Hazelnut Caramel Dobos Torte

Hazelnut Caramel Dobos Torte
16 servings

Okay, there seems to be a lot of steps to pull this torte together, and it’s true – it does take a bit of time to assemble, but this classic dessert is worth the effort around the holidays, when you’re looking to impress. Micro-thin layers of hazelnut cake are layered with a rich mocha buttercream and then topped with hazelnut praline and caramel shards, for garnish. You can make this torte up to 5 days before serving it, so when you’re preoccupied with the turkey and trimmings, you can rest easy that dessert is made and looks and tastes fabulous! Yield is 16 servings.




eggs, separated
cup sugar
tsp vanilla extract
cup pastry flour
cup ground hazelnuts
tsp salt


oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
cup water
1 ½
cup sugar
egg whites
tsp cream of tartar
Tbsp instant espresso powder
Tbsp hot water
cup cocoa powder, sifted
tsp salt


Butter, for buttering parchment paper
cup sugar
cup water
Tbsp corn syrup
Oil, for greasing the spatula and knife
1 ½
cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and peeled
Frangelico, for brushing cake, optional


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2

Line four 11 1/2- x 16-inch baking sheets with parchment paper or line two 16- x 24-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 3

Trace eight 8-inch circles onto the sheets of parchment paper. (You will get 2 circles on an 11 1/2- x 16-inch sheet and 4 circles on a 16- x 24-inch sheet. Do not cut the circles out.

Step 4

Put the sheets of parchment back on the baking sheets with the ink sides facing down (so pencil or marker doesn’t bake onto cake).

Step 5

Whip egg whites to soft peak stage and gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.

Step 6

Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.

Step 7

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with electric beaters), whip egg yolks with remaining 1/2 cup sugar until pale yellow and the mixture holds a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.

Step 8

Stir in vanilla.

Step 9

Sift flour, hazelnuts and salt over egg yolk mixture and fold in gently by hand with a rubber spatula.

Step 10

Fold in the whites in thirds until just evenly blended.

Step 11

Spoon approximately 2/3 cup of the cake batter into centre of first drawn circle and spread evenly to edges of the circle.

Step 12

Repeat with second circle on same sheet and put the baking sheet in the oven.

Step 13

Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until cake springs back when gently pressed.

Step 14

Repeat process until all batter has been used.

Step 15

Allow cake discs to cool completely.

Step 16

Melt chocolate and set aside.

Step 17

Soften butter to room temperature and set aside.

Step 18

In a medium saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, bring the water and sugar to a boil and cook until the thermometer registers 239 degrees F. (softball stage).

Step 19

While sugar is cooking, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peak stage.

Step 20

While whipping constantly, gradually add sugar syrup.

Step 21

Continue whipping until mixture is cooled.

Step 22

On medium speed, add the butter, 1 cube at a time, until incorporated.

Step 23

Stir espresso powder into hot water to dissolve and add to the whipping mixture.

Step 24

Add the melted chocolate, sifted cocoa powder and salt to the whipping mixture.

Step 25

Keep mixing until smooth.

Step 26

Set aside at room temperature.

Step 27

Draw two 8-inch circles on a piece of parchment.

Step 28

Turn parchment sheet over and butter.

Step 29

Cook 2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup until a light caramel colour, brushing down the sides of the pot with water often.

Step 30

Immerse pot in a bath of cold water to halt the cooking process.

Step 31

Pour a puddle of caramel into centre of each drawn disc (leave about 1 cup in the pot) and spread with an oiled spatula to fill the circles.

Step 32

Allow mixture to cool slightly.

Step 33

Before it has set up completely, cut each caramel circle into 16 wedges with an oiled knife and allow to cool completely.

Step 34

Butter another sheet of parchment.

Step 35

Stir 1 cup hazelnuts into remaining hot sugar mixture to coat, the 1/2 cup remaining hazelnuts will be used for garnishing on top of the cake.

Step 36

Re-heat caramel over low heat if it is too stiff.

Step 37

Spoon mixture onto another buttered parchment sheet and allow mixture to cool.

Step 38

Grind hazelnut praline (as it’s now called) in a food processor.

Step 39

To assemble torte, peel off first cake round and put it on a cake plate.

Step 40

Ice with a thin layer of icing and top with the next layer of cake (if you wish, you can brush each layer with a little Frangelico liqueur).

Step 41

Repeat until all cake layers have been used. Ice top and sides of torte.

Step 42

Press hazelnut praline on sides of the cake to finish.

Step 43

Pipe icing around top outside edge of torte (reserving just enough to pipe a dot of icing on each caramel wedge).

Step 44

Arrange caramel wedges around torte, leaning them on an angle so they sort of fan around the torte.

Step 45

Pipe a dot of icing on each caramel wedge and place a whole hazelnut on each.

Step 46

Chill until ready to serve.

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