Archive for September 13th, 2011

September 13, 2011

Adventures with Alice: Dobos Torte

So … after much thought and consideration … my lovely mixer has been named!

Originally suggested  by KA, Alice is, in my opinion, the perfect mix between proper lady and partner-in-crime. And it shortens nicely to Allie when the mood strikes. Lauren said it was masterful. That’s enough for me!

Sunday afternoon, we began our first adventure together. The plan had been to do a batter bread Saturday afternoon, but yeast buying mishaps put that on the back burner, and we turned toward that ever beckoning mecca of the stand mixer: dessert.

While browsing Smitten Kitchen, looking for tips for the best’s sister, Felicity*, I came upon this recipe: the Dobos Torte. It’s a super famous Hungarian cake and … being Hungarian and all … I’d eaten it growing up. It was fancy looking, and a little daunting, so of course I decided to try it.

Clearly, no inaugural use would be complete without throwing flour all over the kitchen. If you think this is a mess, you should have seen my apron. Apparently this is Alice’s idea of a joke.

You guys, for all the daunting directions, this cake was SUPER easy. Can you separate eggs? Yes? You’re set. No? Well, you’ve got 13 to practice on. It was the most complicated part of the entire thing. And yielded such lovely photos as the one on the left, above. Seriously … mix away! Whee!!

The most DIFFICULT part had to be stirring the batter. Deb warns that before folding in the whites, the batter will be the consistency of mortar. She’s NOT KIDDING. My arms got a workout, just getting ANYTHING mixed in. Then again, this also provided folding practice … something I do NOT get enough of in my kitchen. I need to remedy that.

Baking took 5 minutes. Seriously. I’d never done a sponge cake recipe before … so the idea that I had to actually shape the cake on a cookie sheet threw me off a little. But it didn’t run, and it baked relatively flat. Win! Cooling took just another 5 minutes (I did multiple sheets of layers, so each cooled while the next was baking.) This reminds me … I need to get another cooling rack, so I can cool more at a time. Limitations in baking are no fun.

While the baking was going on, I pulled together the frosting/filling. Yes, it really only took 10 minutes. 5 to melt the chocolate. 5 to whip it all together. Easy easy.

From there, it was stack, frost, stack, frost, stack, frost, done! I had enough batter to make 10 layers … so I used them all. The end result was a little goofy looking (I didn’t make enough frosting, so had to really stretch there at the end), but I had high hopes.

Monday night was the moment of truth. I took it to dinner with my bible study group, and served it for dessert. As I cut the first slice, I was holding my breath … but look what we saw!!

SUCCESS! And a delicious delicious success at that. The torte was a total hit with the friends. The best compliment though, came from my dad … Hungarian baker extraordinaire. I sent him a photo and he replied “That looks amazing. Much better than your grandmother or I ever made. Well done.”

::wipes tears away::

I think Alice and I are going to be the best of friends.


* Felicity is a senior in high school. The ever crafty girl that she is, she decided to take “Home Ec” as her home-study class. This essentially means that twice a week she has to try a new recipe for class … basically, it’s an excuse to destroy her mother’s kitchen. And she’s QUITE the cook. Any recipes anyone wants to throw at her … send them along. She’ll send you photos when she masters it. =)