Saturday, August 29, 2009

My first daring bakers challenge!

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.

I had my parents and Nick's parents over for dinner to officially meet for the first time and I decided that this would be the perfect dessert for such a meeting. I, personally, had never heard of a Dobos Torte until this challenge but I was so excited to give it a try. While the 6 layers seemed daunting, I was determined to get it right. My eagerness paid off because the end results were absolutely fantastic!

The dobos torte is a multi-step process. First you start with thin sponge cake layers. My first attempt at making the sponge cake layer was a dismal failure. I tried to interpret the directions the best I could but having never made a sponge cake before I wasn't sure how long I was supposed to beat the eggs. Needless to say, I severely underestimated how "frothy" they were supposed to be and the first attempt resulted in something more resembling crepes than sponge cake.

In frustration, I decided to youtube how to make a sponge cake. After watching a few videos I felt a little more confident about what the batter should look like so I tried again. This time I was highly successful! Another trick I used was instead of making a circle on parchment paper and filling in said circle, I just covered the bottom of a springform pan. It was easy and resulted in even circles.

I made the buttercream frosting and top caramel layer just as stated in the recipe. However, when putting all the layers together, I brushed a thin coat of hazelnut liqeuer on each of the sponge cakes and I used ferrero rochers to hold up the caramelized pinwheel layer, as opposed to a plain hazelnut. YUM!

Verdict: HUGE SUCCESS! It was amazing. Both my dad and my BFF said it was better than Sweet Life (an amazing local patisserie that my family frequents religiously). Nick's parents, who typically eat less than the average four year old ate a generous portion of lasagna, salad, bread, and zucchini (Nick's dad even had seconds!) and still managed to eat all of their serving of Dobos Torte. Which is especially amazing because 1. they aren't big on desserts 2. the servings were twice the size they should be since I couldn't cut in to the caramel layer.

I will definitely be making this again sometime. It requires a lot of time and effort but if you find baking therapeutic and/or fun I definitely recommend trying it. Next time I am going to follow Audex Artifax's brilliant idea of making chocolate sponge cake layers soaked in coffee with alternating coconut and chocolate buttercream frosting. Mmm...

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