If you tune in to my radio appearance tonight, you may hear me talking about the layer cake pictured above. It's a dessert my mother made throughout my childhood. I remember having it all the time until I was about 10 or 11, when it disappeared from her repertoire. While this '70s creation may not contain the finest ingredients according to the contemporary food snob's standards, it still tastes pretty damned good.
We called it a Dobos Torte, but from every recipe I've seen online, this is really a bastardization (though a tasty one). The real Dobos Torte (or Dobosh Torte) appears to be a traditional Hungarian cake with layers and chocolate, but the similarities to this one end there. In fact, this thing barely deserves to be called homemade. As impressive as it looks, it's just frozen pound cake, chocolate chips, sour cream, and vanilla. That's it. The hardest part is in the assembly.
I would be curious to try making this cake with updated ingredients: high-quality artisanal chocolate, organic sour cream, and vanilla bean. Maybe homemade pound cake, too. But, would it be the same? And can you cut a home-made pound cake as thinly as you can the industrial version? I doubt it.
1 frozen pound cake
2 cups sour cream
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla
Cocoa powder for dusting
Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler and let cool slightly. Fold the chocolate, the vanilla, and the sour cream together, and then use a whisk to blend the mixture completely.
Slice the pound cake into thin layers (seven above). One at a time, frost each layer with the chocolate and sour cream mixture and stack. To complete the cake, you can frost the top of the topmost layer or all sides, as I have done above. Finally, to cover up any glitches, I dusted the finished cake with cocoa powder. Note that there will be plenty of leftover frosting, especially if you only fill the layers and frost the top (for which 1 cup of chocolate and 1 cup of sour cream would suffice). Chill and serve sliced.