I miss being in Chef school! I learned so much and almost everything was “new to me”. There was a sense of competitiveness as well as comradery built into every day. So when I saw this Dobos Torte recipe I thought of my days at George Brown. We did the most interesting cakes – ones I’d only ever tasted or seen pictures of. So this is my way of looking back. I also made it for my dad’s 96th birthday as well as my future son-in-law (and his sister) who also shares the same birthdate – all with different years of birth – I know!  I will forewarn you that while this write up is long, once you read it, you will understand the nuances in making this cake. It took literally no time to come together. 

The topping and filling are what make this cake look and taste celebratory. The chocolate frosting spreads beautifully and there really are so many variations to the filling with this type of cake. Of course then it wouldn’t be a Dobos Torte but just a Torte with different fillings. I think next time I make this I will still use chocolate on the outside, but maybe vary the filling between the layers – perhaps some good quality orange marmalade or apricot preserves. Either of those would be a hit with chocolate.

You can make this cake round or rectangular or any shape. I made mine using 2 rimmed 11” x 17” sheet pans. After baking, I cut three lengthwise strips from each 11” x 17” tray. That gave me a 17” long cake that was just over 3” wide after trimming and with 6 layers – yes it looked spectacular. It allowed me to cut lovely wedges. It’s rich – we’re talking 10 egg yolks in the cake and 3 in the frosting, so you only want to serve small pieces. I also found when serving any rich cake like this, fresh berries helps cut through the richness and give you a better mouth feel. I served this with fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries – delicious! Give this a try, it’s really not as complicated as it looks. Lots of instructions, but really, not a lot of steps – make the cake, bake the cake, make the frosting, assemble the cake. As always – enjoy!

Cake layers:
7 large eggs, separated
3 large egg yolks
455g (1 lb) confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting racks
94g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Frosting and filling:
227g (1/2 pound) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
227g (1/2 pound) Churn 84 European Style unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Prepare your pans and line them with parchment leaving an overhang on two sides – I find the paper stays in the pan without sliding if you spray the pan with cooking spray first – this also makes spreading the batter that much easier
My batter was enough to put a thin coat onto two 11” x 17” pans which – after baking, I cut into strips giving me 6 layers of cake
You could use a round shape, cut parchment paper into 12” wide pieces, and use the bottom of an 8” or 9” spring form pan to trace a circle in the middle of each piece, turn the pieces over so the penciled circle is on the bottom – you should still be able to see the circle – spread the batter to cover the circle – you will also need 2 or more baking trays – this should yield 7 layers
If using sheets of parchment paper, cut each larger than needed for the cake shape and size

Stencil your cake shape on one side of the sheet, then flip it over and butter and flour the shape area on the reverse side
It’s really important to have “mise en place” (things in place) with respect to this recipe – it will make the process seamless
Preheat oven to 450°F and place a rack in the center of your oven
Using your mixer or hand held, beat 10 egg yolks for a few minutes at high speed, until pale and lemon-colored – mine took about 4 minutes at medium high speed
Reduce speed and gradually add sugar, then increase the speed and beat the yolks and sugar until thick and glossy – another 3 or 4 minutes
Reduce speed again and gradually add flour and salt; increase the speed and beat for 5 minutes more, then add the lemon juice
Remember to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula every couple of minutes
In a separate bowl beat the 7 egg whites using the whisk attachment until they hold stiff peaks
Fold in ¼ of the egg whites with the yolk mixture to loosen it up – fold it in, then fold in the rest in two additions
You batter will transform from a thick doughy batter to one that is spreadable with a lovely consistency

Bake the layers:
Spread half the batter into each 11” x 17” tray and spread to cover the entire surface using an offset spatula and make sure you don’t leave any gaps
If you’re using parchment circles, slide cookie sheets under them before spreading the batter
Bake each layer for 5 – 7 minutes, or until golden with some dark brown spots – if you are doing the small round shapes, you will need closer to 7, if you are doing the rectangular shape, it may take anywhere from 3 – 5 minutes as the layer will be much thinner due to the size of the container
When baked, remove from the oven, let it cool slightly then flip it over and remove the parchment – I just used my cooling racks to turn them on to
Repeat with remaining layers – the layers cool very quickly so don’t go wandering off
Using a serrated knife and a measuring tape, mark off straight edges and trim accordingly
Divide the even piece of cake into 3 long strips – about 3 1/2” wide

Make the filling and frosting:
Melt chocolate until smooth, set aside to cool to room temperature
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until soft and smooth, scraping frequently
Add vanilla and 3 egg yolks, mix – add sugar and cooled chocolate, beating until thoroughly mixed – scrape the bowl as needed

Assemble the cake:
Once you have cut the strips from the 11 x 17 sheet, stack them and trim the ends so they are reasonably straight and even
Place four strips of parchment or waxed paper around the outer edges of your cake plate
Place first cake layer on plate and spread chocolate on top and to edges with an offset spatula
The filling must be spread fairly thinly to have enough for all layers and the outsides of the cake
Repeat with remaining layers stacking cake as evenly as possible
Once fully stacked and filled, you can trim the edges again so that they’re even.
Spread chocolate on outside of cake – you shouldn’t need a crumb coat as there isn’t that much cake surface exposed
Remove paper strips
Chill the cake until needed – bring to room temperature (about 2 hours outside the fridge) before serving