21 March 2008

The Once Secret Recipe for Dobos Torte

Dobos Torte
I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Easter holiday with family and friends. I had the day off today for Good Friday to spend with my daughter, but, I worked for a few hours at the pizza place this evening. Carl, the owners father, and master chef spoils us each and every time we work. The owners are very kind and generous natured. Carl bakes us bread to take home fresh and warm from the ovens, plies us with luscious desserts....Will I fit into my jeans by summer...wink...wink.

While we were working today Carl created a beautiful and intricate Dobo Cake for us for Easter. This is a slice he sent home for my daughter. Truthfully until this evening I had never heard of this creation, but I can see why it is so well known.

Dobos Cake is a very famous cake named after and invented by Joszef Dobos a well known Hungarian confectioner in 1884. He prided himself on the quality and variety of his offerings at his fancy-food shop, which catered to the rich and famous including Queen Elizabeth 1. He offered more then sixty cheeses and twenty-two champagnes.

The amazingly thin cake layers of the Dobo Torte and caramel crown were impressive , but it was the cake's liberal use of chocolate buttercream (a recipe only recently imported from France) that literally put Dobos torta on everyone's lips. Other Budapest bakeries wanted the recipe so they could sell their own version, but Dobos kept the recipe a secret.

Dobos cake has five thin layers (no more no less) of lemon, saffron or vanilla layered sponge cake. It is slathered with chocolate buttercream between layers and topped with a hard thin caramel slice. The sides of the cake are usually coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds or walnuts or cookie crumbs. Dobo's aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries because in that era there was next to no refrigeration. The hard top helps to keep the cake moist.

There are no shortcuts to a perfect Dobos Torte. The layers must be baked individually... never sliced from one thick cake. Luckily the batter bakes very quickly and the process can be sped up by using two or more baking sheets... and a kitchen timer to keep track of baking times. Get yourself in an assembly line frame of mind, and you'll be finished making this intricate cake in no time.

Coincidentally but fittingly, dob means "drum" and dobos means "drummer" in Hungarian, and the round cake with its flat top is very drum-like. The cake is also often called 'Dobos-torta' or 'Dobostorta'.

For a long time, as already mentioned, Dobos kept the exact recipe a secret, until 1906 when he retired and gave the original recipe to the Budapest Confectioners' and Gingerbread Makers' Chamber of Industry, providing that every member of the chamber can use it freely. After this many years I found the recipe on the internet.

Dobos Torte is known everywhere in the world and there are more than one hundred recipe variations. Of course, I am not as wordly as I once thought...so much more to learn!!!!! One place they may have once served the Dobos Torte in Budapest is at the renowned Gerbeaud.

él vágyódik és előremozdít

**Dobos Torte**

9 egg whites
8 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoons lemon zest
1 pinch salt
1- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1- 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup ground walnuts, chestnuts, almonds or cookie crumbs
1 recipe Chocolate Buttercream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Have ready two 10 inch cardboard circles. Generously grease a 9 inch springform pan with soft butter, and dust with flour.
Beat the egg whites until frothy, and gradually add 1 cup sugar. Beat just to soft peaks. In another bowl, beat the yolks with the milk, lemon peel, vanilla, and salt. Fold this into the egg whites. Sift the flour over the egg mixture, and fold in.

Spread 1- 1/3 cups batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 5 to 9 minutes, or until small, brown spots begin to appear on cake. Remove the cake from the oven, and remove layer from pan with a spatula. Dust the cake lightly with flour, and place on a rack to cool. Grease pan again, and repeat this process until all of the batter is used, about 6 times more. Place the layers between wax paper, and cover with a towel. Chill layers for a few hours.

Make the Chocolate Buttercream.

Layer the chilled layers on one of the cardboard rounds with the buttercream. Start with one layer; cover with the buttercream, and then press down with another layer to make a good seal. Repeat this with the remaining layers, but reserve one layer. Wrap the cake in plastic, and chill for at least 6 hours along with the remaining buttercream. Grease the other cardboard round with the shortening, and place the last layer on it.

Place 1 cup sugar into a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Allow sugar to cook until the edges look melted and brown. Begin stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sugar becomes an amber color, and is smooth. Carefully pour the caramel over the top of the last layer, and spread to the edges with an oiled knife. Quickly, using an oiled knife, indent the top of the caramel into 16 wedges. Allow to cool slightly, and then retouch the indents with the knife again. Place layer onto a counter top dusted with sugar, and allow the caramel to cool completely.

Place some more buttercream on top of the chilled torte, and top with the caramel round. Frost the sides with the remaining buttercream. Apply ground nuts of your choice to the sides. Chill the torte before serving.

**Chocolate Buttercream**

12 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
2 cups unsalted butter
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the bittersweet chocolate, and allow to cool slightly.

Place the butter or margarine, salt, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer until very light and airy, about 4 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time while beating on low speed. Mix well, and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat for 5 minutes more. Add the melted chocolate, and beat 4 minutes.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Holy Moly! I gained 3 pounds just reading this recipe! I'd make it for my Hungarian husband, but he wouldn't eat it. I would and then I'd have to buy new jeans!

  2. What a nice second job you have. The cake is certainly droolworthy and interesting story to boot.

  3. Val, your jeans will be just fine...you have that A-1 BC nature to walk & walk in.

    I've been to Budapest and I didn't get a chance to try this (nor heard of it til now).

    This is a great sweet and the Hugarians should promote this, like Vienna does with their Sacher Torte.

  4. I have never heard of a Dobo cake either. But I would certainly like to try one. It sounds delicious. You are very lucky to have such a generous boss.

  5. Droolworthy cakes, indeed. I love Dobos Torte, but I think I'd be intimidated to make it. But man... yours looks beautiful!

  6. This is the perfect torte if you don't want to fit into your jeans by summer. Why food this good has to be so bad for you?


  7. Wow you are so lucky - I wish someone sent me home with this!
    Happy Easter tomorrow!
    x xx x

  8. Droolworthy indeed. I am blogging it.
    Happy Easter, Valli!

  9. I agree Susan:D
    I was fascinated with this recipe as well "Pat".
    Apparently Mr Dobo made a special box to ship this dessert around Europe, making thousands..sending it also to the emperor and the Queen Peter:D...I found it very interesting:D
    Yes both of my bosses are very generous KJ:D I enjoy working at the pizza joint:D
    I think I would be intinidated to make it as well Jen, but someday I might give it a try. It was definitely drolworthy:D
    Thanks for the hugs Ben...we can have a virtual slice of this cake together:D
    Happy Easter to you and yours as well Gabi:D
    I agree 100% Marye:D

  10. Holy cow! I've never been bothered to do one of those LOL... too much work! Have a great Easter Val!

  11. That looks delicious! You are so lucky!

  12. Interesting! I've heard of this before, but never knew what it was. That Dobos was on to something!

  13. I have seen this cake before, actually my Truffle Cake started with Dobos Cake recipe....
    I had problems with baking separate layers, I lost two of them in the process, they sticked to the tin... ;(

    Happy Easter Val! :)


  14. wow, i've never heard of this cake before! it sounds amazing! :)

  15. Wow, that was worth going into work for! I think you are having way too much fun at work :) What a kind boss you have!
    With all that walking you do, your jeans with be fine by Summer. Maybe, the rest of us won't fit into ours, if you keep posting recipes like this!

  16. Wow, this certainly is droolworthy sis. My mouth has been watering all time I was reading this recipe. I am very tempted to try this. Have a great Easter with your family.

  17. That cake looks INSANE!
    Happy Easter to you too!

  18. That cake is amazing! It has tight jeans written all over it!! Mmmmm Hope your having fun with your daughter.

  19. Ooo-la-la! There's ambition for you. Looks fab.

  20. What a great Easter Treat. Like Peter, I never tried this in Budapest and regret it. In Austris I ate there Imperial and Sacher Tortes all day long. I guess by the time I hit Hungary I was 'Torted' out!

  21. That definitely looks beyond my skill level, but I sure wish I could recruit someone to make one for me. Wow.

  22. Working for fringe benefits like this seems like something I could handle.
    The torte is gorgeous and looks like it took someone all day to make. Hungarian pastries are seriously incredible.

  23. I have never had a Dobos Torte but it looks really good.

  24. I think I put five pounds on just reading through this recipe! Gorgeous.

  25. I had never heard of this cake before now but it looks absolutely amazing! I've been missing out!

  26. Val, This looks just wonderful and I want some NOW!! Can't I cheat and cut the cake into 5 layers??
    This is the first time I'm hearing of this cake too and will need to try it out.. although I might modify it (meaning cheat and cut layers out of a sponge....)!!! :)

  27. I don't think I'll fit in my jeans either Val! But there's a small idea growing in my brain and soon will be posting about it... it's about loosing some weight before bathing suits time is here!!! ;-)

  28. I've never tried dobos torte but it looks very tasty!! There's a photo/recipe of it in the Martha Stewart baking book that makes it seem too daunting to make.

  29. I have to try this. My mother-in-law is from Hungary and she would be thrilled that I tried something like this just for her.

  30. This is a Ultimate cake, decadent and glorious in taste. It is easy to make and worth every calorie- go for a walk, jog run you will not regret it and you taste buds will love you forever. This is a personal favourite of mine.

  31. I had this cake in Budapest a few days ago and it was the best cake I've ever had!!! Now I have to try this recipe, thanks!!!!


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