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 Caffes of Vienna, Budapest and Prague.
I was excited about this challenge because I love Dobos Torte. I used to work in a German restaurant that made its own Dobos Torte. It was seven white cake layers, a yummy chocolate buttercream and was covered in dark ganache. Maybe it wasn't authentic, but it was wonderful. I was impressed with the strudel recipe we used from Kaffeehaus in the May challenge, so was expecting good things.
Just reading the recipe I knew there were some things that might not work for me. The higher proportion of butter in the butter cream for one. And lemon juice in the caramel, for another. Daring Bakers is about the challenge recipes....at least for me. So I made the recipe as written, cutting it it half to make a small torte that served six.
The cake layer recipe worked fine, if a bit flavorless. The buttercream was a great texture and taste until the final few tablespoons of butter, which take it over the top. It's too oily and too soft. From the many pictures I saw on the Daring Baker's forums, I'd say the buttercream is too soft and doesn't make a good decorative frosting. I made the caramel to coat some cake pieces for decoration. I later crushed them to coat the sides. I still don't get the point of the lemon juice. The lemon flavor doesn't go well with the caramel and the chocolate.
This challenge was a good one for me, in spite of my disappointment in the recipe. I will be making Dobos Torte again, but using different recipes for the components, including a ganache icing. Thanks to the hosts and to the Daring Bakers for the good discussions and photos on the forum this month. I learned a lot about buttercream and cake layers!The challenge recipe can be found here.