This iconic torta typically consists of 7 layers of sponge cake and 7 layers of chocolate buttercream, topped with crisp caramel wedges. It was invented in Budapest in the 1880's by József Dobos, the owner of a gourmet deli, and premiered at the National General Exhibition of Budapest. The Dobos Torta quickly became a local classic, as well as one of the favorites of the royal court. It became so popular that an entire book was published about it later on. József Dobos built wooden boxes and started shipping his delicious torta all over Europe. Later on he donated the recipe of the torta to the Budapest Pastry & Honey Bread Makers Guild in 1906.
Its distinctive presentation has made the cake so very famous! Dobos torta can be round or square shape, the sides are sometimes dusted with ground hazelnuts. The hard caramel slices can either lay flat on top of the cake or stand on their sides, and can also be decorated with chocolate buttercream, whipped cream, nuts or the combination of all. The secret ingredient of the smooth chocolate buttercream is the cocoa butter. It is a very elegant cake, and it is not often made at home.
This cake is extremely labor intensive to make. Some modern pastry chefs get experimental with the torta and create versions that would be unrecognizable by József Dobos.
I was always fascinated by this cake when I was a young child, especially with its glistening, golden tinted beauty. I never knew how to eat it, since it is a 2 way process: eating the cake itself and eating the caramel topping. The softness of the sponge cake and the smoothness of the chocolate buttercream compliment the hard caramel topping perfectly.If you haven't tried the original Dobos Torta, please do so! It truly is a unique experience!