Are you really going to make it, or are you wasting our time and yours (mostly ours)? Actually, it sounds as if you will really give it a try.

For almost everyone these days, the Dobos Torte exists only in the mind – if it exists at all. The cake was created in 1887 by Hungarian pastry chef József Dobos (pronounce the final s like an sh). The great problem is that there are now many versions and everyone swears that theirs is the original. Clearly they cannot all be the original, and we can no longer consult the chef to find the answer. Look at the Dobos Torte pictures on Google – hundreds of them, and very few are alike. Frankly, there are more versions than actual people willing to make one.

we so often must, we will go out on a limb to tell you how to make a Dobos Torte.

We have seen a recipe that simplifies things greatly by using Carlsbad Wafers, or Oblaten, which a group of Czechs and ethnic Germans who fled the Carlsbad region of Czechoslovakia after World War II are now arguing over (the Czechs want the European Commission to give them a Protective Designation of Origin, but people who have been making the wafers for more than 60 years in Austria and the German state of Bavaria think they shouldn’t be compelled to give up the name at this point). In any event, we have seen a recipe that simplifies things greatly by using Carlsbad Wafers, rather than requiring you to make seven thin cakes. Of course we are opposed to any kind of simplification and want you to make all seven layers from scratch, but we are not the food police, so you can do anything you want (and as far as we’re concerned, you can get Carlsbad Oblaten from any source, too). (The site, www.oblaten.com claims to be the world’s oldest e-commerce site. So that’s like what, fifteen?)

Obviously you can also buy a Dobos Torte online, but we doubt you will ever find the one of your three-decades-old recollection.

With regard to the linked recipe, there are those who frost the sides of the torte and garnish it with crushed hazelnuts, but we think a torte that is open at the sides is more authentic, and the hazelnuts are out of line (though again, your choice). According to Ochef’s stringent definition of a torte, this is a cake, not a torte, but we’ll have to let that go for now….

Now, if you are willing to make seven thin layers of cake, cover them with Chocolate Cream Filling, and cover the top with a layer of caramel, we will give you The Recipe for Dobos Torte. Otherwise, no peeking! (And don’t even bother telling us this is not the original. It is as original as they come!)