Terrifying Tortes

Our hard work paid off. The “Terrifying Tortes” party was a big success. Altogether, we raised $1100 to help the grandmothers and orphans struggling with the AIDS crisis in Africa, more than twice our goal.

Now for a little time to glory in our workmanship.


The Doboschtorte. An incredible Hungarian cake made of 10 separately baked layers held together by a luscious butter-cocoa cream.


Obstkuchen. A very common German sight. Fruit flan in English? Colourful, light, served with a dollop of whipped cream.

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake. The Kirsch-drenched classic. It’s looking a little worse for the wear here, the day after, but I think it still conveys the lusciousness. If you’ve only had the horrid, North American grocery-store version, my heart goes out to you. Overly sweet, no Kirsch, no personality. Find a real one. Change your tastebuds forever.


Donauwellen. Translation: Waves of the Danube

Not the best photo, but we were, frankly, more focused on eating than documenting.

Layers of cake rising around the weight of sour cherries make the waves in the bottom. This is covered by a pudding/butter layer and then a chocolate layer into which you draw waves with a large fork. One of those cakes so different and wonderful that I can remember eating it for the first time more than a decade ago.

Linzertorte, before baking

Linzertorte (before baking). A late entry into our plans (after another recipe disappointed) and something neither Rainer nor I could remember having eaten. Imagine our surprise as it became our instant favourite.

It’s basically shortbread made with oodles of nuts and the wintry spices of cinnamon and cloves. A splash of Kirsch and a spoonful of cocoa to add depth. Then topped with jam and a decorative topping made of the dough. Magnificent.

Those were the cakes that we remembered to snap beauty shots of or had enough leftover the next day to photograph. A few didn’t make it, including the Greta Garbo cake and the Apfelstreuselkuchen.

All-in-all there were 168 pieces of cake for about 30 people. And, yes, Rainer, Sandra, and I did make them all.

Terrifying Tortes

Thank you to my parents for hosting, to our friends for enjoying themselves, to you for donating, and to the friends I called in a panicked need for cake servers. My generation? Seriously lacking in the pie-server department.

If you’re intrigued, remember you can donate and receive 3 recipes as a way to participate from afar.We’ll be translating them and emailing this week.


10 thoughts on “Terrifying Tortes

  1. Tamai says:

    Sarah – thank you so much for being a part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s A Dare to Remember!! And your cakes look so delicious. It sounds like an amazing evening – I just wish I could have been there!

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