The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caff├ęs of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. The Dobos Torte is composed of six layers of thin, delicate sponge cake, five of them encased in rich chocolate buttercream and the last drenched in lemony caramel and set jauntily atop the torte.

Once again, heat and humidity made this project a little trying, but it turned out much better than I expected given that all my sticks of butter turned molten mere seconds out of the fridge. You can probably tell that the buttercream was a little on the soft side, but the flavor was sublime. Meanwhile, the sponge cake layers puffed up like a dream, and the caramel was thin enough to spread but thick enough to crisp perfectly on cooling.

What most surprised me about this recipe was the amount of lemon juice in the caramel. It added quite a tang to the cake's flavor profile, and really kept it from being too cloying. I loved the combination of crunchy caramel and tender cake, at once insubstantial and sticky between the teeth, with flavors both mild and bold. Delicious!

More good news (although what could be better news than chocolate buttercream and caramel-coated spongecake, I don't know): it looks like things are going to be settling down around here in the next couple weeks. I'm even planning to start some serious kitchen projects this weekend, and I can't wait to blog about them. So hopefully The Brave Potato's long silent summer will be at an end very soon.

I just got Kaffeehaus from the library and was in two minds about whether to buy it. I used to live in that region of the world so I loved looking at it but wasn't sure about the recipes. I think I may have been convinced...

Now that we've made several recipes from it for Daring Bakers, I have to say, I think it is pretty good!

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