Monday, January 17, 2011

The Day I Willingly Stuck My Hand Into A Vat Of Boiling Sugar

Hey everyone. So, our first cake unit (out of 3) is winding down. Only one more class before our big test, and I think I've made a lot of progress. Yesterday we made two Austrian cakes, a dobos torte and a sacher torte

So, the first cake we made is called a dobos torte. This is yet another cake that I've never heard of, but it's really interesting and fun to make, so I'm a new fan of the dobos. It has five layers of thin cake, filled with a chocolate rum buttercream. You then take a sixth layer of cake and pour caramel over it. Once the caramel sets a little, you take a knife that has been heating on the stove and cut it into eight wedges. Now, when my partner, Michelle, did this, the knife burst into flames. It was crazy...I believe the quote of the day from her was "um...can I get a little help?!" The other fun part of the dobos torte was in making the buttercream, which involves heating sugar to "soft ball" stage, or 238 degrees. Now, normally when you test the sugar, you dip a spoon into the sugar and drop it into an ice bath, but there is another way. You can numb your hands in the ice bath, reach into the boiling pot to grab some sugar, and dunk your hand back into the ice bath. I've always been terrified to try this (can you imagine why?) but I finally got the nerve to do it. And you know what? It was perfectly fine. No burns or anything! So, yeah, I got to be a badass for like five minutes. Go me. Anyway, here's the final product:

Next up was the sacher torte, a cake that apparently no one likes...but it's very famous and classic, so what do I know? It's essentially a dense chocolate cake filled and glazed with apricot preserves and a final glaze of chocolate over it. Personally, I'm not a fan of chocolate and citrus, and if the other people in my class can be any sort of statistical sample, then most people aren't fans, either. But, it looks pretty, and we got to practice writing on it, so there it's a picture.
Well, that's it. Next class is a flourless chocolate cake and a hazelnut chocolate cake, and that's it for Cakes 1!


  1. Brutie--

    That gave me a big laugh. I love sacher torte. I don't think apricot is citrus, so you really might like it. The dobos torte is gorgeous.

    Love, Mom

  2. Brett, I "tested" MY candy apple mixture (crack stage) by accidentally pouring some onto my finger at 302 degrees-- ended up at primary care. Ouch!
    Love, Dad

  3. And, the cakes are FABU.

  4. Brett, these creations look like works of art. Flourless chocolate cake--that's my absolute favorite. Salivating. My mistake for reading your blog now! I have nothing in my freezer, but dark chocolate covered espresso beans!

  5. so, what day is the hazelnut chocolate cake? Kenny and i will drive up to push you down and steal your cake. orrrrr.... we can come up to drink bourbon and eat cake with you.... you decide.


  6. Eileen, that flourless chocolate cake was a hit at Adam's office. Stupid me, though, I didn't save a piece for myself!
    Talia, just brought home the chocolate hazelnut tonight. It's awesome. But I'm all for bourbon and cake night!

  7. Oh to live close to the artist... ! Yes, you're not only making delicious food, it's artistic and creative. Presentation is inviting, although it's gotta taste great too! It sounds like your in your ZONE!

  8. woops It sounds like YOU'RE in your ZONE! Frannie put away your red pen!