Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vanilla n Honey Dobos Torta

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 DobosTorte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: ExquisiteDesserts from the Classic Caff├ęs of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

To be honest, I had never heard of a Dobos Torta and was looking forward to try it out. I was gearing up and keeping all the ingredients ready when I got a call from a friend in Australia. He works for a Company called 'Bondi Chai' and they have this amazing Chai Latte in different flavours. He suggested that I try their Vanilla n Honey flavour for my Dobos Torta and I did just that........ I not only tried it out in the butter-cream but also added a scoop to one of the sponge layers...and it was truly D E L I C I O U S.

So all you Daring Bakers out there in Australia........ russssh and get yourself a packet of BONDI CHAI....... so you can add a dash to all your desserts and of course enjoy their lip-smacking Chai Latte.............

The sponge cakes and the butter-cream were a piece of cake. The Caramel Layer was the toughest of the lot.. even I thought that the lemon (8 teaspoons) were a bit too much. So here is my Dobos Torta............ TA DAHHHHHH !!!!!!

· 2 baking sheets
· 9” (23cm) springform tin and 8” cake tin, for templates
· mixing bowls (1 medium, 1 large)
· a sieve
· a double boiler (a large saucepan plus a large heat-proof mixing bowl which fits snugly over the top of the pan)
· a small saucepan
· a whisk (you could use a balloon whisk for the entire cake, but an electric hand whisk or stand mixer will make life much easier)
· metal offset spatula
· sharp knife
· a 7 1/2” cardboard cake round, or just build cake on the base of a sprinfrom tin.
· piping bag and tip, optional
Prep times
· Sponge layers 20 mins prep, 40 mins cooking total if baking each layer individually.
· Buttercream: 20 mins cooking. Cooling time for buttercream: about 1 hour plus 10 minutes after this to beat and divide.
· Caramel layer: 10-15 minutes.
· Assembly of whole cake: 20 minutes
Sponge cake layers
· 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
· 1 1/3 cups (162g) sugar, divided
· 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
· 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
· pinch of salt

Vanilla Honey Buttercream
· 4 large egg whites (keep eggs at room temperature)
· 1 cup sugar
· 340 grams unsalted butter (at room temperature)
· 2 heaped tablespoons Vanilla Honey Bondi Chai
· 2 tablespoons rum or brandy (I used rum)
Caramel topping
· 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar
· 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
· 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice
· 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)
Finishing touches
· a 7” cardboard round
· 12 whole hazelnuts or any other nuts peeled and toasted
· ½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnuts or other nuts
Directions for the sponge layers:
NB. The sponge layers can be prepared in advance and stored interleaved with parchment and well-wrapped in the fridge overnight.
1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).
2.Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a 9" (23cm) springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn't touch the cake batter.)
3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner's (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don't have a mixer.)
4.In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner's (icing)sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.
5.Line one of the baking sheets with a circle-marked paper. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 3/4cup of the batter in an even layer, filling in the traced circle on one baking sheet.
Bake on the top rack for 5 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the centre and the edges are lightly browned. While this cake bakes, repeat the process on the other baking sheet, placing it on the centre rack. When the first cake is done, move the second cake to the top rack. Invert the first cake onto a flat surface and carefully peel off the paper. Slide the cake layer back onto the paper and let stand until cool. Rinse the baking sheet under cold running water to cool, and dry it before lining with another parchment. Continue with the remaining papers and batter to make a total of six layers. Completely cool the layers. Using an 8" springform pan bottom or plate as a template, trim each cake layer into a neat round. (A small serrated knife is best for this task.)

Directions for the buttercream:
1.Prepare a double-boiler: quarter-fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.2.In a Meanwhile, in a pyrex bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes. You can use a hand whisk
3.Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly with hand whisk, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken a bit. Do not let any water into the bowl. Keep whisking till the egg mixture becomes a shiny white colour. The bowl will become hot and the egg whites too..continue whisking or you will end up with scrambled eggs. ;)
4.Remove from heat and continue beating with the whisk till the mixture is cooled to room temperature
5. When completely cooled add the softened butter (340 grms) little by little- till all is over. If the mixture is even slightly will curdle so ensure that it has completely cooled.
6. Dissolve Vanilla Honey Bondi Chai in 2 tablespoons of rum and add to the butter and egg mixture.
7. Keep beating till the buttercream thickens …you will notice when it is ready….
Directions for the caramel topping:
1.Choose the best-looking cake layer for the caramel top. To make the caramel topping: Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. Place the reserved cake layer on the paper. Score the cake into 12 equal wedges. Lightly oil a thin, sharp knife and an offset metal spatula.
2.Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved into a smooth syrup, turn the heat up to high and boil without stirring, swirling the pan by the handle occasionally and washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush until the syrup has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.
3.The top layer is perhaps the hardest part of the whole cake so make sure you have a oiled, hot offset spatula ready. I also find it helps if the cake layer hasn't just been taken out of the refrigerator. I made mine ahead of time and the cake layer was cold and the toffee set very, very quickly—too quickly for me to spread it. Immediately pour all of the hot caramel over the cake layer. You will have some leftover most probably but more is better than less and you can always make nice toffee pattern using the extra to decorate. Using the offset spatula, quickly spread the caramel evenly to the edge of the cake layer. Let cool until beginning to set, about 30 seconds. Using the tip of the hot oiled knife (keep re-oiling this with a pastry brush between cutting), cut through the scored marks to divide the caramel layer into 12 equal wedges. Cool another minute or so, then use the edge of the knife to completely cut and separate the wedges using one firm slice movement (rather than rocking back and forth which may produce toffee strands). Cool completely.
Assembling the Dobos
1.Divide the buttercream into six equal parts.
2.Place a dab of chocolate buttercream on the middle of a 7 1/2” cardboard round and top with one cake layer. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 4 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.
3.Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.
4.Propping a hazelnut under each wedge so that it sits at an angle, arrange the wedges on top of the cake in a spoke pattern. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can pipe rosettes under each hazelnut or a large rosette in the centre of the cake. Refrigerate the cake under a cake dome until the icing is set, about 2 hours. Let slices come to room temperature for the best possible flavour.


Anonymous said...

Oh, the chai flavor sounds SO GOOD!!!

bake in paris said...

Good choice - vanilla honey buttercream. It makes the topping caramel so outstanding. And I am sure the taste is super too! Great choice!! :-)


KMDuff said...

Mmm, what yummy flavor options! Sounds delicious!

Audax said...

I actually have tried Bondi Chai (I live close to Bondi) and it would be a great flavour combo. Your torta looks so clean and pure because of the white buttercream I would love to tuck into that lush ozzing lovelyness. Cheers from Audax in Australia

Lauren said...

Love the sound of chai in the torta!! Yours looks stunning, and all of the flavours sound divine =D.

ice tea: sugar high said...

Chai latte... yummmmm. The vanilla and honey sounds like a winner too. Well done. they look superb!