Daring Bakers: 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.


“Spectacular” is quite a daring word, don’t you think? The first time I logged on the the DB site in August and read the description and recipe that Angela and Lorraine had chosen I was a wee bit intimidated. The most layers my cakes have ever had is two.

This one was supposed to have five.

Actually, mine ended up with seven I think. I lost count. Which I think is ok coz apparently you can come across recipes for the Dobos Torta with up to 12 layors…

I aimed to do it on Saturday but due to other creative activies (wedding invite making) it wasn’t until Sunday evening that I had any time to do it. So I made the sponge layers then, which ended up being totally fun and not at all intimidating. There are TEN eggs in this cake. Six in the sponge and four in the icing. And I really love breaking eggs. I particularly enjoy seperating them and that’s what you had to do for six of them.

So there I was, standing in Rasmus’ kitchen, with the sun going down outside, him typing away on his computer at the table, the flat quiet and me seperating eggs. After a very busy weekend it was a little moment of wonderfulness.

And the layers were much easier than I expected. I followed the instructions exactly (ish) and it worked like a dream. I put them in the fridge over night and went back Monday night to work on the buttercream and the toffee layer.

Which was slightly less wonderful. The buttercream was meant to be done in a bain marie but I did not have a bowl that worked so I improvised and got confused and it took a while to be done. Then I had no idea what toffee looks like when it is done and the recipe didn’t say how long it took to get to this point so I stood over the cooker for about twenty minutes wringing my hands and mumbling to myself.

They both worked out fine. The toffee is the kind that will make your teeth stick together for the next ten years, but is what makes the cake special. I put it all together, including a mini version that I had made with the leftover batter.


Rasmus and I ate the mini one on Monday night which turned out to be non-so-mini and rather filling after the big plate of spaghetti bolognaise. I think we both agreed it was good cake, a bit sweet (you don’t want to hear how much sugar there is in this baby), but nice. I don’t know if I’d go through all that faff again because I don’t think it was incredibly special but it has made me want to experiment with more layer cakes.

I took the big one to a dinner I had with my beautiful girls on Tuesday night…


My evenings with these ladies never fail to put me in a fantastic mood, they bring me tangible joy. And this night was no exception, sitting on Marissa’s terrace as the sun went down, the grill was fired up, and much much *loud* conversation was had by all. With a lot of laughing.

And cake eating.


See! Look how excited she is to eat the cake… 🙂 And how awesome are the red twinkle lights?!