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Dobos Cake is a special Hungarian cake, perhaps one of the most famous in the world, invented by and named after a well-known Hungarian confectioner, József C. Dobos (1847-1924) in 1884. It is a five-layer lemon, saffron or vanilla sponge cake, layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with thin caramel slices. The sides of the cake are often coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts or almonds or cookie crumbs. Dobos’s aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries, in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The caramel topping helps keep the cake from drying out. Coincidentally but fittingly, dob means “drum” and dobos means “drummer” in Hungarian, and the round cake with its flat top is very drum-like. The cake is also often called ‘Dobos-torta’ or ‘Dobostorta’.

Dobos (“DOE-boesh” /’doboš/) Cake was first introduced at the National General Exhibition of Budapest in 1885, Sissi and Franz Joseph I were among the first to taste it. The cake soon became popular throughout Europe as it was different from all others. It was simple but elegant, as opposed to the multi-storey, flaming cakes of the age. Its other secret was its use of fine buttercream, which was very little known at the time; cake fillings and frostings were usually made with cooked pastry cream or whipped cream. The chocolate buttercream and the batter of the cake were both invented by Jozsef C. Dobos.

Dobos travelled around Europe and introduced the cake wherever he went. For a long time he kept the exact recipe confidential, until 1906 when he retired and gave the original recipe to the Budapest Confectioners’ and Gingerbread Makers’ Chamber of Industry, providing that every member of the chamber can use it freely.

Dobos Cake is known everywhere in the world and there are more than one hundred recipe variations. It is a commonly made torte in the upscale hotels, restaurants and pastry shops of the world. Another famous Hungarian dessert created in the same era is Rigo Jancsi. (Source: wikipedia)

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