My parents celebrated their anniversary a few weeks back, and I, ofcourse, had to make a special cake to mark the special day. Ever since I got baking, I wait with excitement for reasons to make something…Of course, I’m still learning and have such a long way to go, but I know every baker will agree…baking is an addiction!
To add fuel to the fire of my addiction came my parents’ anniversary on Nov 21st. And I knew I had to bake something, something I hadn’t baked before. Now with every fresh bake lies the risk of failure, but then, how will you learn if you never try? And that’s how I decided..why not make a Tiramisu Cake this time? 🙂
I was very particular about doing a cake that had the feel of a traditional Tiramisu, but one that was built on and around a cake-base, rather than layers of ‘Ladyfingers’ or ‘Savoiardi’ biscuits, that a traditional Tiramisu calls for. It took me a while, but I managed to find a recipe that suited me perfectly..and a little bit of tweaking, and I was good to go!
Since I work with a convection Microwave, I have to bake in installments, or bake a single cake and slice it into halves. For this cake however, I baked it in two parts; the batter was quite a bit and could easily be halved, (though my calculations didn’t turn out that perfect as you can see :P), and sliced one cake into two layers, keeping the other one intact. Also, I have to say, this cake is super, super moist and so soft that it melts in your mouth. The eggs and butter work wonders on the texture. I’d love to bake and eat this one on its own, without filling/frosting.
The amount of frosting here is just perfect for 3 layers, including a generous amount that can be slathered over the top and sides of the cake. Also, the frosting isn’t very thick, as it’s already a rich cake and doesn’t need a lot of heavy creaminess. The cake tastes best when made a day in advance, allowing the flavours to soak through. And don’t forget to soak the sponge very very generously with syrup. As mentioned, there’s no alcohol in this cake, though you may choose to use some…and instead of cocoa powder, I’ve covered the cake in bittersweet chocolate shavings. A rustic cake, just the way my parents like it.. 🙂
And even though it seems as though the cake is small, trust me, it is rich enough to suffice..we couldn’t eat beyond one tiny piece at a time…so this cake will be good enough for about 8 to 10 servings, decent ones 🙂
TIRAMISU CAKE (Recipe credits: Tasty treats)
NOTE: These measurements are for a 3-layer cake
For the cake:
- Cake Flour – 2 cups
- Baking powder – 2 tsp
- Baking soda – 1/8 tsp (a pinch)
- Butter – 10 tbs or 1 and 1/4 sticks (room temp)
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Eggs – 3 + 1 yolk
- Vanilla extract – 1 and 1/2 tsp
- Buttermilk – 3/4 cup
(To make cake flour, remove 2 tbsp AP flour from each cup of AP flour and substitute with 2 tbsp of cornflour)
For the espresso extract:
- Instant coffee or espresso powder – 3 tbsp
- Boiling water – 2 tbsp
- For the espresso syrup:
- Water – 1 cup
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Coffee powder – 3 tbsp (add 1 tbsp Amaretto or Kahlua or Brandy if using alcohol)
For the filling and frosting:
- Mascarpone cheese – 270 gms (or 1 8oz can)
- Icing sugar – 1/2 cup sifted
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Espresso extract/Amaretto/Kahlua/Brandy – 2 tbsp
- Heavy cream – 1 cup
- Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate – 3 oz or about 85 gm
- Cocoa powder or grated chocolate for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180C. Grease and dust two 9″ cake pans and line with parchment paper. (I baked at 170 C)
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter in medium speed until soft and creamy.
- Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one by one, followed by the yolk, beating for one minute after each addition.
- Beat in the vanilla, don’t panic if the mixture looks curdled. It’ll come together soon.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in three additions and the buttermilk in two (so you begin and end with the dry ingredients).
- Scrape the bowl and beat again for a few seconds, until all the streaks disappear into the batter.
- Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes, rotating the pans at the halfway point. (It took me 34 mins at 170 C).
- When fully baked. the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a knife/skewer inserted into the center will come out clean.
- Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Then run a knife around the edge of the cakes and unmould them. Peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool the cakes to room temperature, right side up.
- Mix the espresso/coffee powder wiith the boiling water and stir until blended. Keep aside.
- Espresso syrup:
- Stir the water and sugar in a pan and bring just to a boil.
- Pour the syrup into a small heat proof bowl and stir in the coffee powder.
- Keep aside.
Filling and frosting:
- Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and liqueur or espresso extract in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.
- Whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks.
- Using a rubber spatula stir about a quarter of the cream into the mascarpone.
- Fold in the remaining cream with a light touch.
Assembling the Cake:
- Level the cake. Place one layer, right side up on a cardboard round or cake plate, protected by strips of wax of parchment paper underneath to catch any syrupy drips.
- Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the first layer with enough espresso syrup so that it soaks through (you’ll be using almost 1/3 of the syrup)
- Gently spread about 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture, and then top with a generous layer of grated chocolate.
- Now place the second layer of the cake, and repeat the process.
- Finally, top with the third, the last layer, and soak the top with remaining espresso syrup.
- Smooth the top and sides with the remaining mascarpone mixture, and if you wish, use a piping nozzle to draw out designs, etc. I used the back of my spatula to create small peaks.
- Lastly, sprinkle some cocoa powder or grated chocolate on top.
- Refrigerate until serving time.
- It is crucial that your whipped cream and mascarpone are at the same temperature. I did not, and my frosting split slightly…
- Though that didn’t alter the taste, I added 1/4 cup of room temp fresh cream (whey removed) and 3 tbsp of extra mascarpone to the frosting, and it came back to its creamy, smooth self.
- My cake had three layers, so I made extra espresso syrup to soak the layers in.
- Also, I bake in a convection MW, so even though I baked the cake twice, my layers weren’t the same size. So I cut them into three 🙂
- I didn’t frost the cake thickly, because it was already quite rich…you may choose to if you wish.
- Bake and frost the cake at least a day in advance. This will allow the flavours to deepen and give you a richer tasting cake.