roasted almond flakes or hazelnut brittle to decorate the sides of the cakeoptional
Draw 6 circles of 22 cm/ 8.5 inches diameter on 6 sheets of baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius/ 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
Separate the eggs.
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.
Melt the butter (30 g/ 1 oz/ 2 tablespoons) in a small pan and let cool until you beat the egg yolks.
Beat the egg yolks and the remaining icing sugar in another bowl.
Addthe egg whites to the egg yolks and incorporate them carefully.
Add the melted and cooled butter to the mixture and incorporate.
Fold in the flour.
Weigh the batter into another bowl. Divide the quantity into 6 equal portions. Precise weighing is better than estimating in this case.
Spread batter: 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. 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.
Repeat with the remaining 5 batter portions. Let cool all of them completely.
Soften butter: Take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
Bain-marie: 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.
Cool: 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.
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.
Beat butter: Place the butter (at room temperature) in a bowl and beat it until creamy. Add the unsweetened cocoa powder and incorporate.
Add the chocolate mixture to the butter one tablespoon at a time and mix thoroughly in between so that it doesn't curdle.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).
Preparations: Before making the caramel, prepare the things needed to spread the caramel on the cake and cut the caramel layer. The caramel hardens quickly; you have to be very quick.Choose the nicest-looking cake layer for the caramel and lightly 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.
Make the caramel: Place sugar, vinegar, and butter in a pan. Let start caramelize, and then start stirring gently. Be careful not to 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.
Spread: Take the caramel off the heat and quickly spread it on the chosen cake layer using the long buttered spatula.
Cut: 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 to assemble the Dobos cake.
Assemble the Dobos Torte:
Keep some 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.
Assemble the cake: Place the first cake layer on a cake platter and arrange the following cake layers on top of each other to form the torte.
Cover the sides: Use a little of the remaining buttercream to cover the side of the cake nicely.
Sprinkle the sides with toasted almond flakes or hazelnut brittle.
Pipe: Place the remaining buttercream into a piping bag and pipe rosettes of buttercream around the top edge of the cake. Pipe as many rosettes as you have caramel wedges.
Top: Arrange the caramel wedges at an angle on top of the piped rosettes, like in the pictures above.
Chill the cake before serving.
I would not attempt to bake this cake without a digital kitchen scale; the recipe is fairly difficult, and using cups won't help (Amazon affiliate link).