August 27, 2009

The Dobos Torte (Hungarian "Drum" Cake) –An Eggless Chocolate & Orange Version: Daring Bakers Challenge, August 2009


Yes, we Daring Bakers are back at making cake again and we're going Hungarian this time!
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.
The Dobos Torte (or Torta) is a 5 layer sponge cake (these cakes have been made with between 6 and 12 layers), filled with a rich chocolate buttercream and topped with thin wedges of caramel, was invented in 1885 by József C. Dobos, a Hungarian baker.




While we were expected to make the layered cake and the caramel layer was compulsory, the choices of the shape and size of our cake, number of layers in our cakes and the buttercream flavour was left to us.
For me, this cake challenge was timely, as it was my husband's birthday this month. This cake was the centre piece at a surprise birthday get together our daughter and I organized to celebrate his birthday.



My Dobos Torte Experience:


I had never heard of this cake before this challenge and wanted to retain as much of its original flavours as possible. We love chocolate and the fact that József Dobos chose that to be the main flavour in his cake helped me lean in that direction!

What had me stumped initially was that this recipe required 6 eggs for the sponge cakes and 4 eggs for the buttercream. I really had no idea if I would be successful at substituting for 10 eggs!!

However I found Bryanna Clark Grogan's sponge cake recipe at Vegan Yum Yum, which I used to make my sponge cakes. The recipe, which follows, is my halved and adapted version of Bryanna's recipe. It isn't vegan but contains no eggs.

I didn't have the suggested size jelly roll pans, so I used my two 8" round cake tins. The following recipe gave me a little over 2 cups of batter. I divided the batter equally between the two cake tins, which gave me 2 sponge layers.
I made the cake batter three times which gave me 6 layers in all.
I then made a rectangular sponge using the one small jelly roll pan I have, with a half recipe of batter for the caramel layer.



For the chocolate buttercream, I used the given recipe and just substituted the eggs with milk and cornstarch as in this recipe, the eggs were cooked to form a sort of custard base for the buttercream.
I also made an orange flavoured soaking by heating about 3/4 cup sweet orange marmalade with 1/4 cup water to make a thick syrup.



Ingredients:


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour + 1 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

25 gm butter, softened

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract



Method:


Oil two 8" cake tins and line with lightly oiled parchment (or aluminium foil) to cover the bottom and sides to a height of about 2". This will allow you to lift the entire cake out of the pan without breaking it. The oil helps the parchment stick to the pan, so it doesn’t slip while pouring in the batter.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the butter, water, and lemon juice and beat well with an electric mixer for about a minute. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again.

Pour the batter into the lined cake tin and bake at 190C for about 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the top is lightly browned, and the center springs back to your touch. Allow to cool in pan until just warm.

This makes 2 sponge layers. Repeat to make as many layers as you want (I made 6 layers and one rectangular layer which I cut into smaller rectangular pieces for the caramel sponge layer).



Eggless Chocolate Buttercream


Ingredients:


5 tbsps milk

2 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 cup caster sugar

3/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped

225 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature.



Method:


Make this in advance and keep chilled in the fridge.

Dissolve the cornstarch in about 2 tbsp of water. Melt the chocolate in a large bowl, over a double boiler. Add the sugar to the melted chocolate and whisk till well incorporated into the chocolate.

Now add the dissolved cornstarch and keep whisking till the chocolate thickens. Take the bowl of the heat and cool to room temperature. The chocolate mixture will thicken some more.

The beat in the butter, a few tbsps at a time into the chocolate mixture with an electric mixer till soft and velvety. Chill in the fridge till ready to use.



Caramel topping


Ingredients:


1 cup caster sugar

12 tablespoons water

4 teaspoons lemon juice



Method:


Put all the ingredients in a pan and stir till the sugar dissolves. Now bring the mixture to boil, stirring gently once in a while. Once the mixture starts boiling, turn down the heat to medium and allow the sugar syrup to caramelize and turn amber. Stir gently if you must but do not agitate the syrup.
This syrup is meant to be cooked till amber, but I didn't want a hard caramel layer. So I took the syrup off the heat when it was a deep golden colour and generously spooned the syrup over the rectangular sponge pieces. Allow to set.

I followed the given instructions to assemble the torte. I used the orange flavoured soaking syrup on the layers before sandwiching then with chocolate buttercream. The buttercream was soft and "melty" at room temperature, so refrigerating the cake after every application of buttercream was a must.

After covering the torte with the buttercream, I used a little buttercream as "glue" to stick the caramel pieces on the side of the torte.
I decided to leave the rest of the torte plain and decorated the top with chocolate covered wafer balls.



Verdict:


This Dobos Torte is very rich and slightly on the sweeter side. It's perfect for a special occasion and was a hit with my husband, our daughter and most of our guests. There's always bound to be a few who aren't fond of rich sweet cakes and I'm one of them! I cut the cake into 12 slices, but I think it would have been better if I had cut it into 16 pieces considering how rich it was.




I took my caramel off the heat a bit earlier so it was sticky rather than hard. The sponge pieces absorbed the caramel to produce a slightly chewy layer which was better than hard caramel, but wasn't really very nice.

The fudgy buttercream was much nicer than I expected but meant that I had to keep the cake refrigerated except whaen I was ready to serve it. There was one slice left for the next day, and I must say the torte tasted better the next day.
My layers weren't quite as thin as I would have liked, but I was quite happy on the whole with my effort and the torte.

Now I'm off to see all other Dobos Torte out there.


69 comments:

Divya Kudua said...

The cake looks spectacular Aparna..I mean,look at the slices...!!!A 2 layer cake gives me nightmares and here you are with a 6 layer one..??Mindblowing..I am sure your hubby would have been one happy birthday boy..who wouldn't be???

Belated birthday wishes to your hubby and belated anniversary wishes to you guys:)

♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ said...

Good job Aparna! Loved the layers...should say I am envious! ;)

Eat4Fun said...

Great looking cake... I like the way you applied the caramel layer for the drum-look. It's very cool looking.

Pavithra said...

OMg thats looking awesome yah...looks so tempting and perfect good job... really drooling.. hats off to u

Lone Acorn said...

Cakes are just wonderful. Specially orange version is delicious. It has a distinct aroma and a different taste which takes into heaven. Superb work.

roma said...

AWESOME! You are becoming really professional with your cakes, Divya! This one sounds unique too.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Aparna, you deserve an award not just for your beautiful Dobos but finding a way to make it eggless but still delicious! :D You're truly a Daring Baker :D

roma said...

Oops! Sorry, I meant aparna :)

Shabs.. said...

OMG OMG....what a beauty!!A lovely perfect cake. Loved it....keep up th egood work,
Im following u......

jayasri said...

Wow, absolutely perfect, look at all the layers, you are a epitome of patience, that too an eggless version, YOU ARE A DARING BAKER, belated birthday greetings from me to your hubby dear, AWESOME, I don't have words to describe, a very delicious looking cake

Malaysian Delicacies said...

The cake look luvly and no doubt taste excellent.

Priya Narasimhan said...

I have adopted you as my guru for baking eggless cakes. :-) the torte looks fantastic..i will try all your eggless versions of daringbakers challenge then will try to join the group..(thats my secret loooong term plan)

limo hire said...

The cake looks Fantastic... and we thanks to you for its recipe ... actually today is my friend's birthday and we give him a beautiful cake.

fairy_mi said...

Hi! Just had to say Your vegan version for dobos torte is so incredible!
I can hardly believe there aren't any eggs on it!
I also really like your presentation
Great job!
Inbal
(also a DB)

bake in paris said...

You made the most outstanding decoration for this challenge. It looks classic and stunning!

Regards
Kris

Curry Leaf said...

ANOTHER MASTERPIECE FROM YOU APARNA.A 2 layer cakes keeps me in knots and pins,I will never ever dream of making a seven layer cake.Exquisite creation

Mary Teresa said...

Ohhh. It looks delicious! My cake layers were on the thicker side too, but I must say that I liked them like that. Great challenge!

MeetaK said...

i am always keen to see your eggless versions. this was a tough one and you did such a great job - making an eggless sponge! perfect aparna!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your torte turned out fantastic! I love the way you decorated it with the caramelized slice...

Yes, I always wondered how people who live in places like India do to bake such cakes... Now, I know ;-p!

Cheers,

Rosa

Hari Chandana said...

WOWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!
What a wonderful cake.. looks sooo delicious n tempting.. lovely clicks.. keep rocking.. :)

Zita said...

See...this is what I mean... how could I not make a cake like yours... so neat, perfectly balance layers and eegless too...argh..just envious like Ria said :)

Laura said...

Beautiful job. Lovely cake and fantastic work making the whole thing without eggs! Very creative putting the caramel pieces on the side!

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

Aparna!! I love your Dobos! You have such an eye for design. I am very impressed at how you managed to deal with the high number of eggs in this recipe and also delighted that everyone liked this cake. Happy belated birthday to your husband!

maybelle's mom said...

as always, perfection. good job.

Anonymous said...

I just love your Dobos! Its so clean and simple. I love it!!!

Aran said...

well done!!

mandymortimer said...

Beautifully done! Your layers are perfectly even and lovely :D

Audax said...

Well I don't think for an instant that the layers are too thick they look perfect in ratio to all the other elements in the torta. And yes it is better the next day. Your eye for decoration is pure genuis. A great challenge well done. I and love how you did it 'eggless'. Brilliant and kudos to you. Cheers from Audax in Australia

Lauren said...

Gorgeous job!! Your cake looks amazing =D. I love your presentation with the caramel!

dandelion said...

Your layers are so even. If your not a professional you sure to present like one. The photos look edible. Your vertical caramel layer really shows your imagination and flair. See you next month.

Yasmeen said...

Awesome work Aparna,I skipped the eggs too but only in the frosting :D

syrupandhoney said...

Great job making an eggless version of this already challenging torte! Love the chocolate and orange combination.

singinghorse said...

Aparna, you certainly were extremely successful at subbing the 10 eggs. Your torte came out so neat and pretty. I love the design (toffee layers as sides). Beautifully done! I'm not surprised though. :)

Jill said...

You are so creative! I love the decoration and how your cake is so even and I can't stop looking at it. :)

karuna said...

this looks absolutely out of this world. and tht too eggless. hats off! great job.

Tartelette said...

It turned out beautiful! More than that: gorgeous! And definitely fit for a birthday! Yum!

Fahrenheit 350° said...

You and I had similar ideas about the placement of the caramel, although I substituted brittle for the caramel... long story. Anyways... gorgeous as always!

KMDuff said...

Your cake is very beautiful! I love the caramel on the sides making it look like a drum! What a lovely version!

Wolf said...

Chocolate and orange sounds divine! I love how you put the caramel parts on the sides rather than the top.}:)

Engineer Baker said...

What a gorgeous surprise birthday cake! I love how you used the caramel for the sides rather than the top.

ice tea: sugar high said...

The cake looks stunning Aparna! sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy it.

Elra said...

How beautiful and very clever putting the caramel layer on the side instead of on top. And oh, your layers look so perfect too.

anna said...

I love your cakey panels on the side! Very sophisticated.

sra said...

Funnily enough, the layers in the cake remind me of bebinca! Happy Birthday to the spouse!

CookiePie said...

WOW - what a spectacular, beautiful cake. Wonderful! And how amazing that you made it all eggless!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Awesome cake... Eggless too...

sleepingbearinthekitchen said...

I am always amazed at how you Alternate DBers get around the eggs, the flour etc....and your cake is no exception. Subbing 10 eggs and arriving at the beautiful cake you produced sends me reeling. Great work!!!

Lisa said...

I'm amazed that you managed to turn out one of the most gorgeous Dobos I've seen minus eggs..wait, scratch that, you always manage to sub ingredients and get amazing results! Your Dobos is stunning, and as someone mentioned above, it does look like a drum, a beautiful, delicious drum! Perfectly clean layers too!

farida said...

You managed to make such a perfect looking cake without eggs. Kudos to you! YOur cake looks so professional!

chef_d said...

Beautiful looking cake!

chef_d said...

Beautiful looking cake!

isa said...

What a beautiful cake! I love your presentation - your caramel looks perfect!

Holly said...

Absolutely beautiful, you cake is probably one of my favorites from this challenge. Stunning! Great Job!

Dips said...

Great job in the challenge and specially for the vegetarian sponge cake recipe...I messed up in that, the 3 tsp soda called for was too much..I knew , still I tried it :(
Your substitutions seem great !!

John said...

I love your cakes. This cake would be best when paired up with a glass of juice during my practices when learning how to play drums .

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow...near...clean and perfect presentation....looks yum....

Cheri said...

I love the way that you adapted this cake. It turned out beautifully and adding an orange simple syrup sounds so yummy. Looks delish!

Barbara Bakes said...

What a challenge to make a sponge without eggs. Great job on the challenge! It looks delicious!

raquel said...

amazing! you did an awesome job, and an eggless one at that!

Soma said...

gorgeous pictures & very neat layers Aparna! you made sponge cake without eggs! Kudos to you!

Lis said...

I loved this cake when I saw it on the forums.. especially how you used the caramel layer on the sides instead of on top - it just made a gorgeous cake!

Glad it went well at the party! Happy belated birthday to your hubby! :)

xoxoxoxxo

tonic said...

Your dobos is beautiful and very creative. Love how you decorated it!

Cakelaw said...

A gorgeous cake Aparna - well done!

anubhavati said...

Hey Aparna,

It`s been some time since I came...The cake looks YUm YUm YUm and very firm and rich. I am sure your husband would have been thrilled. Substituting ten eggs ...my my that`s a feat in itself! Great job Aparna. Keep rokcing!

Hannah said...

The way you chose to decorate your dobos torte is so unique- I just love it! All those layers look so tasty, too. :)

Michael and Kenna said...

Aparna, I'm with you on the caramel. Mine turned out very similar....Great job with the challenge!

trishtator said...

Great job on the egg substitutions...it certainly was a lot of eggs. What a beautiful torte!

evanescencia said...

Great job!! Your Dobos Torte is very original. It looks luscious, I like so much the caramel layers and they make a very beutiful efect.

Hugs from Spain.
Eva

Aparna said...

Gosh!
Appreciate all your comments and support. Couldn't do all this without you all.
Guess why I'm a Daring Baker? :)