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Shortcut Dobosh Torte

Today’s post is in honor of my dad, Grady. Today would have been his 78th birthday. My mom’s writing encouraged me to start this blog. But it was my dad’s love of food and cooking that inspired me to cook. 

Dad (aka Poops) was not a fan of desserts but he loved this Shortcut Dobosh (Dobos?) Torte. Growing up, I made it for Father’s Day and his birthday almost every year. After reading the Wikipedia link for Dobos Torte, I am not convinced this is a true Dobosh Torte, but it certainly is a fast version. The secret to this quick torte/cake is pancake mix! I know it sounds odd, but it makes a nice torte. The cake layers are dense and spongy, yet light and airy at the same time. I have no idea where we acquired the recipe – it’s another faded clipping in my mom’s old photo album cookbook. It’s been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. I’ve made a few changes over the years, but it’s roughly the same recipe.

Back in 2006, Penzeys Spices, published a cooking magazine, Penzeys One. Each issue had a theme and they asked readers and catalogue subscribers to submit recipes matching the theme. For this particular issue (Volume 1, Issue 4), Penzeys issued a call for recipes from folks named Smith. Well, I’m a Smith so I submitted a few recipes. This torte recipe was selected (along with my Roasted Rosemary Walnuts recipe). They wrote a nice article and included a few photos. If you click on the photos, at the end of this post, you might be able to read the article if you are inclined. Or, if you want, you can even order back issues of the magazine. They are $6 plus $2 shipping. You can usually get back issues at Penzeys retail shops, too.

Hope you will give this recipe a try, even though it sounds odd since it’s made with pancake mix! Enjoy…

Shortcut Dobosh Torte (Print recipe)

Cake:

5 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla (Penzeys of course!)

1 cup sugar

1½ cups pancake mix (We use Bisquick. I wonder if the gluten-free mix would work?!?)

 

Filling:

2 cups whipping cream

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder (Penzeys :)

pinch of espresso powder (or instant coffee), optional 

 

Garnish:

2 squares (2 ounces) semisweet chocolate, shaved or grated

¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, salt, and vanilla. Beat until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar. Fold in the pancake mix. Pour into two* greased and wax paper (or parchment) lined 9×1½ inch round cake pans.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Then, remove the cakes from the pans. Peel off the waxed paper or parchment paper. Let the layers cool completely on a cookie rack.

Now the tricky part…using wooden toothpicks as guides, split each cake into two layers (so you end up with four even layers). My layers were usually lopsided. So I came up with a different method…

*I pour the batter evenly into three round cake pans. So no slicing of the layers is needed. It doesn’t matter if the cake is three layers or four layers. You could even use two pans and keep them whole. You would have extra frosting that could be used to frost the sides. So it would be a 2-layered cake instead of torte. It would still taste good!

Please use the method you prefer (which might be limited by the number of round cake pans you have!).

Make filling by combining whipping cream, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Whip until creamy and thick.

To assemble torte, place cake layer on serving plate cut side down (if you sliced your layers). Spread with 1 cup of filling; sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of  the shaved chocolate. Repeat for the remaining layers.

Garnish: Sprinkle toasted almonds and grated chocolate on the top layer. Serves: 10-12.

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