January 04, 2006

Dobos Tort

Dobos Slice
Dobos Slice

Dobos Tort is a nice cake. But it is a fair amount of work. It's a basic sponge cake with 6 layers, butter cream between each one, and a final layer on top that is coated with caramel prior to being cut into wedges and then afixed to the top with a dot of butter cream. Like with many cakes, the layers are moistened with a simple sugar during assembly. We used a bourbon flavored syrup this time, as it goes nice with the coffee in the buttercream.

The most interesting part of the Dobos Tort is how the sponge is made. It's a basic normal sponge made via the separated foam method (which means yolks and whites are processsed separately). However, the batter is spread directly into 7 circles, 10 inches each. This gets you nice and even layers, and you don't need to slice the cakes afterwards. It does, however, mean you need 7 half sized sheet pans for each cake, or you need to do them in two batches. My oven can just barely hold 4 pans at a time via some creative positioning.

Too many eggs

The eggs attempted to escape

I make butter cream via the "swiss" method, which basically means making a meringue. The egg whites are whipped to soft peaks and then hot (242 degrees F) sugar syrup is poured in. The whites continue to whip until completely cool. Note that the quantity I was using just barely fit into my Kitchenaid.

Nope, it didn't go over the edge.

However, the butter needed to be whipped in via two batches. Then the resulting buttercream needed to be stirred together, and finally the coffee flavor (visible next to the butter below) added. This all would have been easier if I had a 12 quart Hobart. But no home cook in their right mind normally makes 5 pound batches of buttercream.

Coffee flavor is made by boiling down coffee and sugar until a very very thick syrup results. The sugar actually carmelizes, which is part of the flavor. You want very little water to remain so that you don't break the structure of the buttercream once you add it.

Too much butter


3 pounds of butter. William. "Should I cut this up so it softens faster?" "Sure, that would be great."

Never leave your cooks alone without explict instructions, or you too shall have a stonehenge formed from butter. I think every single person with a camera photographed this. It was just too great not to.

Posted by dowdy at January 4, 2006 04:29 PM