Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Dobos Torte

Dobosh Torte

I once thought I was a daring baker, but it turns out I was a fraud. You might remember me from such challenges as Strawberry Cinnamon Almond Cake with Pumpkin Seed Swiss Buttercream , Mango Cardamom Opera Cakes  , Cheesecake Pops with Pretzel Sticks, Caramel Cupcakes with Bacon, or not. All in all, I finished and posted 8 challenges.


But, I think I was in denial about something. I thought I had made those desserts—it turns out I had only ½ of each. You see, my husband, J--, had not only helped with each of those challenges, but he had actually been the voice of reason. If I said, so what if it says the butter should be melted and it is actually ice-cold; he would say this butter temperature thing is important. Where I would say, so what if it says sift the flour lets dump it in; he would say sifting really will change the texture of the cake. Where I would wing it; he would act with reason.

Last December I had to drop out of Daring Bakers due to a difficult pregnancy. But, then in July, even knowing that life would be crazy with a new baby, I reenlisted. I wanted to go back to my old life and I loved DB. My husband is working extra hours on projects; hoping to tighten the budget (i.e. less money for sugar and flour); and hoping to drop a few pounds. The agreement was this—I make the challenges while he is at work, clean up without him and then give away the results.

Dobosh Torte
I was feeling very with it when I started this challenge. I had a clear plan—cut the recipes in ½ (and 1/8 for the caramel layer.) Make the frosting on the first day, cake on the second and caramel and assembly on the third. I planned all the steps so that I would only need to work 20 minutes at a stretch but only 1 hour at most on any one day. They baby (2 weeks old at the time) sleeps about 1.5 hr at a stretch, so there was time for the clean up. It was all very clear and easy—in theory. Then I set to it. As I was perched on a stepstool to reach my too-big, makeshift bain marie feeling the burn of whipping the eggs, all of a sudden I realized for my last Swiss buttercream when I got exhausted with the whipping, J—had stepped up and finished the frosting.

So thanks J—for being the secret to my Daring Baker success and here’s to a new life as a solo daring baker.

dobosh torte

And for those tricky bots: The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. For the recipe go to the DB site.  (For my cake, I made 1/4 of the cake recipe straight.  Then 1/4 of the recipe but with cocoa powder for 1/3 of the flour. The chocolate cake was topped with white chocolate buttercream.)

64 comments:

Audax said...

Well I feel to do the challenge with a fortnight old baby is harder than doing it with the BH. And your solo effort is wonderous and the photos are so cool and delicious looking. And what a lovely idea to do the torta in two contrasting halves the dark filling and the white filing with contrasting sponges brilliant. Your caramel looks great also. Those cranberries are very pretty.

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

I am so impressed that you baked a Dobos with a two-week old baby! When my little monster was that young, I was collapsing into bed the moment he closed his eyes... I didn't bake or cook properly for months!

I remember admiring your Dobos on the forum---I love the light and dark design you came up with. It makes it look even more decadent. And no matter what you might think, you really are a Daring Baker!

Foodycat said...

So not only did you rejoin DB with a tiny baby, you made things more complicated with a second cake flavour and 2 different buttercreams? You are insane! But the cake looks good.

Angry Asian said...

welcome back! and what a challenge to come back to. :)

i love that you went rectangle and this cake looks wonderful and not at all intimidating. and the two flavors make such a lovely picture contrast!

Julia @ Mélanger said...

I love your interpretation of this challenge. Cute little wedges on the top of your torte. So impressed that you managed to coordinate this in between looking after your little bub. Amazing!

Aparna said...

I love the look of your torte, the half dark-half white effect and lovely layers.

It's great to have "help" while doing the challenges. Where's the "fraud" part to it?

I know I would love all the help I could get on some of those challenges! :)

Cheri said...

Absolutely beautiful! I can't believe that you were able to do this with a new baby! I have a one year old and I have to try to squeeze in the time. I am duly impressed. And, I can't believe that your sleep deprived brain was able to come up with such a creative alteration to boot. My hat is off to you. All the best with the new babe!

Aran said...

i like your arrangement with your husband. love the red currants. perfect match for the sweet bttercream!

Rachel said...

Very artistically plated. Beautiful!

Zoe said...

How sweet! You and J working together in the kitchen! These came out fantastic and beautiful!

Elra said...

Despite all of the obstacles, your Torte looking fabulous and full of creativity involve!

Laura said...

Wow. I love it. I had wanted to make a chocolate version, too, but I felt overwhelmed with two little ones underfoot. Okay, now I just feel lazy compared to you! I did the triangles on top of a rectangle, too, but yours looks just too, too fab. How did you get that cross-hatched design in the caramel? So cool looking.

Fiona said...

oh. my.
honestly, this puts mine to shame! you made two variations AND you did it with spaced out over nap times of a two week old?
you are my new hero!
and how pretty does it look with the berries?
thanks for commenting on mine :)

Erin said...

Welcome Back!!!
Your Torte looks great :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Wonderful job and what a great baking partner you have although I'm sure you also bring a lot to the table too :)

George@CulinaryTravels said...

What a beautiful Dobos Torte. Interesting challenge wasn't it. I have to say though that I didn't much enjoy the eating of it which is a shame.

April said...

Well it looks absolutely divine! And that you did all that work with a 2 week old baby...great job! And I love the chocolate layer, I thought of doing that as well and I think next time I will.

LittleRed said...

Congratulations on your solo effort....Your friends and neighbours will be looking forward to your challenges to come! I love your presentation...just beautiful....and the sponge cake looks perfect:)

Grace said...

first of all, ingenious cocoa-powder usage--that's a great twist! secondly, taking on even one of the daring baker challenges makes you admirable in my book, so bravo!

KMDuff said...

They turned out beautiful! Congrats on doing it solo!

Fahrenheit 350° said...

This is a beautiful rendition! Way to go... this puts mine to shame!

Sugar Chef said...

I love what you did with your torte. Not eating desserts is the hardest part of being a pastry chef so I understand your husbands request to give it all away before he gets home. My husband insists I keep even the scraps at home for him, but he has a great metabolism.

Rebekka said...

Caramel cupcakes with bacon? How did I miss that one!???

lisaiscooking said...

I think you're a very daring solo baker! I've never attempted any of these challenges. Maybe some day I'll give one a try. The two types of cake look delicious together.

Barbara Bakes said...

A very elegant presentation! Great job! So hard to give all the DB's away!

Sarah said...

Welcome back to Daring Bakers! Oh! I love the Dobos log! The sponge in your layers just looks perfect!

Lauren said...

Congrats on your first solo challenge!! It looks stunning =D. I love what you did with the recipe, and the photos are gorgeous!!

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

You did a beautiful job with it! It's gorgeous!

Big Boys Oven said...

I like how you decorated the lovely cake with little sparkle red rubys! just awesome!

angela@spinachtiger said...

I am laughing at how you have it all planned out. I understand that optimism in the kitchen with children sleeping. Ha. I feel so tempted to join daring bakers, but I am just sooo busy. Maybe I'll follow you all around and make what I like. Is it only once a month?

strawberriesinparis said...

Welcome back to the clan! And you did a beautiful job all by yourself! He'll be back as your sous baker in no time!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Even though you're flying solo, I think your Dobos Torta looks absolutely beautiful! Great job :)

Winnie said...

Your torte looks so inspired! Not to mention organised.... 5 hours was pretty painful.

Well done. Thanks for finding me and now i have someone to compare notes with.

Dips said...

Great try ! Your cake looks yummy...Nice pics...

m.e (Cathie) said...

mmm, those layers look very appetizing. I have always wanted to try this cake & I think I may have to soon. great work with a little one around aswell.

C said...

I remember seeing your torte among the posted challenges and being absolutely stunned. Beautiful photography and gorgeous torte! It is an accomplishment to bake while following an infant's schedule. Truly lovely results and good luck on future challenges!

anna said...

That is so stunningly beautiful! And two flavors - I'm very impressed!

ice tea: sugar high said...

Congrats on the new baby =). So sorry to hear that you're flying solo from now on. But by looking at the cake you produced, I'm sure you'll do great!

Amy I. said...

Looks absolutely lovely! I especially love the addition of the currants. Great work!

Fuji Mama said...

Wahoo! Yay! Welcome back! Your torte is gorgeous!!

Helene said...

You did make a great dessert. I know how it's not easy with a newborn to go back to your normal life. Always love what you do.

Bombay-Bruxelles said...

Thanks for your encouragement!

Your Dobos are wonderful. What a great idea to use two chocolates and wafer biscuist...

Esi said...

Welcome back to the Daring Bakers and congrats on the new baby!! You did a very wonderful job for your first challenge in a long time.

MeetaK said...

absolutely sensational. a lovely looking cake and love the two different variations in one cake!

abby said...

wow, that is one chic-looking cake! and i think you should take all the glory - boys helping with whipping when you arm gets tired is just normal stuff ;)

Trissa said...

Congratulations on your challenge. I can't believe you made such a nice cake considering you had a little baby to take care of in between!

Wok Through the Fire said...

Wow, I love your cake! The presentation is just stunning :) Great job flying sole!

Joanne said...

Daring bakers is a group that has always kind of intimidated me because of the amazing confectionary feats that they manage to pump out. It definitely seems like a huge, albeit impressive, time commitment. These treats that you made look so good! You definitely deserve daring baker status!

vibi said...

This is beautiful, and I have to admit, the idea of making it bicolored was a genius one! Very creative and well thought of! Bravo.

Susan @ SGCC said...

Your torte looks lovely! Congrats on doing it solo and rejoining DB! I know it was a lot of work!

Soma said...

I don't know how you guys do it.. this daring thing! i would not dare:-)

This looks beautiful!

Hannah said...

Wow, your torte is absolutely stunning! Such a unique presentation... I simply adore it. I think you are a Daring Baker indeed, just to tackle this one!

FoodJunkie said...

Lucky you to have such a useful husband in the kitchen! Your dobos torte looks amazing. I had never heard of it before, although the ingredients are very similar with recipes of cakes in Greek books of the 70's.

5 Star Foodie said...

Your dobos torte looks spectacular, lovely picture with red currants!

Maggie said...

Major props for doing the challenge with a two week old! The caramel coated wafer cookies look awesome.

Lis said...

You had me with the caramel glazed cookies.. I must have them. What kind of cookie did you use?

Well, no offense to your hubby, but I think you did an AMAZING job all by yourself.. this is one of the prettiest Dobos I've seen.

Beautiful work, sweetie :)

xoxoxo

Cakelaw said...

Your dobos torte is so pretty, and perfectly offset by the red currants - wonderful.

Parita said...

your dobos torte looks gorgeous! love the 2 different variation..u have done extremely well!!!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh that's really a different one I came across till now...love the way u presented....looks very yum...

shaz said...

WAY TO GO!! So super impressed you did this with a two week old baby. The first 4 or 5 weeks of parenthood for me was all a blur - I don't think I would have even dreamt of whipping up a challenge! And it looks sensational, well done!

linda said...

This is one awesome cake.. I love the use of the wafer for the caramel piece. I love your photos and I'm in awe by the fact that you finished this while having to look after a baby. Inspirational =D

Y said...

I'm so glad you're back to baking daringly :) Your solo effort looks amazing - I think you underestimate yourself!

jillian said...

Your version of the Dobos looks amazing! Looks like you did a great job on your own.

Coffee and Vanilla said...

This torte looks extremely beautiful!! :) I love it.