Introduction: Dobos Torte (Hungarian Layer Cake)
Finalist in the
Scanpan Family Recipes Challenge
This is a traditional birthday cake in the Juhasz family. If you have a large family, it may be dangerous to make it for every one of them, but if you want a change from the two layer box cake to a 7 layer cake made from scratch, this may be your guy.
Attached are scans of some pages from my family's cookbook, but am retyping the ingredients and directions (and adding any extra notes) along with the appropriate steps. Original directions in italics. While this collection was compiled in 1999, this particular cake recipe has been used for generations.
Fun fact: The Dobos Torte was created by Jozsef Dobos in 1884. The most traditional version is topped with a caramel layer, but that isn't how my family rolls.
9 eggs, separated (That is not a typo...it is really 9 eggs)
1 scant cup of vanilla sugar*
1 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
Ingredients: Chocolate Cream Filling
6 oz semisweet chocolate or 3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sweet butter
1 lb sifted confectioner's sugar
1 egg white
Materials and Tools
Cake pans (at least two)
Mixer or whisk
Small bowls for separating eggs (recommended)
Step 1: Prepare Your Pans
Prepare 9-inch cake tins for baking: cut 7 circles of waxed paper, brown paper, or parchment to fit the bottom of the pans, grease the bottom of each one with butter, place the paper in it and grease that as well. Set pans aside until ready to use. Preheat oven to 400o.
Step 2: Separate Your Eggs
The egg whites will be whipped, so absolutely no yellow can be included. This is why I strongly recommend separating eggs one at a time between two small bowls. Once you have successful separation, the white goes in the whites bowl and the yolk in the yolk bowl.
Considering how many eggs are involved, the little added time may save you from wasting several eggs!
Step 3: Beat It
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy; continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. Set aside...for now.
Step 4: Batter Up
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until lemon-colored and very hick. About 1/4 cup at a time, sift the flour on top of the egg yolk and sugar mixture and fold in. Mix a tablespoon of beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Keep a light touch throughout, handling the batter just enough to make sure it is evenly blended.
Step 5: Measure Out Batter and Bake
Take a prepared pan and spread one seventh of the batter* on the bottom as evenly as possible. Let the batter touch the sides of the pan at several points. Place it in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cake hardens and begins to turn color. Remove from the pan with a spatula, invert, and quickly but carefully tear off the paper. Cool on a rack. Continue in this fashion until all the layers are baked. During the baking time prepare the filling as follows:
* One seventh isn't really an easy thing to judge...and the amount of batter can vary a little based on the fluffiness of the eggs. Finding any consistent measure will be fine. I used an ice cream scoop and filled it two and a half times for each layer. you may end up +/- one layer from the expectation.
My grandmother said that another way to measure is to bake the layers on an upside down cake pan, so that the batter perfectly covered the "top" without dripping over the edge. I'm not going to try that.
Step 6: Chocolate Cream Filling
Cream butter and egg white - add sugar. Moisten cocoa with water until it forms a paste and add to mixture. Beat until fluffy.
Step 7: The Frosting on the Cake
Spread filling on layers evenly (saving the best layer for top).
Frost the outside of the cake.
For a pre-Dobos torte main dish, here's another Hungarian fav, Chicken Paprikas.
Enjoy these recipes with your family too!
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