Sunday, September 13, 2009

August Daring Bakers Challenge: Dobos Torte (by Kat)

Hooray, I have a bit of blogspace now where I can put my Daring Bakers challenges. This was the August challenge, completed a few weeks back.
You see, every month we're given a challenge on the first, which we get to explore throughout the month with the great camaraderie of other Daring Bakers, but in complete secrecy from non members. On the 27th of the month, we finally get to show the world what we've done.
You don't have to have your own blog, luckily, as they so kindly provide a space for non-bloggers to post on the Daring Bakers site. That's where this was originally posted.
Daring Bakers is SO MUCH FUN people! I wouldn't lie to you, would I?

(Bet, back me up here. Would I lie to them?)

Ok, if you don't believe me or Bet, just look at the challenge from August! Here it is, straight from the Daring Bakers website to my own!

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.

Exquisite when prepared by one of Europe's great chefs, perhaps, but when prepared by me and my sweet little sous-chef...well...we couldn't call it exquisite.

This was my second Daring Bakers challenge, and it didn't go as well as my first. Had I not enlisted the wonderful aid of my 12 year old daughter, I'm sure it would have been a total disaster. Between the two of us though, we had a really great time together with this recipe.

Not having made a sponge cake before, I had trouble with consistency of "doneness" of the layers. Some layers came out sticky and some were crisp. For the most part, though, they were indeed circular and not too uneven in thickness. The flavor of the cake was very bland. Brushing a flavored syrup onto the cake layers prior to assembly would have been a real boon to the finished torte.

We accidentally used powdered sugar instead of regular sugar in the icing, which I think reduced the total volume of the finished product. Hence, we left the sides of the torte au naturel. I found the frosting too cloyingly sweet for my taste, but my sous-chef loved it.

The caramel layer atop the cake was super--and definitely my favorite part of the cake. Other daring bakers mentioned troubles with too much lemon and with the color of the caramel itself. I reduced the amount of lemon juice by about 3/4ths, and the photos to the left show the color of the syrup when I removed it from the stove.

If I made this torte again, I'd put a Kahlua syrup on the individual cake layers, throw some finely ground espresso into the icing, and use mocha truffles on top to support the caramel wedges. Truthfully, though, I don't see myself making this torte again. But I'm psyched to be able to say "Dobos Torte? Yeah, been there, done that!" Thanks to the Daring Bakers for another awesome challenge in the kitchen!

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