Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Perhaps cakes or tortes incorporating caramel are common, but if so, it hasn't been often that I have made them. This Austrian recipe for the "Dobos torte" is a break from what I normally bake. This dessert is similar to a typical, decadent Austrian torte, which takes great advantage of a painfully large amount of butter, vast quantities of sugar, rich quantities of eggs, and chocolate to make a multi-layered chocolate and caramel cake. There is the softness of the chocolate, the hard crunch of the caramel, and a wonderful pervasive sweetness that runs throughout it, which combine to make an unforgettable torte. While it is somewhat difficult to make, the final result is well worth it in my opinion, and the appearance is simply fabulous, making it an excellent conclusion to a fine meal.
This recipe is adapted from The Viennese Pastry Cookbook by Lilly Joss Reich. I have made a variety of changes which are supposed to intensify certain elements of the taste which I like (above all else, chocolate), to rectify some problems which arose from my ingredients, and to ease its manufacture. If you are interested in the original recipe, I recommend acquiring the book, which has a splendid variety of quality Austrian desserts.
- 7 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 8 squares (2 oz) semisweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 bars butter, (I used salted and added in powdered sugar as shown below to compensate)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups sugar
- Stir together 4 egg yolks and 3/4 cup of sugar, until they become light and thick. Then gradually spoon in cream and blend well. Sift together the flour and the baking powder, and fold it into the batter. Then fold in the 4 beaten egg whites, to help make it light and fluffy.
- Grease or apply non-cooking spray to the bottom of a springform pan or 9-inch layer cake tins. How many layers you want will be determined at this stage: I used 3, but the original recipe calls for up to 6! I would advise pouring 3/4 of a cup of batter for each batch. Cook for 8 minutes in a preheated oven at 400 degrees, or longer or shorter, so that it is lightly golden and not excessively browned (this happened to mine). Remove the layers from the pans, and repeat (I actually found it unnecessary to apply non-cook spray multiple times). Refrigerate the batter if necessary during this process.
- When the layers are cooked, select which one is the best, the most even, strongest, and leave this aside. Place another one on a plate which will be used as the base.
- There are two different ways to make the chocolate cream, and they are both described here. Option 1: Melt the chocolate, then add to it 1 1/2 bars of melted butter. Blend together thoroughly. Combine 3 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar in a double boiler over a low flame until thick, and then remove and allow to cool. When cool, add the chocolate mixture into it, and mix thoroughly. Place to cool for 10 minutes in the refrigerator, then add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/3 cup flour (be sure that it does not become too thick), to make it into a thick paste which can be spread. Option 2: This is a more traditional buttercream method. Cream butter and then add cooled chocolate to it, and omit the flour which is added. Powdered sugar is still necessary unless sweet butter is used.
- Use the chocolate filling from the previous recipe to coat the various layers of chocolate on top, layering them layer after layer. Leave the final top layer uncovered, and leave enough chocolate to cover the sides and perhaps a small amount on the top if desired.
- Place 3/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly, until it turns into a golden brown liquid. Then add the remaining 1/4 bar of butter, blend, and then very quickly pour it over the top of the cake and work with a spatula or buttered knife to spread it over the top. It will harden quickly! Use a knife to make some indentations into it for future serving pieces. If desired, one can use some chocolate on the top to melt it over the caramel, which I like the aesthetic appearance of. If not, cool it the torte, then apply the chocolate around the edges later. Before serving, use a pastry comb to comb the chocolate around the edges, if one has a pastry comb.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas