Dobos Torte

Mike's a history buff in addition to being a math superhero. Every now and then he'll be looking at photos of something like a spoon from Pompeii or a statue from Greece and geeking out over how neat it is. It's thrilling to think of people centuries and millennia ago actually using the objects and living in the homes we now have as artifacts of their existence. Last summer he finally went on a trip to some of the places he's always loved to read about: Rome, Greece, and Turkey. Looking through his pictures when he returned, it was so sweet to see him living one of his dreams.

 

I understand Mike's excitement about the cultures of the past, and sometimes I feel it too, but it doesn't come naturally to me. I usually have to sort of ponder artifacts and give my imagination a shove to really appreciate how neat they are. With this past Daring Bakers challenge, however, I finally got a taste of how Mike must feel. After reading through the recipe and researching the challenge, I realized that I was about to bake a piece of history: the Dobos Torte.

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.

Reading about the Dobos Torte gave me goosebumps. The torte is the namesake of József C. Dobos, its Hungarian creator. It was created with the intent of making a cake with a longer shelf life, and was debuted in 1885 at the National General Exhibition of Budapest. What really excited me was learning that Franz Joseph I and his wife, the Empress Elisabeth (also called Sisi), were among the first to taste the dessert! For those of you who don't teach your 6th graders about the Russian Revolution like I do, I'll fill you in. Franz Joseph I was the uncle of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was assassinated by Serbian terrorists in 1914. This act effectively started World War I and contributed to the Russian Revolution. I won't give you a full history lesson, but isn't that amazing? This torte has such a rich history, and here I am baking it in my own kitchen!

Dobos kept the recipe for his torte a secret until his retirement in 1906, and since then, the popular dessert has been made around the world. The torte is comprised of multiple layers (anywhere from 6-12 is typical) of thin sponge cake, a thick American buttercream, and a slightly lemony caramel coating on the top layer. The recipe was quite intimidating at first, but I enjoyed the process and felt nudged out of my cupcake comfort zone, as all Daring Bakers should!

I chose to make my torte the classic size and shape, but did change a few things. I brushed each sponge layer with a simple syrup when assembling the torte to ensure that they'd stay moist. I also used macadamia nuts to prop up my caramel wedges instead of hazelnuts, but that wasn't an artistic decision -- I couldn't find any whole hazelnuts at my grocery store.

If I could change a few things about the recipe, I'd add flavoring to my simple syrup and apply more of it to the sponge layers. I found my layers a bit dry (good thing they were smooshed between so much buttercream). I'd also nix the lemon from the caramel -- it tasted a little odd -- and use cream instead. Finally, I can attest that creating the perfect caramel texture is the hardest part of this cake. I took my sugar mixture off of the stove too soon and ended up with a sticky caramel that made my sponge cake layer a bit soggy. Using a candy thermometer might be a better idea than relying on your instincts (especially if you tend to be jumpy/hasty/caffeinated about your baking). For caramel, you'll want the temperature of your sugar mixture between 320 to 350 degrees based on this handy chart.

One thing I'm glad I didn't change was the frosting. I used unsweetened Belgian chocolate, and the result spread like a dream and tasted rich and indulgent. I can't wait to make this chocolate buttercream again and slather it on -- you guessed it -- some cupcakes!

There are lots of opportunities for creative alterations with this torte. You can bake all the batter in sheet pans and cut it into as many rectangular layers as you'd like, or even use a cookie cutter to create some adventurously shaped layers. You could also use different nuts to decorate the cake (almonds, hazelnuts, cashews), different flavors of syrup on the sponge cake, and different flavors of buttercream to frost. One particularly daring baker brushed each sponge layer with a hazelnut liqueur and used Ferrero Rocher to prop up her caramel wedges! You know I love Ferrero Rocher, so I'm a fan of that idea!

I hope you'll take the plunge and try making a Dobos Torte on your own. The recipe is a mile long, yes, but that's partially because of the clear, thorough instructions. Angela has thoughtfully created a printable version of this recipe to make the process a bit easier! It was such a lovely achievement when all the work was finished, and I relished each bite thinking of the legacy I was eating!



Dobos Torte



Recipe by: Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague, by Rick Rodgers
Yield: about 11-12 pieces of torte

Equipment
2 baking sheets
9” (23cm) springform tin and 8” cake tin, for templates
mixing bowls (1 medium, 1 large)
a sieve
a double boiler (a large saucepan plus a large heat-proof mixing bowl which fits snugly over the top of the pan)
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)
12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toasted (I used macadamia nuts)
½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnuts
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 Ingredients
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
pinch of salt

Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients
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 (I used Belgian chocolate)
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Caramel Topping Ingredients
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 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.) Note: I leveled each sponge layer after baking per a great suggestion from other Daring Bakers. I did this by covering the layer with an oiled, cocoa powder dusted sheet of parchment paper and then pressing another sheet pan down on the layer to even it out.
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.)


I love when I have two cookin' buddies! Mike and Byrd cheer me on from the couch.

  
Drawing my circles, spreading my batter, and baking my layers. What sort of recipe requires artwork?

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.

Lorraine's note: If you're in Winter just now your butter might not soften enough at room temperature, which leads to lumps forming in the buttercream. Male sure the butter is of a very soft texture I.e. running a knife through it will provide little resistance, before you try to beat it into the chocolate mixture. Also, if you beat the butter in while the chocolate mixture is hot you'll end up with more of a ganache than a buttercream!


Frosting and decorating the torte.

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.

Angela's note: I recommend cutting, rather than scoring, the cake layer into wedges before covering in caramel (reform them into a round). If you have an 8” silicon round form, then I highly recommend placing the wedges in that for easy removal later and it also ensures that the caramel stays on the cake layer. Once set, use a very sharp knife to separate the wedges.

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.


Don't forget to visit other Daring Bakers and see the imaginative combinations and configurations of the Dobos Torte they created!

138 Comments on Dobos Torte

  1. marcellina
    August 27, 2009 at 12:41 am (6 years ago)

    Great dobos torte! The frosting looks really chocolatey and luscious.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 12:42 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Marcellina!

      Reply
  2. Judith
    August 27, 2009 at 1:00 am (6 years ago)

    Hi there….wow gr8 looking Dobos Torta….and your website is so cool. My website is a mess….I cant seem to get the pictures right and am not able to place them in between my notes but just at the start….i wonder how you do it.

    Btw, i am a Daring Baker from UAE, Abu Dhabi…Ever heard of it ?

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 1:07 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Judith! I HAVE actually heard of Abu Dhabi, and was just reading a blog about an American girl who moved there to teach the other day! I was so intrigued by her photos — looks like she’s enjoying it!

      I think your website looks great! For the images, I just stick an image HTML tag wherever I want to insert an image. It looks like this: (remove the * if you use it). This way I can stick them between things and such :) Hope that helps! I loved your torte!

      Reply
  3. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella
    August 27, 2009 at 1:47 am (6 years ago)

    Beautiful job! And yes you’re right, the cake itself has such an amazing history to it. History through cakes-I’d love to study that! 😀

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 1:54 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Lorraine! That’s such a fun viewpoint on history. I’m hoping I eventually get to teach a baking elective at my school; it’d be so neat to romp through the ages via recipes!

      Thanks again for hosting such a wonderful challenge.

      Reply
  4. Ellie@AlmostBourdain
    August 27, 2009 at 2:22 am (6 years ago)

    What a good looking torte!! And yes, the chocolate buttercream taste so good and I was thinking the same, spreading it on cupcakes!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 7:03 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks Ellie! I tend to translate all the good ideas I find to cupcakes :)

      Reply
  5. Rosa
    August 27, 2009 at 2:33 am (6 years ago)

    What a beautiful and perfect looking cake! Very well done!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply
  6. Lolah
    August 27, 2009 at 3:09 am (6 years ago)

    Your Dobos torte looks fantastic…perfect.
    Cheers.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 7:04 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Lolah!

      Reply
  7. rachel
    August 27, 2009 at 6:07 am (6 years ago)

    One of the pretty tortes I have seen around today

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 7:04 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Rachel!

      Reply
  8. shaz
    August 27, 2009 at 7:05 am (6 years ago)

    Great job Julie…the caramel layer looks really good in the photos, wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t spilt the beans.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 7:10 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Shaz! :)

      Reply
  9. isabelle
    August 27, 2009 at 8:25 am (6 years ago)

    c’est superbement réussi Julie ! les couches de gâteau sont parfaites ! Bravo, c’est une belle réussite :)
    ps : je rêve de visiter Pompeï :)

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 8:32 am (6 years ago)

      Merci beaucoup, Isabelle! J’adorerais visiter Pompeï aussi!

      Reply
  10. pragmaticattic
    August 27, 2009 at 8:40 am (6 years ago)

    Beautiful Dobos Torte. Well done!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 9:10 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks pragmatic!

      Reply
  11. Cheri
    August 27, 2009 at 9:03 am (6 years ago)

    I loved the mini history lesson. :) I have been to Athens as well and found myself wishing I could just see what it looked like in biblical times. I always find myself pondering what places looked like before all these huge cities were built.

    Your torte turned out beautifully. And, I agree about the caramel, I didn’t particularly like the lemon flavor and I have a tendency to take it off too soon. Great work!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 9:09 am (6 years ago)

      I’m glad someone appreciated my rambling! Thanks, Cheri! Hope I get to visit Athens someday, as well! Mike really loved it. Rome was his absolute favorite, though.

      Reply
  12. Anita
    August 27, 2009 at 9:12 am (6 years ago)

    I totally agree with you about the caramel… the same thing happened to me, and I also thought it could do without the lemon. All in all a great challenge, I really loved the buttercream! :) mmmm

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 9:27 am (6 years ago)

      Me too! The buttercream was definitely the best part!

      Reply
  13. Megan
    August 27, 2009 at 9:44 am (6 years ago)

    The frosting was my favorite part too! And I definitely agree about nixing the lemon… I hadn’t thought about adding cream, but that definitely would have been much better! And the syrup on the layers would have helped too… my spongecake was a bit dry as well.

    Great job with this challenge, and I enjoyed reading the background on the cake!

    Reply
  14. Lauren
    August 27, 2009 at 10:21 am (6 years ago)

    Wonderful job!! Your torte looks amazing =D. I love the photos, and I’m glad you enjoyed making it!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 10:29 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Lauren! You made adorable mini-tortes!! Love that you decided to make them to distribute to friends!

      I vote that the last two involve Pacman :)

      Wish I could comment on your blog, but it seems my browser is having some difficulty.

      Reply
  15. Barbara
    August 27, 2009 at 10:29 am (6 years ago)

    Your torte looks great! I’m glad your buttercream turned out well. I really struggled with mine.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 10:34 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Barbara! You know, I think the buttercream went really differently depending on where folks lived and such! I saw lots of people having trouble with theirs setting.

      Reply
  16. Anula
    August 27, 2009 at 10:30 am (6 years ago)

    Your Dobos Torte Looks very yummy! I can se the layers very clear as you have dark chocolate butter cream :) You did a great job! Cheers :)

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 10:34 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Anula!

      Reply
  17. Hexe
    August 27, 2009 at 10:38 am (6 years ago)

    I really enjoyed the history lesson with the cake! A beautiful result!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 10:41 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Hexe!

      Reply
  18. Audax Artifex
    August 27, 2009 at 10:45 am (6 years ago)

    A baking lesson combined with a history lesson you are very clever. Your torta look so delicious and I love the photo series of the process. And your American buttercream looks perfect you are a great baker. Cheers from Audax in Australia

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 10:48 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Audax! All your tips were so helpful!

      Reply
  19. deeba
    August 27, 2009 at 10:58 am (6 years ago)

    Love the connection with history & love your cheering partners! The Belgian chocolate seems to have added luxury to your bautifu torta! It’s gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 11:06 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Deeba! Aren’t my cooking buddies sweet? :) I loved that Belgian chocolate — definitely buying it again!

      LOVED your torte as well!

      Reply
  20. sarah
    August 27, 2009 at 11:30 am (6 years ago)

    Whoa I definitely didn’t do my research. Thanks for the history lesson…I really enjoyed it! Your torte looks delicious.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 11:33 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Sarah! :)

      Reply
  21. Elizabeth
    August 27, 2009 at 2:50 pm (6 years ago)

    Wow, looks great!!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Elizabeth!

      Reply
  22. April
    August 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm (6 years ago)

    Ok, now your buttercream looks much darker (and tastier) than mine… Maybe I had an “operator” error!!!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm (6 years ago)

      You know, I saw so many different shades! I think it depends on which chocolate you used. I used some dark Belgian chocolate. I love the paler buttercreams, too!

      Reply
  23. Jill
    August 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm (6 years ago)

    Loved the history information! Your dobos turned out beautiful!!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Jill!

      Reply
  24. Romy
    August 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi Julie, your Dobos Torte looks fabulous! Thanks for the little extra history lesson behind it. I just discovered your blog through the Daring Bakers’ main page and love your wonderful cupcakes too!

    Cheers,
    Romy

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks so much for visiting, Romy, and for the nice thoughts! :)

      Reply
  25. LegalAlien
    August 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm (6 years ago)

    Great cake and thank you for the history related!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Legal!

      Reply
  26. sunita
    August 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm (6 years ago)

    Julie, your cake looks perfect. Love the colour of your buttercream. and yes, it is always nice to know the history behind recipes :-)

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Sunita! :)

      Reply
  27. laura laurentiu
    August 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm (6 years ago)

    A lovely blog you got here, and your Dobos torte reminds me my late grandmother! Thank you and congrats!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm (6 years ago)

      Oh, what a sweet compliment, Laura! Thank you! Was your grandmother Hungarian, or just an avid cake baker?

      Reply
  28. Wolf
    August 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m jealous of your caramel layer}:P

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you Wolf :)

      Reply
  29. Sugar Chef
    August 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm (6 years ago)

    I love your cooking buddies, toooooo cute. Great job on your torte and the buttercream will be great on cupcakes too.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you Sugar Chef! Isn’t my cheering section cute? I really needed them for this one :)

      Reply
  30. Hannah
    August 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm (6 years ago)

    Great job with the challenge! I’m glad to know I am not the only one who wasn’t crazy about the lemon in the caramel. It was too much lemon and didn’t seem to go with the cake at all!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 7:48 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Hannah! I completely agree.

      Reply
  31. elle archer
    August 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm (6 years ago)

    wow, what a lovely looking torte! was really great to find out the history too 😀

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 7:49 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Elle!

      Reply
  32. Valerie Catrice
    August 27, 2009 at 7:44 pm (6 years ago)

    What a gorgeous torte! And a nice excuse to use those wonderful macadamia nuts.

    I agree with you on not using the lemon in the caramel mixture. I’m a huge fan of lemons but not to that extent in a caramel sauce.

    Beautiful photos! :)

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 7:49 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Valerie!! I love macadamia nuts :)

      Reply
  33. anna
    August 27, 2009 at 7:57 pm (6 years ago)

    Gorgeous! I love the classic look of yours – especially that adorable chocolate rosette in the middle! It’s a lovely little touch.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Anna! That rosette was a bit soft at first and I was nervous about it losing it’s definition — straight into the fridge it went after that! :)

      Reply
  34. Sarah
    August 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm (6 years ago)

    Oooh! It looks lovely! Your little rosette in the centre is just perfect!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Sarah!

      Reply
  35. Celeste
    August 27, 2009 at 8:14 pm (6 years ago)

    What a gorgeous Dobos Torte! You did such an awesome job with this month’s challenge…Plus, I loved your mini history lesson. My husband and I traveled to Rome this past March, and I found myself trying to imagine how things were all those years ago….Just standing in the middle of all those ruins is enough to send chills down your spine!

    Congrats on such beautiful results!!! :)

    Reply
  36. Julie
    August 27, 2009 at 8:17 pm (6 years ago)

    Thank you, Celeste! Mike says he’d love for me to visit Rome with him someday — he was particularly in awe over St. Peter’s Basilica. I hope I get to visit eventually!

    Reply
  37. Holly
    August 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm (6 years ago)

    Beautiful cake! You did a fabulous job, looks just like something you would buy from a bakery (except I’m sure it tasted a whole lot better!).

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 8:31 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Holly!

      Reply
  38. Julia
    August 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm (6 years ago)

    wow great work! it looks like you aced the caramel layer!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Julia! I think it might’ve been a tad underdone because the layer got soggy overnight… but better than burnt, I guess?? :)

      Reply
  39. raquel
    August 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm (6 years ago)

    awesome job! my cooking assistants are much like yours…cheering from the background and waiting for the final result!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm (6 years ago)

      HA, isn’t it funny how they don’t want to be in the kitchen . . . until it’s time to eat! Thanks, Raquel :)

      Reply
  40. Deseree
    August 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm (6 years ago)

    Your torte looks great! I agree that the chocolate buttercream was my favorite part. When I was making it, and doing far too many “quality checks”, I was thinking of all of the wonderful things I could add it too. It was so delicious!

    When you were talking about how Mike geeks out on history stuff I had to laugh. I do exactly the same thing. When I went to Rome a couple of years ago and was walking in the Forum I said to my husband “We are walking where Julius Caesar walked. Do you get it Julius freakin’ Caesar?!” He didn’t get it. :)

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 9:43 pm (6 years ago)

      Ha, I love it, Deseree! That’s exactly how Mike would be!! :) Thanks!

      Reply
  41. asti
    August 27, 2009 at 9:44 pm (6 years ago)

    That rosette centre makes the cake looks like a giant flower. Stunning!

    Reply
  42. Jenni
    August 27, 2009 at 9:46 pm (6 years ago)

    Your torta looks great! Love the caramel!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 9:47 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Jenni!

      Reply
  43. CookiePie
    August 27, 2009 at 10:32 pm (6 years ago)

    GORGEOUS torte, and how smart to use unsweetened chocolate in the buttercream!! I love the macadamia nuts too. Wonderful!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 10:40 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, CookiePie!!

      Reply
  44. CHConrad
    August 27, 2009 at 11:36 pm (6 years ago)

    Lovely and fascinating post. Love the explanation about the history of the torte and being able to participate in this slice of history. Gorgeous Torte!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 11:38 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you!!

      Reply
  45. Aviva O'Byrne
    August 27, 2009 at 11:40 pm (6 years ago)

    I am so glad that you found me through this latest challenge. Your site is truly inspirational and I appreciate the history on the torte. Brilliant! I too would skip the lemon in the caramel, and possibly moisten up the cake layers with a blackberry jam or plum butter. Maybe next time.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 27, 2009 at 11:43 pm (6 years ago)

      Aw, thanks so much, Aviva! Plum butter — what a phenomenal idea. I’m hoping to try to bake some plum cupcakes tomorrow.

      Reply
  46. Sue
    August 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm (6 years ago)

    Love the history lesson! Your torte looks picture perfect and decadent! Thanks for the comment on my blog:)

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 12:00 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Sue!

      Reply
  47. Shirley
    August 28, 2009 at 1:22 am (6 years ago)

    Your torte is beautiful!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 1:23 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Shirley!

      Reply
  48. Wok Through the Fire
    August 28, 2009 at 7:49 am (6 years ago)

    Your cake looks very nice. I like that you used macadamia nuts! They are my favorite :)

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 7:56 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Wok! I love macadamia nuts too!

      Reply
  49. Renato
    August 28, 2009 at 10:07 am (6 years ago)

    Hey, there!
    Great Dobos Torte, yours! I also had the same problem with caramel. I was afraid to burn it… Hehehe
    Ah, and thanks for the great history class and for passing by my blog!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 10:18 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Renato!

      Reply
  50. chef_d
    August 28, 2009 at 11:26 am (6 years ago)

    oh wow…gorgeous looking cake!! Belgian chocolate–yummmy!!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 11:41 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Chef D! I loved the Belgian chocolate. It was actually a gift from my mom, so thanks Mom!

      Reply
  51. lisamichele
    August 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm (6 years ago)

    I’d be more than happy to hear the rest of your history lesson! It is interesting how this recipe came about and how it was kept ‘secret’ for so long! That said, your Dobos came out gorgeous! I’m a hazelnut-chcolate freak myself, and Frangelico would make a great soaking syrup! Beautifully done all around!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Lisa! I wish I would’ve gone for something like Frangelico… mmm! I love hazelnuts with chocolate too!

      Reply
  52. Alana
    August 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh, beautiful. I must say the history excites me too. Nice to think about all of those Dobos tortes over the years…

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm (6 years ago)

      Isn’t it nice to think of who must have eaten and enjoyed them?

      Thank you!

      Reply
  53. Valerie
    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm (6 years ago)

    Wow, your layers are so perfect! I also love the colour and texture of your buttercream!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Valerie!

      Reply
  54. butterandsugar
    August 28, 2009 at 6:32 pm (6 years ago)

    Your Dobos looks great and this history of this dessert is so interesting!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 11:20 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you!

      Reply
  55. Alison
    August 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm (6 years ago)

    Lovely torte Julie!! And yes, the buttercream would be fabulous on cupcakes. Which reminds me…someone was telling me about a bakery called Polka Dots here in Charlotte that specializes in cupcakes. Have you tried it? If not, maybe we can plan to meet there very soon and check it out.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 11:20 pm (6 years ago)

      Alison, I’ve been meaning to email you and the start of school has just consumed me! I HAVE tried Polka Dots, but only one flavor — vanilla — and it was so good it inspired a bout of white cake baking! I would love to meet there and try some more! When are you free?

      Reply
  56. alev
    August 28, 2009 at 10:46 pm (6 years ago)

    wooww. it looks georgeous Julie. I love the buttercream too. Thank you for your lovely comment to my torte..

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Alev!

      Reply
  57. Janice
    August 28, 2009 at 11:27 pm (6 years ago)

    Great looking Torte. i had the same conclusion re the lemon in the caramel — wasn’t really working for me. I also really liked the buttercream, and will definitely make it again

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 11:31 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Janice!

      Reply
  58. Claire
    August 28, 2009 at 11:32 pm (6 years ago)

    Looks great! I prefer having “cooking buddies” as well…so I love it when I am able to make my challenges for my parents. Unfortunately, I think those times are going to be less as my job is going to keep me stuck here. Guess I’ll have to find a new cooking buddy! I love your last picture…it is beautiful!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm (6 years ago)

      Aw, thanks Claire! Maybe you should get a pup! But you know, doctors’ hours might not make it easy to care for one. Maybe a cat? They’re more indifferent :)

      Reply
  59. Monica
    August 29, 2009 at 3:27 am (6 years ago)

    Gorgeous Torte!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 29, 2009 at 7:58 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Monica!

      Reply
  60. Angela
    August 29, 2009 at 6:59 am (6 years ago)

    What a lovely story! And your torte looks delicious with gorgeous looking Belgian cream… I loved the butter cream too, so much in fact that I worried I wouldn’t have enough left over for my torte!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 29, 2009 at 7:59 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks Angela! I made my torte the day before I could take bites (only eat sweets on the weekend — how difficult!) and was PINING for that buttercream!! Mmmm.

      Reply
  61. Heather Peskin
    August 29, 2009 at 9:49 am (6 years ago)

    You have created a beautiful Dobos torte – it is perfectly shaped and the caramel wedges look terrific. Nice, interesting blog.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 30, 2009 at 12:42 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Heather!

      Reply
  62. Ruth
    August 29, 2009 at 11:21 am (6 years ago)

    Your dobos look delicious!!!! STUNNING

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 30, 2009 at 12:44 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Ruth!!

      Reply
  63. linda
    August 29, 2009 at 7:11 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m always up for reading about the history of the food. Knowing where it came from and how it came about always gives me a greater appreciation for it. I absoultely agree with you about the perfect caramel, after 2 failed attempts, I just couldn’t bother. LOL yeah I wasn’t a fan of the lemon either, it just didn’t go well with such a rich and moist cake. All in all, a great challenge.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 30, 2009 at 12:43 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Linda! I agree — it was a fun (though daunting) task!

      Reply
  64. John (Eat4fun)
    August 30, 2009 at 12:00 am (6 years ago)

    Terrific looking results and beautiful pictures too!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 30, 2009 at 12:43 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, John!!

      Reply
  65. Cirri
    August 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm (6 years ago)

    excellent torte, congratulations!!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 30, 2009 at 8:57 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Cirri!

      Reply
  66. isa
    August 30, 2009 at 7:56 pm (6 years ago)

    What a gorgeous Dobos Torte!
    Your caramel looks perfect – I failed mine!
    Very interesting and inspiring post!
    Great job!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 30, 2009 at 8:59 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you, Isa! And don’t let my caramel fool you — it looks nice here, but it was a little undercooked and got soft in the fridge overnight!

      Reply
  67. Erna
    August 30, 2009 at 11:09 pm (6 years ago)

    Wow, yours looks great! Love the richness of your buttercream. Would of loved it if mine had turned darker. Next time (my third attempt)I’ll use a darker chocolate.

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 30, 2009 at 11:33 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Erna! This Belgian chocolate was yummy. It was great that I had it in the cabinet — my mom bought it for me awhile back!

      Reply
  68. tikitonic
    August 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm (6 years ago)

    Looks lovely! I really like how your buttercream was dark and made a nice contrast against the sponge. I too used a Belgian dark chocolate, but mine turned out much lighter!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks tikitonic! I’m not sure how mine got so dark! I like the lighter frostings too.

      Reply
  69. Christi
    August 31, 2009 at 3:14 pm (6 years ago)

    ha ha, you’re right! I almost made cupcake Dobos Torte, but that would have missed the mark! fabulous!

    Reply
    • Julie
      August 31, 2009 at 3:23 pm (6 years ago)

      Cupcake Dobos Tortes sound so cute!!

      Reply
  70. morgana
    September 4, 2009 at 2:32 am (6 years ago)

    Mmmmmmmmmm. Your Dobos looks fantastic. Great job.

    Reply
    • Julie
      September 4, 2009 at 6:13 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks!

      Reply
  71. evanescencia
    September 4, 2009 at 3:48 am (6 years ago)

    Wow!! Julie, your Dobos Torte looks luscious, and the topping layers are perfect.

    Great Job!!

    Hugs from Spain.
    Eva

    Reply
    • Julie
      September 4, 2009 at 6:13 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks Evanescencia!

      Reply

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