Posts Tagged ‘ caramel ’

Dobos Torta


One of the thing I love about being a DB is the chance of making¬† multi layer cakes as challenges, which normally I tried to avoid, because no matter how easy the recipes are, they need a lot of time, patience and high synchronisation of hands and mind… the last point is really not my strongest character ūüėČ … so please my fellow DB’ers¬†except me for¬†my clumbsiness and approve my humble dobos tortas just as they are and hopefully my skill of making and decorating¬†layer cake will become better in years to come ūüėõ


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√©s of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.



  • 2 baking sheets
  • 9‚ÄĚ (23cm) springform tin and 8‚ÄĚ cake tin, for templates
  • mixing bowls (1 medium, 1 large)
  • a sieve
  • a double boiler (a large saucepan plus a large heat-proof mixing bowl which fits snugly over the top of the pan)
  • a small saucepan
  • a whisk (you could use a balloon whisk for the entire cake, but an electric hand whisk or stand mixer will make life much easier)
  • metal offset spatula
  • sharp knife
  • a 7 1/2‚ÄĚ cardboard cake round, or just build cake on the base of a sprinfrom tin.
  • piping bag and tip, optional

Prep times

  • Sponge layers 20 mins prep, 40 mins cooking total if baking each layer individually.
  • Buttercream: 20 mins cooking. Cooling time for buttercream: about 1 hour plus 10 minutes after this to beat and divide.
  • Caramel layer: 10-15 minutes.
  • Assembly of whole cake: 20 minutes

Sponge cake layers

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar
  • 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Caramel topping

  • 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
  • 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)

Finishing touches

  • a 7‚ÄĚ cardboard round
  • 12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
  • ¬Ĺ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnuts

Directions for the sponge layers:

NB. The sponge layers can be prepared in advance and stored interleaved with parchment and well-wrapped in the fridge overnight.

1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).
2.Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a 9″ (23cm) springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn’t touch the cake batter.)
3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner’s (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don’t have a mixer.)

4.In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner’s (icing)sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.
5.Line one of the baking sheets with a circle-marked paper. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 3/4cup of the batter in an even layer, filling in the traced circle on one baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 5 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the centre and the edges are lightly browned. While this cake bakes, repeat the process on the other baking sheet, placing it on the centre rack. When the first cake is done, move the second cake to the top rack. Invert the first cake onto a flat surface and carefully peel off the paper. Slide the cake layer back onto the paper and let stand until cool. Rinse the baking sheet under cold running water to cool, and dry it before lining with another parchment. Continue with the remaining papers and batter to make a total of six layers. Completely cool the layers. Using an 8″ springform pan bottom or plate as a template, trim each cake layer into a neat round. (A small serrated knife is best for this task.)

Directions for the chocolate buttercream:

NB. This can be prepared in advance and kept chilled until required.

1.Prepare a double-boiler: quarter-fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
2.Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes. You can use a balloon whisk or electric hand mixer for this.
3.Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken a bit. Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes.
4.Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. It should be quite thick and sticky in consistency.
5.When cool, beat in the soft butter, a small piece (about 2 tablespoons/30g) at a time. An electric hand mixer is great here, but it is possible to beat the butter in with a spatula if it is soft enough. You should end up with a thick, velvety chocolate buttercream. Chill while you make the caramel topping.

Lorraine’s note: If you’re in Winter just now your butter might not soften enough at room temperature, which leads to lumps forming in the buttercream. Male sure the butter is of a very soft texture I.e. running a knife through it will provide little resistance, before you try to beat it into the chocolate mixture. Also, if you beat the butter in while the chocolate mixture is hot you’ll end up with more of a ganache than a buttercream!

Directions for the caramel topping:

1.Choose the best-looking cake layer for the caramel top. To make the caramel topping: Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. Place the reserved cake layer on the paper. Score the cake into 12 equal wedges. Lightly oil a thin, sharp knife and an offset metal spatula.
2.Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved into a smooth syrup, turn the heat up to high and boil without stirring, swirling the pan by the handle occasionally and washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush until the syrup has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.
3.The top layer is perhaps the hardest part of the whole cake so make sure you have a oiled, hot offset spatula ready. I also find it helps if the cake layer hasn’t just been taken out of the refrigerator. I made mine ahead of time and the cake layer was cold and the toffee set very, very quickly‚ÄĒtoo quickly for me to spread it. Immediately pour all of the hot caramel over the cake layer. You will have some leftover most probably but more is better than less and you can always make nice toffee pattern using the extra to decorate. Using the offset spatula, quickly spread the caramel evenly to the edge of the cake layer. Let cool until beginning to set, about 30 seconds. Using the tip of the hot oiled knife (keep re-oiling this with a pastry brush between cutting), cut through the scored marks to divide the caramel layer into 12 equal wedges. Cool another minute or so, then use the edge of the knife to completely cut and separate the wedges using one firm slice movement (rather than rocking back and forth which may produce toffee strands). Cool completely.

Assembling the Dobos

1.Divide the buttercream into six equal parts.
2.Place a dab of chocolate buttercream on the middle of a 7 1/2‚ÄĚ cardboard round and top with one cake layer. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 4 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.
3.Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.
4.Propping a hazelnut under each wedge so that it sits at an angle, arrange the wedges on top of the cake in a spoke pattern. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can pipe rosettes under each hazelnut or a large rosette in the centre of the cake. Refrigerate the cake under a cake dome until the icing is set, about 2 hours. Let slices come to room temperature for the best possible flavour.



Yogurt Panna Cotta For Gine


Today, I’m going to start a new series of posts. As you can notice that bloggers like to give awards, giveaway, test package etc…and I am no different by wanting to do the same.

Then I thought ¬†instead of¬†doing that,¬†why don’t I¬†make small questionnaires for some of my bloggers friends to answer,¬†try to re-create one of their favorite desserts and and do posts base on that?

And I did .

The first blogger who was very kind to help me is, the lovely Gine of Dolcifelici  from Germany.


What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?– My coffee machine, does that count for a kitchen gadget :P? Besides I love my small cupcake-wrappers, a small cake-spring form, my mixer, my spoons, … oh well, I love all my kitchen tools:P!

What are your favorite drinks? – Coffee (could you guess this? :P)!! Italian one, very strong without sugar (I’m a very tough girl ^^). Rum coke for going out, fresh orange juice in the morning!

What are your favorite desserts?– My favorite, favorite, favorite one is a Neapolitan pastry, called sfogliatelle. It’s more of a breakfast than a dessert. I also love all kind of panna cotta and Sicilian cannoli! Besides I’m a huge fan of all South Italian desserts!

** I’d¬†make for you Sfogliatelle, but the weather is too hot ūüėČ

What are your favorite¬† herb/spices? – For desserts: vanilla! I’m quite basic with that :-).

What are your favorite fruits? – Raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries! Reminds me of when I was a child :-)!


For Gine, I made  yogurt panna cotta with coffee jelly, caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Gine also has her own delicious recipe of panna cotta, here.

Caramel Pots with Minted Shortbread Sticks


Two months just slipped away, it’s time again for KBB ‘s challenge, the challenge this time is hosted by two selves proclaimed “sweet” ladies (ha… no.. they are¬†seriously really sweet), Dita and Lina. Comfort dessert (although,¬†¬†I think dessert by any name is comforting ūüėČ )¬†simple to make but with superb flavors (two of my favorites, mint & caramel), great texture pairing and not to mention delicious of course.

Beware that the caramel pots are addictive, that’s why I make half batch of the shortbread and a full batch of the caramel…. yumm…yumm¬† ūüôā


Caramel Pots with Minted Shortbread Sticks

Source: Chef Fred Wiesehutter, Heritage Christchurch, posted at Foodtown Magazine.

Minted Shortbread Sticks

100g icing sugar

200g flour

100g cornflour

250g unsalted butter, softened

1 vanilla pod, seeds removed and reserved

1 sprig mint, chopped


Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine the icing sugar, flours, butter, vanilla seeds and mint in a bowl and mix well. Roll out to about 1cm thick. Cut into 2 x 8cm fingers. Place on the prepared tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool and store in an airtight container until required. Makes about 30.




Caramel Pots

125g caster sugar

2 Tbs water

125ml milk

250ml cream

3 egg yolks

Whisk the sugar into the water in a saucepan. Heat carefully and cook to a golden caramel. Combine milk and cream in a separate saucepan and warm-do not boil. Whisk the milk into the caramel. Cool slightly.

Beat the egg yolks, until creamy. Gradually pour the hot caramel onto the egg yolks, mixing well.

Pour into four ramekins. Bake in a water bath at 160C for 30 minutes or until set. Remove the ramekin, cool then chill. Serves



Caramel Cake with Chamomile infused Caramelized Butter Frosting


Phew!!! Finally¬†Dolores,¬†Alex, Jenny with the help of Natalie¬†brought back the sweet challenge, not just any sweet, it’s caramel sweet…yay!!!

I made mini cakes (loove minis)¬†and adding chamomile extract in the butter¬†frosting for some extra scent ūüôā

PS: I hope I included every new rules (daringbakers now have a hightech-security) in my post, so I wouldn’t be kicked out off the blogroll :p




Recipe from Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich, Artisan Press, Copyright 2007, ISBN: 978-1579652111

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Notes from Natalie for those of you baking gluten-free:

So the GF changes to the cake would be:

2 cups of gluten free flour blend (w/xanthan gum) or 2 cups of gf flour blend + 1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1/2 – 1 tsp baking powder (this would be the recipe amount to the amount it might need to be raised to & I’m going to check)

I’ll let you when I get the cake finished, how it turns out and if the baking powder amount needs to be raised.

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 ‚Äď 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons chamomile extract

2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

(recipes above courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon)


Happy Day Confetti Cake

I don’t actually do birthday, because I feel like that I ¬†don’t need birthday to do special things¬†and also in another¬†hand I want to stay far away from a “getting older” reminder (LOL),¬† but anyhow today is literally my birthday.

My son’s birthday is coming up up¬†after 2 weeks, but on that week his school is already “fully booked” for so many events, so I decided to bring the cake today to the school.¬† I want just to keep it simple with small gestures (“ONLY” giving cake and candy to his friends). I think he will later cherish the moment when we “made” the cake together¬†more than if I¬† had make for him an extravagant birthday party.

Now go back to the cake, even though I joined the Daring Bakers after the Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake¬† challenge, but I always thought about¬†that I would make it in one day. That day then was yesterday, made the recipe¬†only in two layers with almond flavor, vanilla buttercream, instead of jam I used caramel syrup, and finished off with buttercream and dark chocolate glazed (with extra liquorice on top).

Lemon Sponge Pudding with Caramel Cardamom syrup


Lemon this… lemon that… I put lemon juice, zest and rind in most of my cooking or baking, so when I looked up this event¬†, created by the Domestic Goddess and host this month by “the” Tartellete¬†, well… I thought there’s an event I don’t want to miss. My entry is¬† simple Lemon sponge pudding with balancing aroma of cardamom in caramel syrup.



  • 1/2 cup ¬†soft margarine
  • 1/2¬†selfraising flour
  • 1/2¬†caster sugar
  • 1/2¬† tsp baking powder
  • 2¬† eggs (beaten)
  • lemon rind¬†(finely grated)
  • juice from one lemon


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cardamom seeds



  1. Preheat oven to 180′ C
  2. Grease pudding mold
  3. In a large bowl beat together well all the Ingredients
  4. Bake in center of oven for around 20/25 minutes or until well risen and golden
  5. Turn out of tins and serve with cream and syrup


  1. Boil water with cardamom seeds, set aside.
  2. Heat and stir sugar until become caramel syrup, remove from the heat add the warm water (strain the cardamom seeds out),  heat and stir just until well mixed.