Friday, April 6, 2012

Return of the Dobos Torte

We have been fans of the Dobos Torte for quite some time. As a matter of fact when there was an even greater Hungarian presence here we had them quite frequently.  At the time they came from Ursula's European Pastries which is regrettably now defunct.  We haven'tt found any other place that could make them and had reconciled to the fact that we would remain deprived until a bakery decided to offer one or someone was brave enough to attempt to make one.  Leave it to an undergraduate student who likes to bake to be the one to take it on.

What's in the box?
This looks familiar...
It's a Dobos Torte!
Caramelized cake slices on the top.
Dusting of ground nuts on the side!
If you don't know what a Dobos Torte is shame on you!  It is is a Hungarian cake named after its inventor, a well-known Hungarian confectioner, J√≥zsef C. Dobos (1847–1924) in 1884. It is a five-layer (at least) sponge cake, layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with thin caramel slices. The sides of the cake are sometimes coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts or almonds but the original cake is without coat, since it was a slice of a big cake. Dobosh or Dobos Torte (type of cake) was first introduced at the National General Exhibition of Budapest in 1885; Franz Joseph I and his Empress Elisabeth were among the first to taste it. The cake soon became popular throughout Europe as it was different from all others. It was simple but elegant, as opposed to the multi-layer, flaming cakes of the age. Its other secret was its use of fine buttercream, which was very little known at the time. The chocolate buttercream and the batter of the cake were both invented by Jozsef C. Dobos. (Thank you Wikipedia.)

I don't know if baking or research is more fun!

Happy Birthday!
Quite a birthday surprise!

Authentic caramelized top...
...ground nuts on the side and whole nuts in buttercream florets on the top!
It is a very elegant looking cake especially with the caramel slices set askew on the top.  Our student friend decided to make one to celebrate the birthday of her Hungarian mentor, you know, the one who had his naming day about a month ago.  We are starting to wonder if this student is getting more assignments related to baking than medical research. As our Zoltan said, she nailed it.  With only Ursula's to compare it with in the US, our student's product was nearly identical in taste. The buttercream was perfect, her seven layers were light and not overwhelmed by the cream and the caramel on top was just as we had had it before.  She added some Hazenut dust on the sides and some Hazelnut and buttercream florets as decoration but also to stabilize the caramel slices on the top.  It was picture perfect in addition to be delicious. Everyone was duly impressed and we're convinced this student is heading into the wrong career.  The cake was also so impressive looking that folks wanted to have their picture taken with it. 
Seven layers not counting the caramel!

The secret to holding the caramel slice in place!

It must take a lot of patience to get all these layers!

Just like you see in the pictures!

The cake's almost as pretty as we are!

So Happy Birthday to Zoltan, who is 25 again, and welcome back to Dobos!

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