Mini Dobos Torta

To do or Not to do was question for this month's daring baker challenge.The aftermath of moving was tiring ,Ramadan commencing ,but the luscious 5 layered sponge cake was too tempting to skip and with a special day to celebrate,the decadent cake was the best dessert I could treat myself with.I baked 2 mini dobos(with 6 layers each) ,skipped the eggs for the butter cream,used low fat cream cheese and 100% cocoa powder for the rich dark chocolate frosting.And the pretty pink mini dobos with rose syrup cream cheese frosting,reminded me of the sweet and innocent side of childhood.I'm a year older now and definitely a year nuttier :D.

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.

what is the Dobos Torta (or Torte)?
The Dobos Torta is a five-layer sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate buttercream and topped with thin wedges of caramel. (You may come across recipes which have anywhere between six and 12 layers of cake; there are numerous family variations!) It was invented in 1885 by József C. Dobos, a Hungarian baker, and it rapidly became famous throughout Europe for both its extraordinary taste and its keeping properties. The recipe was a secret until Dobos retired in 1906 and gave the recipe to the Budapest Confectioners' and Gingerbread Makers' Chamber of Industry, providing that every member of the chamber can use it freely.


* 2 baking sheets
* 4 inch round cookie cutter
* 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
* piping bag and tip, optional

Prep times

* Sponge layers 20 mins prep, 40 mins cooking total if baking each layer individually.
* Cream Cheese Frosting: 2 minutes
* Caramel layer: 10-15 minutes.
* Assembly of whole cake: 20 minutes

Sponge cake layers

* 4 large Organic eggs, separated, at room temperature
* 3/4 cup (162g) confectioner's (icing) sugar, divided
* 3/4 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup all purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon corn starch
* pinch of salt

Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting

* 4 oz pack Low fat Cream cheese at room temperature
* 1/2 cup (100g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar
* 1/4 cup 100% cocoa powder(or use 2 tablespoon pink rose syrup for pink frosting)
* 2 tablespoon Organic butter,softened

Caramel topping

* 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)

Finishing touches

* 12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
* ½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnuts

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.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.)
3.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.
4.Line the baking sheet with parchment paper, spread about half the batter in an even layer 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 a 5 inch cookie cutter and cut each cake layer into a neat rounds.

Directions for the chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

Whip all the ingredients together in a large bowl,use a hand held mixer or a whisk to make a smooth frosting.

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 cream cheese frosting into six equal parts.
2.Place a dab of chocolate frosting on the middle of each cake layer. Spread and repeat with 5 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 frosting, 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.

I (Angela) am quite happy to store this cake at room temperature under a glass dome, but your mileage may vary. If you do decide to chill it, then I would advise also using a glass dome if you have done. I should also note that the cake will cut more cleanly when chilled.

A mini slice for Angela and lorraine for the delicious challenge.Check out other daring bakers dobos.


Hari Chandana P said…
Wow... mouth watering pics... looks soo delicious... :)
Indian Khana said…
Oh my that's looks so fab..yum....nice way to celebrate your bday dear....
Awww Happy Birthday and what a lovely birthday treat for yourself! I love the idea of a rose buttercream on the Dobos plus it looks so pretty! :)
sabah said…
Happy birthday Yasmeen! your cake is amaaaazing.
I wonder if you still have a piece, I would not say no.
Aalya said…
Wonderful cake...I just love Dobos! I had Dobos cake as one of my cake tiers when I got married...oh so yum! Love the pink variation!
Thanks for sharing!
Chef Jeena said…
Looks fabulous Yasmeen I especially like the rose cream. Happy birthday!
Shri said…
Absolutely gorgeous!I love how you arranged the caramel tops
Big Boys Oven said…
such a beautiful, I just love the layering! well done! Happy Birthday!
Dewi said…
Beautiful and perfectly layer. Well done on this month challenge!
Recipeswap said…
So many beautiful layers of goodness........awesome click.
Jen said…
OMG..a stunning cake with layers of deliciousness.
Very well done! Your cakes look really beautiful! I love the pink one...


Gita Jaishankar said…
Birthday Wishes Yasmeen...what a decadent way to celebrate :)
Parita said…
Wow the cake looks fantastic! i too made my first DB challenge this month :)
Anonymous said…
Your two mini tortes look gorgeous. I especially love the pink one - innocent and delicate. Well done!
Nithya said…
Happy b day dear.. Torta looks so tempting. Wish I could have it. :)
Meeta K. Wolff said…
lovely way to go with the challenge. wishing you all the very best Yasmeen!
sangeeta said…
it looks fantastic but seems like hard work.....all the pics are amazing.
Shah cooks said…
ooh.. nw this is something i am not gonna attempt for another 3 yrs abut i can gaze soulfully at ur pics hoping u would sent some my way!:)
sathya said…
Beautiful tortes! Happy Birthday!
Vrinda said…
This dessrt is new to me...i had made 3 layered sponge cake,great effort and looks gorgeous..
Varsha Vipins said…
Voila ..look at those u have turned super woman with an age more(not that u were not before,but just became'more')..after tiring shift,I took almost one month rest n u did this ..amazingg..!!..loveeeeeddd the pics Yas..hope u had a great bday..:)
Anu said…
WOW mouthwatering pictures... looks so yummmyyyyyyyyyyy!!!
maybelle's mom said…
i love the pink one and happy birthday.
Linda said…
I love the final result of your torte, the caramel layer looks great. What a beautiful cake for your birthday, happy birthday! Must of been difficult to not be tempted to eat it due to ramadan
Faith said…
Oooh, you did a beautiful job! :)
Raks said…
Wow,that should have made ur b'day so special for sure!!
Sharmila said…
Happy b'day Yasmeen! What a lovely piece of art! Great snaps! :-)
Shabs.. said…
Belated Birthday wishes from my side Yasmeen. Sure u did have a great B'day with this wonderful piece of art....wudnt mind if u wud pass me some though....:)....Very nice pics...wud love to give it a try someday!...After seeing it in so many blogs now, have made me drool enough!!
Priya Suresh said…
Wow such a lovely torte, looks fantastic...
Pari Vasisht said…
That is indeed a great way of treating yourself on your birthday.
Love the dessert.
Belated birthday wishes, Yasmeen. Love the layers in your cake. And the rose syrup version sounds good. Have some in the fridge I need to use up. :)
Shaheen said…
What a work of art.

and happy belated birthday to you.
Anonymous said…
Gorgeous and I especially love the rose cream one! Happy birthday to you!
Mythreyi Dilip said…
Belated B'Day wishes, cake looks delicious....
test it comm said…
Those layered tortas look so good! I like the wedges of caramel topping!
Renus Kitchen said… is hard work and you did it....wonderful pictures
lubnakarim06 said…
Love those clear distinct layers.....
Kerstin said…
Oh wow, it's beautiful! I'm very impressed with how well your caramel turned out! Happy Birthday!
Dori said…
Wow, you have made it look so beautiful, very talented!
Barbara Bakes said…
Really gorgeous, perfect layers! Great job!