The Dobos Torte is named after the well-known Hungarian confectioner, József C. Dobos who invented the cake in 1884 to keep for longer than other pastries, this is the clever purpose of the caramel top.
Dobos TorteFor the sponge:
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp good vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, beaten and at room temperature
- 200g self raising flour
- 25g corn flour
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 120 ml water
- 4 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 300g unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
- 150g dark chocolate min 70% cocoa solids
- 175g golden caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4 and line 2 x 20 cm sandwich tins with baking parchment. Oil a baking sheet and sit under a cooling tray to one side ready for the caramel finish.
- To make the sponge, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. When creamy, gradually beat in the caster sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Add the eggs, a little at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition and adding a spoon of the weighed flour with the last addition of egg. Sift the remaining flour and corn flour into the mix and gently fold with a large metal spoon until thoroughly encorporated but keep that air in!
- Divide your cake mix into six equal portions, best done by weight but you can try by eye. Spoon a portion onto each lined sandwich tin and spread evenly to approx 5mm depth. Bake in the preheated oven for approx 15 mins, the sponge should be firm to the touch and just turning golden in colour.
- Using a round edged knife to loosen the sponge, leave to cool for a couple of mins then turn out onto wire rack. Wipe and reline tin to repeat process until you have six layers.
- Now to make the buttercream. Put the sugar and water into a small heavy based pan and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil until the temperature reaches 110˚C on a sugar thermometer. To get to this temperature will take approx 5 mins, do not let the syrup caramelise. Whilst heating, put the egg yolks into a heatproof bowl and beat a little. Stand the bowl on a damp tea towel to stop it from slipping. Carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg yolks in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the mixture is thick, moussey and cold. Whisk in the soft butter gradually, then the chocolate.
- Decide on your best looking layer and put to one side for the top. Sandwich the remaining layers together and coat the top with the buttercream.
- This is the bit I found tricky and made me slightly nervy, making the caramel. Organise yourself first; put a wire rack over some baking paper to catch drips, oil a large sharp knife to mark the caramel top as it hardens where you will cut it and brush off any crumbs.
- To make the caramel, add 6 tbsp water to the caster sugar, again in a heavy based pan. Before heating, fill your sink with cold water to stop the sugar from browning further when ready and have a pastry brush in a cup of water to brush down any crystals that stick to the sides.
- Heat the sugar and water gently without boiling until all of the sugar has dissolved. Gently and very carefully tip and swirl the sugar in the pan – do not stir.
- Bring to a boil until chestnut brown then gently plunge the base of the pan into the cold water. Once no longer bubbling, it is ready to use but you need to move quickly.
- Pour over the top layer to coat completely – do not touch, this will give a nasty burn. Quickly mark the segments to be cut with the oiled knife and leave to cool for 30 mins. You can also twirl hazelnuts on wooden kebab sticks in the caramel and hold upside down until hard wisps stay put for decoration. Any droplets left on the baking paper can also be used to decorate the top layer.
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