Hungarian Dobos Torte

A classic Continental 19th century cake recipe found in
“The Chocolate Book” by Valerie Barrett published in 1987

Hungarian Dobos Torte

Dobos torte or Dobosh (pronounced [ˈdoboʃ], Hungarian: Dobos torta) is a Hungarian sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel. The five-layer pastry is named after its inventor, Hungarian confectioner József C. Dobos, who aimed to create a cake that would last longer than other pastries in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The round sides of the cake are coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, or almonds, and the caramel topping helps to prevent drying out.

Dobosh or Dobos torte was first introduced at the National General Exhibition of Budapest in 1885; King Franz Joseph I and Queen Elisabeth were among the first to taste it. The cake soon became popular throughout Europe, both for its durability through shipping and for its unique appearance. With its flat, shiny, caramel top, it was simple but elegant, as opposed to the more intricate cakes of the age.

6 eggs, separated
rind of 1 lemon, grated
3/4 Cup/175 g/6 oz sugar
1 1/2 cups/150 g/5 oz plain flour, sieved
225 g/8 oz plain chocolate
1 cup/225 g/8 oz butter
3 1/2 cups/450 g/1 lb icing sugar, sieved
3/4 cup/175 g/6 oz granulated sugar

Oven temperature 200° C/400° F/Gas 6


[1] Grease and flour 7 flat surfaces, such as baking trays and roasting pans. Using a cake pan or plate, mark a circle 20-cm/8—in diameter on each one.

[2] Whisk the yolks with the lemon rind and sugar in a mixing bowl until the mixture is thick.

[3] Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

[4] Fold the egg whites and flour alternately into the egg yolk mixture.

[5] Divide the mixture evenly between the circles. Bake in batches in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Lift onto wire racks to cool. It Use the 20-cm/8-in cake pan or plate to trim edges so that all the circles are the same size.

[6] To make the butter cream, melt the chocolate. Add the butter and stir until melted. Cool. Beat in the sieved icing sugar.

[7] To make the caramel, put the sugar into a heavy saucepan. Heat very slowly over a low heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Heat until thecaramel turns golden brown.

[8] Pour the caramel immediately on to one of the cake layers. Before the caramel sets, cut the cake layer into 8 sections, using an oiled or buttered knife.

[9] Sandwich the remaining cake layers together with some of the chocolate butter cream. Spread butter cream round the sides of the cake.

[10] Put the remaining butter cream into a piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe eight long whirls on top of the cake, radiating out from the centre. Set a caramel-coated section, tilted slightly, on each whirl.