Dobos Torte – August Daring Bakers’ Challenge

August 27, 2009

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.

"finished" torte


This recipe started out pretty well. We (Beth and I) mixed up the sponge batter.  Took a little bit to get the whites whipped due to a 6 qt. Kitchen Aid, but we managed. 

whipped whites

We split them into 6 pans, baked them up and set them to cool.


Cake layers? Check!

We sat around for a little while taking care of my twins, talking, and watching TV. Once we had my girls settled we started to tackle the buttercream and the caramel. Now, I would like to preface this with the information that I have made buttercream dozens of times and caramel almost as many.

The buttercream seemed to be going ok.  We beat the eggs, added the chocolate to melt, and let it cool some before adding the butter. But the butter didn’t seem to want to blend. It was room temperature and soft, but cranky about joining the eggs and chocolate. We got it mixed, but it didn’t set up. We put it in the fridge for a 1/2 hour. Still didn’t set up. We put it back in the fridge for an hour. Still soup. *sigh*

buttercream soup

Buttercream? Check, but only if you like it REALLY soft…

Now the caramel… This was a stunner. I mixed my ingredients. Put it in the same size saucepan I always use. Put it on Beth’s electric stove and whisked.

whisking caramel

Whisking. Whisking. Whisking. Starts to bubble, I stop whisking and turn down the heat. Bubbles form. Lots of bubbles. Bubbles are rising…

bubbling sugar

Bubbles escape! Much hissing insues and the whole kitchen now smells like a burnt marshmallow. I pick up the pot. Swirl it around a bit, put it back on the heat. Bubbles start to rise again. Pick up. Swirl. Repeat.

I will mention at this point that I am holding my 6 month old daughter while doing this. She woke up unexpectedly so was joining us in our baking. In the midst of my swirling and lifting, I turn my head to kiss her on the cheek. Now mind you, this takes less than 2 seconds. As I turn my head back, I hear the hissing. Yup, boiled over again. As I lift the pot, something unexpected happens…


view the aftermath…

burning stove

I have been baking a long time and I must say this was a first. After a few seconds of panic and a little fanning, I simply lean over and blow it out. Goes out just like a marshmallow. I guess sugar fires are one of the easier household fires to extinguish.

Now if I thought it smelled like a burnt marshmallow before.. WOO! It’s like girl scout camp all over again now! The entire house is full of smoke, the fire alarms are going off and we’re opening every window in the house.

Caramel? Umm… no.

So, for the very first time I have been roundly defeated by a DBC. You win Dobos Torte! You win! But I’ll get you next time! Muwahahaha! And your little dog Toto, too…


One comment

  1. Oh no! Kitchen fires never good. 😦 Sorry you got defeated by the evil torte!

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