One of My Favorites: European Dobosh Torte

After receiving the request on Facebook for this recipe, I recalled the first time that I had made this FABULOUS dessert. CAUTION THOUGH: It takes some time and a larger work area. However, it can be made in segments, too, if you like, by making the sponge cake layers first, freezing them, and then assembling the torte with the marvelous chocolate ganache. Make as many thin layers of the sponge cake as you can. You should get at least 7 layers of sponge cake. I can usually get 12 layers. Maida Heatter, author of Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts, authored this recipe and for her parent’s 50th wedding anniversary made a Dobosh Torte with 50 layers that was about 12 inches high. Of course she made multiple batches of batter. I think it would have looked outstanding!! If you have the chance to obtain Maida Heatter’s cookbooks, they will enlighten you and truly be an encouragement for you to develop your baking talents. Her charming personality is evident with each note and encouraging word she puts with a recipe. She has been an inspiration to me multiple times.

Have fun and give yourself a great big pat on the back when you are done!

7 eggs, separated, plus 3 egg yolks

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut at least 7 pieces of baking parchment, each about 11 inches square. Trace a 9-inch circle on each paper. Turn the papers upside down. Butter an area a little larger than the traced circle. Sift flour over the buttered papers; shake and tilt the papers to shake off excess flour. Set papers aside.

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer at high speed, beat the 10 egg yolks for a few minutes until they are pale lemon colored. Reduce speed and gradually add sugar. Increase speed to high again and beat for 6 minutes until very thick. Reduce speed and gradually add the flour, then again increase it to high and beat for 5 minutes more (mixture will be almost stiff), scraping the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Mix in the lemon juice and remove from the mixer. (The mixture will be very thick. Use your clean fingers to get it all of the beaters.)

In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the 7 egg whites with the salt until they hold a point–stiff, but not dry. Since the yolk mixture is very thick, actually stir a few spoonfuls of the whites in to lighten it a bit. Then fold in a few large spoonfuls 3 or 4 times until the mixture lightens.

Gently fold in the remaining whites.

Place 2 or 3 large spoonfuls of the batter on 1 of the pieces of the prepared paper. Using an offset spatula or the back of the spoon, spread the batter thin, slowly rotating the paper with your left hand as you spread the batter with your right hand. Make it thin but do not leave any holes in it. About a 1/4-inch thickness should give you 7 layers. Do not make the edges too thin. The edges may be trimmed later.

Slide a cookie sheet under the paper and bake for 5 minutes or until the top is golden brown with dark brown spots. If the layers are thicker, they may take longer to bake. If they are not baked long enough, they will stick to the paper. Repeat with remaining layers.

When a layer is baked and out of the oven, lift the corners of the paper and invert on to a rack. Peel off the paper and immediately invert the layer on to another rack to cool, right side up. (If you let the layer cool upside down, it will stick to the rack.) when you run out of racks, layers may cool on smooth toweling that has been dusted with powdered sugar. When you run out of room, cooled layers may be stacked if you sprinkle the tops lightly with powdered sugar and place wax paper between them.

Cooled layers may be trimmed to even the edges. I find that a 9-inch pot cover or cake pan place on the layer works well. Then cut around with a small sharp knife or with scissors.


1/2 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

1/2 pound butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons powdered sugar.

Melt the chocolate in 30-second intervals in the microwave or on low temperature in a double boiler. Remove from heat, stir until smooth, and set aside to cool copmletely.

In the small bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add vanilla and egg yolks and beat well. Add sugar and cooled chocolate. Beat until thoroughly mixed, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Place 4 strips of baking parchment or wax paper around the outer edges of a cake plate. Place 1 cake layer on the plate and with a long, narrow metal spatula, spread with a thin layer of the chocolate filling. If you have made more than 7 layers, the filling must be spread very, very thin in order to have enough for all. Place another lay on top. Continue icing the layers, stacking them as evenly as possible. If necessary, trim the edges again.

Spread the remaining chocolate smooth around the sides first and then over the top.

Remove paper stips by pulling each one out by a narrow end. Refrigerate cake for at least several hours to set the icing. Store in refrigerator and serve cold.

NOTE FROM MAIDA HEATTER: ” (1) This is a very firm cake; use a sharp, heavy knife for serving. (2) Dobosh Torte is traditionally made with a layer of caramelized sugar on top. I prefer it this way with icing on top as it is easier to prepare, easier to serve, easier to eat, and to my taste, very delicious.”

After your first attempt in making a Dobosh Torte, it is so much easier the second time.