Recipe: My notes are in italics

Dobos Torte


•2 baking sheets I did this with only one..
•9” (23cm) springform tin and 8” cake tin, for templates I made a template out of paper myself, and traced it onto the parchment paper and waxed paper...
•mixing bowls (1 medium, 1 large)
•a sieve
•a double boiler
•a small saucepan
•a whisk (you could use a balloon whisk for the entire cake, but an electric hand whisk or stand mixer will make life much easier)
•metal offset spatula
•sharp knife
•a 7 1/2” cardboard cake round, or just build cake on the base of a sprinfrom tin. Making my own
•piping bag and tip, optional

Prep times

•Sponge layers 20 mins prep, 40 mins cooking total if baking each layer individually.
•Buttercream: 20 mins cooking. Cooling time for buttercream: about 1 hour plus 10 minutes after this to beat and divide.
•Caramel layer: 10-15 minutes.
•Assembly of whole cake: 20 minutes

Sponge cake layers
I made half a recipe..
•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

Chocolate Buttercream
also half a recipe
•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.

Caramel topping
Halved this one as well...are we seeing a pattern here? :P

•1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar I found this as Superfine Baker's Sugar
•12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
•8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice
•1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)

Finishing touches

•a 7” cardboard round Making this myself, couldn't find a 4" round :P
•12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toastedNo nuts in my house!!!
•½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnutsNo nuts

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.)

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.

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. I also find it helps if the cake layer hasn't just been taken out of the refrigerator. I made mine ahead of time and the cake layer was cold and the toffee set very, very quickly—too quickly for me to spread it. Immediately pour all of the hot caramel over the cake layer. You will have some leftover most probably but more is better than less and you can always make nice toffee pattern using the extra to decorate. 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.

2.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.

3.Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.

4.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.

End Notes:
While a bit time consuming, this wasn't terribly difficult, but it looks impressive. I have no idea how it tastes, however!

I will add a review here once we have had the cake with the birthday girl and people...either tonight or tomorrow night. Yep.

That was fun! ^_^


Julie said...

Great job!!

Jill said...

I love the step-by-step photos and your caramel decorations are a nice color! :)

Cheri said...

Awe.. that is too bad that you can't eat it. I hope that everyone enjoys it. it looks like you did a wonderful job.