Monday, June 24, 2013
This dobos torte has so many things going wrong with it I'm not even sure I can call it a dobos torte. Perhaps I should call it "Dobos Torte(?)" instead, with question mark behind for its major identity crisis.
For starters, a traditional dobos torte is supposed to have seven layers of sponge. It is also baked in a round pan. This version is neither. It has four layers of cake and its rectangular. Well, I guess you can argue that a rectangular shape is more or less acceptable today but I think four layers of cake is really pushing it.
I also did away with the caramel topping because I had no extra layer of cake to pour the caramel on. I wanted to make a smaller cake so I divided the recipe by 3 and baked the batter in 2 separate 7 inch square cake pans. My plan was to split each of the baked cake lengthwise to get 4 thin layers of cake then down the middle to yield a total of 8 layers. My plan turned out to be a flop when I realized that the layers were simply too thin to be split. Consequently, I ended up with only 4 layers. (P.S. If you think pouring the batter into the pans and just roughly spreading it out, assuming that the batter would spread evenly out on its own once you place the pans in the oven to bake, no. No that's not going to work with this batter. So please get your spatula and spread the batter all the way to the edges of the pan. And spread it evenly too, or you'll end up with areas that are noticeably thicker and thinner. Just like mine. Urgh.)
I noticed that this sponge recipe is markedly different from most dobos tortes' recipes because of the lack of sugar. Instead, the recipe calls for a rum syrup to be brushed onto the cake layers after they're baked. The mistake I made here was to brush on too little syrup so the cake was a bit dry. Lesson learnt? Go crazy with the syrup. Use it all!
A traditional dobos torte just uses a chocolate buttercream to fill the cake layers and frost the outsides. I used my milk chocolate malt frosting in place of the chocolate buttercream to fill the layers, simply because I had extra. The chocolate buttercream here had me worried at first because it was way too watery to be used freshly made- you have to chill it first to get it to be spreadable. And this means that it melts quickly at room temperature.
So I mentioned earlier that I didn't make any caramel topping for the cake, but I couldn't bear to leave the top bare. I thought of just using chocolate wafer sticks broken down to more modest-sized pieces to decorate but I ran out of buttercream to prop them out. All I have to say is that thank god for nutella.
My impression of the cake wasn't very good overall, but I have to admit, I get immense satisfaction from making cakes with multiple layers, as much of a headache they can give me. There may be tons of better dobos torte recipes out there, but I'm glad that I've tried.
This recipe is taken from Bake It Like You Mean It, a really gorgeous book and one of my newest cookbook additions. You should totally check it out!