Dobos Torte (Hungarian Layer Cake)




Introduction: Dobos Torte (Hungarian Layer Cake)

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.

Ingredients: Cake
9 eggs, separated (That is not a 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)
Parchment paper
Mixer or whisk
Measuring cups/spoons
Mixing bowl
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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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Where are the crushed candy bar bits between the layers? Errr.. I mean, have you ever heard of "Smith Island Cake" before?

    Anyway, most recipes call for half as many eggs and they don't separate them either. But it's interesting that the cakes look so much alike, even if the recipe is clearly different.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks delicious, Anna. One question for you about the ingredients, what is "sweet butter"? I've never come across that term before. Does it go by another name?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I've always took it to mean unsalted, as that is usually what is called for in baking. However, i wanted to look it up before responding to make sure.

    I found this definition on eHow:

    The designation "sweet cream butter" arose from the need to differentiate it from traditional cultured butter made from soured cream. Sweet cream butter was introduced in the 1940s when the dairy industry switched to machines that could not effectively use soured cream. Since the taste was markedly different, the need for new terminology arose. Today, sweet cream butter is the norm, while traditional cultured butter is found in specialty stores.

    So pretty much any butter in the US is sweet cream butter, but still go for unsalted or lightly salted for baking. Glad you asked!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    omg... I was JUST looking at a Dobos Torte recipe not 3 minutes ago. Too weird.

    Oh... great recipe! Sorry... I just feel like I'm in the twilight zone. 8-/