Does this really look like a drum? Maybe I’m looking at the wrong drums…Dobos, which means “drum” or “like a drum” in Hungarian is just a coincidence (I think) since the cake is an Austrain creation developed by chef Josef Dobos. It consists of multiple thin layers of genoise cake that are layered with a chocolate buttercream and a hard caramel topping. While it is time-consuming , it is actually pretty simple to put together. Just make sure to read through the recipe before starting and to have everything ready (mise en place) to go before you start to make the cake. If a recipe relied on the use of a standing mixer this one would be it. You can certainly use a hand-held mixer, but you will be standing there a long time mixing.
This recipe uses chocolate ganache between the layers instead of buttercream .The flavor of the cake is quite plain so I added a touch of orange to it. I bet this would also be great with a touch of amaretto or frangelico added to the batter, or how about some espresso in the ganache? Anyway, this is a great holiday cake with real visual appeal. Since I am in New York for the month I get to bake lots of treats for my mom’s various holiday gatherings and I thought this would be perfect to try. It is my first one and I am really pleased at how easily it all came together. This is adapted from an old Good Housekeeping recipe. It makes 16 slices.
There are 3 steps to making this cake, besides the assembly:
1. Bake the cake layers
2. Prepare the ganache
3. Make the caramel
12 large eggs, separated
1 C granulated sugar
1 Vanilla bean, seeds scraped into the egg yolks (optional) .Reserve the pod for another use (add it to your sugar bowl,to your bottle of vanilla extract, to a bottle of vodka or rum…..)
1 tsp each of Fiore di silia and vanilla extract OR 2 tsp vanilla extract and the zest of an orange
1 1/3 C cake flour, sifted (do not use self rising flour)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Grease the bottom of two 9 inch pans. Cut out 8 parchment paper circles (unless you have silpat cake liners, which you can just wipe off and reuse). Line each pan with a parchment circle. Set the other 6 aside
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar and the vanilla bean seeds (if using) on high, until thick and light lemon colored. This will take about 10 minutes. Beat in the extracts, set aside.
In a large, very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and whisk until the stand at stiff peaks.
transfer the egg yolk mixture to a very large bowl and sift the flour over it. Fold the flour into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the melted butter. (I use my whisk attachment to do this)
Spoon 1 cup batter into each of the prepared pans. Use a small offset spatula to gently spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake the layers for 9 minutes, until lightly golden brown and springy to the touch. Wait about 1 minute then invert them onto a wire rack. Peel and discard the parchment and flip them back over to cool completely.
When the pans are cool (it will only take a few minutes, wipe them out and line each with a new piece of parchment. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 8 layers in total. Stack the cooled cake layers between layers of wax paper.
you should always try to use the best quality chocolate that you can afford
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces milk chocolate
2 ounces white chocolate
1 C heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Finely chop the chocolates and place in a bowl. Heat the cream over medium high heat until just about to boil. Pour over the chocolates and let it sit for about 3 minutes. With a whisk or rubber spatula, stir the mixture together until it is smooth and creamy. Whisk in the butter and continue stirring until everything is beautiful and shiny.
At this point, you can let the mixture stand at room temp for a few hours to set up or you can put the bowl over an ice bath to speed up the process. All that you do is take you bowl and place it in a larger bowl that has a few inches of cold water and some ice cubes in it. Stir the mixture every few minutes for about 20 minutes and it will be ready. I recommend the latter since it is faster.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbl water
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, melted
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, lemon juice and water over high heat and bring to a boil over high heat , swirling the pan once or twice. Continue cooking, without stirring, about 3-4 minutes, until the caramel is golden color (I like my caramel on the darker side to offset the sweetness of the chocolate).
Carefully pour the hot caramel over the top of one layer of cake and quickly spread it evenly over the top with a small offset spatula. Let it cool for about 1-2 minutes to slightly set and then quickly,with a greased chef’s knife, cut the cake layer into 16 wedges.
Dip the rounded side of the wedges in the melted chocolate and set aside until the final assembly.
Spread about 1/4 cup of the ganache on 1 layer of cake. Top with a second layer and cover with another 1/4 cup of the ganache. Keep repeating until all the layers are done. Pipe or spoon the remaining ganache into 16 little dollops evenly spaced around the edge of the top layer. If serving within 2 hours, place 1 caramel wedge, set at an angle, on top of each ganache dollop.
If not serving right away, refrigerate the cake, but not the top caramel layer- it will get soggy in the fridge. To serve, take the cake out of the fridge at least 1 hour before serving and top with the caramel wedges.