Impress with Hungarian 8-layer torte with chocolate frosting
ELLEN FOLKMAN | Special to the Times
Belle’s 8-Layer Torte is thick and luscious.
Many years ago I had a recipe called Dobos Torte that I found in a dessert recipe book. The batter was the traditional cake made with six eggs, the egg whites whipped and folded in. The cake was baked in four jelly roll pans and was spread very thin. Each cake was cut in half to make 8 layers. Between the layers was a creamy mocha frosting, and the outer frosting was a dark chocolate. I lent my book to someone and never got it back. I haven't been able to duplicate the recipe since. I surely would appreciate finding that recipe again. Thank you.
Shirley Janisko, Lecanto
Bea Black of Lutz shares a recipe of hers called Belle's 8-Layer Torte. It closely resembles the Dobos Torte that Shirley described. The Dobos Torte is a five- to 12-layer Hungarian sponge cake named after its creator, Jozsef C. Dobos, who aimed to create a cake that would last longer than other pastries in the late 1800s, a time when cooling techniques were limited. In order to get the eight layers, it is necessary to make the cake recipe twice, so when you are shopping for ingredients, be sure to get double the ingredients listed. The batter in the pan is thin and only took 10 minutes to bake in my oven. When I put the batter into the sheet pan, I began smoothing it out with a rubber spatula only to find using an offset spatula worked much better. When you peel the wax paper off the cake, be extremely careful. Peel up one end and gently edge it back so as not to tear or break the cake. I had enough frosting to do the sides of the cake, too. What I put between the layers was quite thin so that's why I had enough to frost the sides. There is no doubt this cake is a showstopper. Once you cut it to expose all the beautiful layers, your guests will be in awe.
Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, PO Box 1159, Crystal Beach, FL 34681 or email email@example.com. Please include your name, city and phone number. Phone numbers will not be published.
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Belle's 8-Layer Torte
To make the entire eight layers, you have to make the cake recipe twice. Be sure you have double the ingredients below.
6 eggs, separated
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
For the chocolate frosting:
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate
6 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
1 ¾ cups butter, room temperature
Chopped nuts, optional
For the cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two 10- by 15-inch jelly roll pans with wax paper. Grease wax paper with butter or margarine.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and creamy. Gradually beat in sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. In a small bowl, sift cornstarch, flour and salt together; add to egg yolk mixture. Add remaining lemon juice and beat until smooth. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into already prepared batter mixture.
Spread batter evenly into the prepared jelly roll pans. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from oven. Remove cakes from pans immediately and remove wax paper. Let cakes cool on wire racks.
Prepare and bake a second batch of cake batter.
To assemble, cut each layer in half width-wise.
After making this recipe twice, you will end up with eight layers. Place each layer, one by one, onto a cake plate and frost each layer with chocolate frosting. Frost sides if you have enough frosting. After frosting the top layer, sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.
For the frosting: Melt chocolate (unsweetened and semisweet) in the top of a double boiler over hot water. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Stir in heavy cream; add to the melted chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a medium bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy; beat into chocolate mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time. Chill until frosting is of spreading consistency, about 1 hour.
Makes 16 servings.
Source: Bea Black of Lutz