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Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake

by Adina 11/11/2017 10 comments

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake
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One of the best cakes ever: traditional Hungarian Dobos Torte with several layers of pastry and chocolate buttercream and a sinfully delicious caramel topping.

This Dobos cake is amazing, I am telling you! Not the quickest one to make, but so worth it!

 

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Caramel

 

HUNGARIAN DOBOS TORTE

I mean, the Dobos torte is really not that difficult to make, but it does require a bit of patience, baking all those layers will take some time and making the buttercream and the caramel also mean spending a bit of time in front of the stove, but the result will be one of the best cakes you have ever eaten.

I am really not a chocolate person, I rarely crave it and when I do, it is mostly in form of a cake, something like Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Cheesecake or this Chocolate Gateau with Chocolate Cream Filling.

But, although chocolate is not my thing, not the way it is for most people I know, I swear I could eat a piece of this Dobos Torte at least once a week until the day I die!

You will not believe the taste of that chocolate buttercream (the best I have ever tasted), the creaminess and comfort of it, the crunch and deliciousness of that caramel topping – a chocolate cake dream come true!

DOBOS CAKE

Dobos Torte is a very well-known cake in Romania, especially in Transylvania and I suppose in many other parts of the world. Nonetheless I have never eaten it in Romania; cake, chocolate and sweets generally were not my thing as a child, so I was never tempted.

Actually the idea of eating buttercream in those days and actually up until recently (only 5-6 years ago or so) was outrageous to me. I suppose that came from my grandmother, who never ate any butter or white milk products and who considered that people using these products in their cooking or cakes were bad cooks, who knew nothing about good food… Go figure!

Well, I have always liked butter and milk products, but still the idea of having so much butter in my mouth was still not very appealing. That changed when I had the chance to taste a really good buttercream for the first time.

 

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Caramel

 

HISTORY OF DOBOS TORTE

According to Wikipedia the Dobos Torte was invented by a Hungarian confectioner Jozsef C. Dobos in 1884.

He “aimed to create a cake that would last longer than other pastries in an age when cooling techniques were limited”. The cake became so popular that it was ordered in cities like Vienna, Berlin or Paris and people were able to transport it there by cart with horses, packed in wooden boxes filled with ice.

Jozsef C. Dobos kept his recipe secret for over 20 years and only revealed it in 1906 when he decided to retire. Therefore, many versions of the Dobos Torte were born during this period of time.

Nowadays, people following the original recipe claim that the cake must have six layers of pastry made with eggs, butter, sugar, a little flour and a pinch of salt. The upper layer must be covered in crunchy caramel and the buttercream has to be made with butter and not margarine and has to use Belgian chocolate with 53% cocoa in it.

Well, I did not use Belgian chocolate but German chocolate, Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake and as I haven’t read the original recipe I am not entirely sure how close I’ve came, but I suppose pretty close, the cake was just soooo good!

Recipe source: Savori Urbane (in Romanian).

 

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Caramel

 

HOW TO MAKE DOBOS TORTE?

First of all, this will make a rather small cake, at least for German standards, we are used to cakes of 26 cm/ about 10 inches diameter around here. The Dobos Torte has a diameter of about 22 cm/ about 8.5 inches.

But do not worry, the cake is so rich, you will most likely not be able to eat more than one slice, no matter how much you like it.

How to make the batter for Dobos torte?

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius/ 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Separate the eggs.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff, add half of the icing sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small pan and let cool until you beat the egg yolks.
  5. In another bowl beat together the egg yolks and the remaining icing sugar. Give the egg whites to the egg yolks and incorporate carefully.
  6. Add the melted and cooled butter to the mixture and incorporate.
  7. Carefully fold in the flour.

How to bake the cake layers?

  1. Draw 6 circles of 22 cm/ 8.5 inches diameter on 6 sheets of baking paper.
  2. Weigh the batter into another bowl. Divide the quantity into 6 equal portions.
  3. You could do this only by estimating without the help of a scale, but I have never had good experiences with estimating, in the end there is always a layer that is thicker or thinner than the others. So I prefer to be exact and use a scale. It does mean an extra bowl to wash in the end, but that is less annoying than having weird looking cake layers.
  4. Place one piece of baking paper with the circle on it on a baking tray. Spread one portion of the batter on the circle you drew on the baking paper. Use a long batter spatula to do that and make sure that the batter layer is even. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden.
  5. Repeat with the remaining 5 batter portions. Let cool all of them completely.

 

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Caramel

 

How to make buttercream for Dobos torte?

  • The egg mixture for the buttercream is made in a double boiler (bain-marie) and you will have to pay attention that the eggs don’t curdle. That is why stirring and very low heat are important.
  • When making anything in a double boiler, you should never let the water come to a boil, the water should be hot but not boiling. If you notice that it starts to simmer, remove the pot from the heat source and wait until it cools down a bit again.
  • You should keep stirring during this time as well and turn on the heat again, if necessary, when the water stops simmering.
  • The same procedure is necessary to melt the chocolate. Again, pay attention, the water in the double boiler should not boil at any time.
  • When adding the egg-chocolate mixture to the butter make sure that they are both at room temperature.
  • Add the chocolate to the butter one tablespoon at a time and mix thoroughly in between.

Making buttercream step by step:

  1. Use European style butter with 82% fat content to make buttercream. A lower fat content of the butter might cause problems when making buttercream.
  2. Take the butter out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature (very important).
  3. Beat the 4 eggs, the icing sugar, the vanilla sugar and the salt in a double boiler (bain-marie) until it thickens slightly. It took me about 13 minutes to achieve that stadium, but stand by and beat the mixture continuously until it thickens slightly.
  4. Do not let the water come to a boil at any time, that will make the eggs curdle.
  5. Take the mixture off the heat and continue beating it until it cools slightly.
  6. Set aside and leave it to cool a bit more.
  7. Stir from time to time.
  8. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (bain-marie) as well.
  9. Let it cool slightly and add it to the egg mixture. Incorporate well.
  10. Leave the mixture to come to room temperature.
  11. When the chocolate mixture has reached room temperature, give the butter (also at room temperature) to a bowl and beat it until creamy.
  12. Add the unsweetened cocoa powder, Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake and incorporate.
  13. Add the chocolate mixture to the butter one tablespoon at a time and mix thoroughly in between, so that it doesn’t curdle.
  14. That both chocolate mixture and butter are at room temperature is very important as well. If their temperature is different, the buttercream will curdle.

How to fix curdled buttercream?

If the buttercream curdles you can still fix it.

You could either beat it at high speed until it is smooth again or place it in the double boiler and heat it gently while beating it with the mixer until it is smooth again. Do not let it get too warm though, you do not want it to melt.

However, my buttercream did not curdle at all, everything went perfectly fine, so I guess it should be OK for you as well.

 

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake

 

How to make the caramel for Dobos torte?

  • To make the caramel, you would normally only use sugar. However, the recipe that I followed uses 1 teaspoon vinegar and 20 g/ 1 ½ tablespoons butter as well.
  • Apparently these additions will help the caramel remain elastic for a moment longer, which will give just a bit more time to cut the caramel wedges. However, this time frame is very short as well, so use a very sharp, good knife and work quickly.
  • Before making the caramel, prepare the things needed to spread the caramel on the cake and to cut the caramel layer. The caramel hardens quickly, so you want to be very quick.
  • Choose the nicest looking cake layer for the caramel and slightly butter the spatula you will use to spread the caramel and the knife you will use to cut the caramel cake layer. The knife should be a long, sturdy and sharp one.

Making caramel step by step:

  1. Give the sugar, vinegar and butter to a pan.
  2. Let start caramelize and then start stirring gently. Be careful not the burn the sugar, it will taste bitter and you will have to start again. The right color should be a nice reddish brown, like amber.
  3. Take the caramel off the heat and quickly spread it on the chosen cake layer using the long buttered spatula, Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake.
  4. Immediately start cutting the caramel cake layer into 12, 14 or 16 slices. The choice is yours, depends on how large the cake portions should be. Work quickly.

Assemble the Dobos Torte:

  • Keep some of the buttercream for covering the side of the cake and for decorating it with rosettes.
  • Divide the rest into 5 equal portions and spread each portion evenly on each of the remaining 5 cake layers.
  • Place the first cake layer on a cake platter and arrange the following cake layers on top of each other to form the Dobos cake.
  • Use some of the remaining buttercream to nicely cover the side of the cake. Sprinkle the sides with toasted almond flakes or hazelnut brittle (I forgot that).
  • Give the remaining buttercream to a piping bag and pipe rosettes of the buttercream around the top edge of the cake. Pipe as many rosettes as you have caramel wedges.
  • Arrange the caramel wedges at an angle on top of the piped rosettes, like in the pictures above.
  • Chill the cake before serving.

 

PIN FOR LATER

 

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake

 

MORE CHOCOLATE CAKES?

Hazelnut Chocolate Cherry Banana Cake with Cream
Moist Flourless Chocolate Cake with Almonds
Romanian Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Cream – Prajitura Boema
Walnut Chocolate Buttercream Cake – Prajitura Regina Maria

 

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Caramel

Dobos Torte – Hungarian Cake

Yield: 14
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

One of the best cakes ever: traditional Hungarian Dobos Torte with several layers of pastry and chocolate buttercream and a sinfully delicious caramel topping.

Ingredients

  • Batter:
  • 6 eggs
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ 1 cup icing sugar, divided
  • 30 g/ 1 oz/ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup without 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Chocolate buttercream:
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g/ 7 oz/ 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200 g/ 7 oz bittersweet chocolate (at least 45% cocoa content)
  • 270 g/ 9.5 oz/ 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (82% fat content)
  • 35 g/ 1.2 oz/ 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Caramel glaze:
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 20 g/ 0.7 oz/ 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • roasted almond flakes or hazelnut brittle to decorate the sides of the cake, optional

Instructions

Batter:

    1. Draw 6 circles of 22 cm/ 8.5 inches diameter on 6 sheets of baking paper.
    2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius/ 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
    3. Separate the eggs.
    4. Beat the egg whites until stiff, add half (50 g/ 1.8 oz/ ½ cup) of the icing sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
    5. Melt the butter (30 g/ 1 oz/ 2 tablespoons) in a small pan and let cool until you beat the egg yolks.
    6. In another bowl beat together the egg yolks and the remaining icing sugar.
    7. Give the egg whites to the egg yolks and incorporate carefully.
    8. Add the melted and cooled butter to the mixture and incorporate.
    9. Carefully fold in the flour.

    10. Cake layers:

    1. Weigh the batter into another bowl. Divide the quantity into 6 equal portions. Precise weighing is better than estimating in this case.
    2. Place one piece of baking paper with the circle on it on a baking tray.
      Spread one portion of the batter on the circle you drew on baking paper.
    3. Use a long batter spatula to do that and make sure that the batter layer is even.
    4. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden.
    5. Repeat with the remaining 5 batter portions. Let cool all of them completely.


    Buttercream:

    1. Take the butter out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
    2. Beat the 4 eggs, the icing sugar, the vanilla sugar and the salt in a double boiler (bain-marie) until it thickens slightly. It took me about 13 minutes to achieve that stadium, but stand by and beat the mixture continuously until it thickens slightly. Do not let the water come to a boil at any time, that will make the eggs curdle.
    3. Take the mixture off the heat and continue beating it until it cools slightly. Set aside and leave it to cool a bit more. Stir from time to time.
    4. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (bain-marie) as well. Let it cool slightly and add it to the egg mixture. Incorporate well. Leave the mixture to come to room temperature.
    5. Give the butter (also at room temperature) to a bowl and beat it until creamy. Add the unsweetened cocoa powder and incorporate.
    6. Add the chocolate mixture to the butter one tablespoon at a time and mix thoroughly in between, so that it doesn't curdle.
    7. That both the chocolate mixture and the butter are at room temperature is very important as well. If their temperature is different, the buttercream will curdle. (See tips above if buttercream curdles).


    8. Caramel glaze:

    1. Before making the caramel, prepare the things needed to spread the caramel on the cake and to cut the caramel layer. The caramel hardens quickly, you have to be very quick.
    2. Choose the nicest looking cake layer for the caramel and slightly butter the spatula you will use to spread the caramel and the knife you will use to cut the caramel cake layer. The knife should be a long, sturdy and sharp one.
    3. Give the sugar, the vinegar and the butter to a pan. Let start caramelize and then start stirring gently. Be careful not the burn the sugar, it will taste bitter and you will have to start again. The right color should be a nice reddish brown, like amber.
    4. Take the caramel off the heat and quickly spread it on the chosen cake layer using the long buttered spatula.
    5. Immediately start cutting the caramel cake layer into 12, 14 or 16 slices, depending on how large the cake portions should be. Work quickly. Set aside until you are ready with assembling the Dobos cake.


    Assemble the Dobos Torte:

    1. Keep some of the buttercream for covering the side of the cake and for decorating it with rosettes.
    2. Divide the rest into 5 equal portions and spread each portion evenly on each of the remaining 5 cake layers.
    3. Place the first cake layer on a cake platter and arrange the following cake layers on top of each other to form the torte.
    4. Use some of the remaining buttercream to nicely cover the side of the cake.
    5. Sprinkle the sides with toasted almond flakes or hazelnut brittle.
    6. Give the remaining buttercream to a piping bag and pipe rosettes of buttercream around the top edge of the cake. Pipe as many rosettes as you have caramel wedges.
    7. Arrange the caramel wedges at an angle on top of the piped rosettes, like in the pictures above.
    8. Chill the cake before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1 piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 7g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

10 comments
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10 comments

Oana Igretiu 11/11/2017 - 09:29

Wow! Congratulations!! You’re Dobos cake looks amazing! I’m glad that you chose our recipe 🙂 Felicitari!

Reply
Adina 11/11/2017 - 10:38

Multumesc pentru reteta, Oana. Un tort minunat! 🙂

Reply
anna 13/11/2017 - 16:17

Absolutely amazing! ❤️

Reply
grace 15/11/2017 - 17:43

caramel wedges! what a yummy topper! this is truly a fancy and decadent dessert–bravo!

Reply
Anca 15/11/2017 - 18:00

It looks amazing. I didn’t have this cake often in Romania, but now I would love it.

Reply
Adina 15/11/2017 - 19:16

I have never had it in Romania, I saw it often but it was not something I would eat back then. Now I love it and I am not sure that is such a good thing, I was thinner back then… 🙂 🙂

Reply
Kath 09/06/2018 - 02:39

I’m Hungarian living in Australia since I was 4 & have been very keen on baking traditional Hungarian foods & cakes for my family for many years
Have made this cake several times but this recipe has the best caramel topping I gave ever done Thanks wonderful!! ???

Reply
Adina 09/06/2018 - 09:06

Thank you for your feedback, Kath. I am very happy to hear you liked it.

Reply
Jill 01/02/2019 - 04:25

Im going to try this cake. Do I use unsalted or salted butter? I’m assuming that icing sugar is the same as the US confectioners or powdered sugar. Right? Also, is there a substitute for vanilla sugar?

Reply
Adina 01/02/2019 - 05:40

Hi Jill. Always use unsalted butter for cakes. Icing, confectioners, powdered sugar is the same thing. Add a little vanilla extract instead of vanilla sugar.

Reply

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