Friday, August 28, 2009

Daring Bakers: Dobos Torta

First, the preliminary requirement:

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 Caff├ęs of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

August has been a particularly busy month around here, so I was finally able to squeeze in this baking project on the reveal day. Not to worry, though, the only difficult part of the process was dealing with the hot weather, which was especially hard on the butter and the resulting buttercream. Frequent trips to the refrigerator were on order during the frosting process.

The sponge cake was easy. It tasted like lady fingers to me, one of my favorite treats. I just drew circles on my parchment, slathered on the batter, and baked the six discs until just slightly golden. During assembly, I brushed each one with sugar syrup flavored with amaretto.

For the chocolate buttercream (which was our favorite part of the cake), I had to find the coolest place in the house for the cooling-down process. That was the laundry room. I also had to re-chill the butter briefly, since it was starting to turn to liquid. In the end, it turned out beautifully.

While the buttercream chilled, I made the caramel. Easy. It helps to have a heavy saucepan with a white interior, though, because you can quickly tell when the caramel is reaching the right color. I played around a bit with the shape of the sponge-layer top and made squiggles with the extra caramel. As much as we like caramel, this was our least favorite part of the cake.

For future reference, I would probably use the sixth layer as a regular cake layer and just make decorative pieces with the caramel alone. Beats having that little "cake top hat" on top, that is challenging to eat.

Overall, we enjoyed the cake. I'm amazed at all the variations from the Daring Bakers -- what a talented group! Can't wait to see what the September project will be.

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