I found myself doing this at the last possible minute, actually a day late now, and obviously the heat in the Bay Area decided not to cooperate for the second month in a row, and it was brutal! I missed the deadline yesterday because of serious time mismanagement so I decided to make the cake for a birthday celebration which means that I only could take pictures with the flash, but I have a miniature cake waiting for me tomorrow to be finished.
The cake we were challenged to make is called The Dobos Torta, a five-layer sponge cake, layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with cake wedges covered in caramel. The cake first appeared in 1885 created by József C. Dobos, a Hungarian baker. The recipe, kept secret until Dobos retired in 1906, was donated to the Budapest Confectioners' and Gingerbread Makers' Chamber of Industry, with the provision that it could be used freely and obviously publicly. The recipe is very long so you can find here.
The original cake is round, each layer made individually as a disk, but to save time, and to give a spin to the classic round cake, I decided to make a rectangular one. We are supposed to be daring, but since I like chocolate I make the original chocolate butter cream from the recipe but instead of the classic hazelnuts, I paired it with pistachios since I love the green of pistachios against the dark chocolate color. The cake was easy to make, but I ended up over baking it so I think that the 400F baking temperature is an over kill, especially when the cake layers are so thin. The other big problem I encountered was with the butter cream. The execution was simple, and it looked very velvety, and it tasted ok (note here, just okey). The problem lied in the consistency, made worse by the heat. Even chilling the butter cream didn't help, as soon as the cake was out of the fridge the butter cream started running, and the weight of the nuts brought the cream down the sides! The cake looked nice, but it was not one of those cakes that knocks your socks off in my opinion, in fact I don't think I will try it again unless I try another recipe.
I was intrigued to try a new butter cream recipe that calls for whole eggs, instead of the butter cream I normally make which has only whites, sugar and butter. I wasn't impressed at all by this recipe, it is too sweet and it tastes too rich. I think that it works well as a filling but as a glaze is way too soft, and I know it was not just my mistake, other DBakers had the same problem. I had fun making the pistachio star decorations with the extra caramel. To make them, warm up the pistachios slightly so they won't cool the caramel too much. Add the pistachio pieces to the hot caramel, and pour the hot and still liquid caramel onto a silicone mat, or an oiled parchment paper. When the caramel is setting but still soft, score it with a wheel or a cookie cutter. When the caramel is cooled, separate the pieces and let cool completely until hardened.