Dobosh Torte

From Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts


7 eggs, separated, plus 3 egg yolks 1 pound (3 ½ cups) confectioners sugar
¾ cup sifted all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt  

To prepare for baking seven cake layers (the usual number): Tear off seven pieces of aluminum foil, or baking pan liner paper (see Note 1), each about 11 inches long. Spread softened butter lightly over a 10-inch round or square area in the center of each piece of foil or paper. Sprinkle with flour. Shake and tilt the foil or paper to make sure the buttered area is thoroughly floured and shake off any excess. On the floured area trace a 9-inch circle. (Use any 9-inch circular object as a pattern: the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan, an inverted 9-inch cake tin, or a 9-inch pot cover.) Repeat with remaining pieces of foil or paper. Set 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 5 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 mixer. (The mixture will be very thick – use your fingers to get it all off the 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 three or four times until the mixture lightens.

Gently fold in the remaining whites.

Although a Dobosh Torte is generally seven layers high, I pride myself on the number and thinness of my layers. If you only make seven layers, that’s perfectly all right – trying for more is one of my own personal hang-ups. With a large serving spoon, place two or three large spoonfuls of the batter on one of the pieces of prepared foil or paper. Using 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. A ¼-inch thickness should give you seven layers. Do not make the edges too thin. Follow the lines closely, but don’t worry – the edges may be trimmed later.

Slide a cookie sheet under the foil or paper and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the top is golden brown with dark brown spots. If the layers are thicker than mine are, they will take longer to bake. If they are not baked long enough they will stick to the foil or paper. Repeat with remaining layers. If you bake more than one layer at a time, rotate the position of the pans during baking to insure even browning.

When a layer is baked and out of the oven, lift the corners of the foil or paper and invert onto a rack. Peel off the paper and immediately inverts the layer onto 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 confectioners sugar. When you run out of room, cooled layers may be stacked if sprinkle the tops lightly with confectioners sugar and place wax paper between them.

Cooled layers may be trimmed to even the edges. Working on a board, place an 8½ -inch or 9-inch pot cover or cake pan on the layer. Cut around with a small sharp knife or trace with the knife and then cut with scissors.

Prepare the following:

Filling and Icing for Dobosh Torte

½ pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate ½ pound (1 cup) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar  
Melt the chocolate in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Remove from heat, stir until smooth, and set aside to cool completely.
In small bowl of electric mixer cream the butter. 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 four strips of wax paper around the outer edges of a cake plate. Place one 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 seven layers, the filling must be spread very thin, in order to have enough for all. Place another layer on top, adjusting it carefully so that the edges are lined up evenly. Continue icing the layers, stacking them as evenly as possible.
Spread the remaining chocolate smoothly around the sides first and then over the top.

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


  1. If you use baking pan liner paper it must be buttered and floured for this recipe or the layers will stick to it.
  2. This is a very firm cake; use a sharp, heavy knife for serving.
  3. Dobosh Torte may be made a day ahead, or it may be frozen.
  4. Dobosh Torte is traditionally made with a layer of caramelized sugar on top. I prefer it this way with icing on top – it is easier to prepare, easier to serve, easier to eat, and, to my taste, very delicious.

Optional Caramel Topping

Place one cup of sugar in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spatula until the sugar starts to melt, and then stir constantly until it has all melted to a smooth caramel. It should be a rich brown but do not let it become too dark or it will have a bitter burnt taste. Immediately pour the caralmelized sugar onto a piece of parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet. Quickly tilt the cookie sheet to spread the caramel out into a thin sheet. Allow the caramel to set. Break into pieces and decorate the top of the cake.