Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tiramisu Cake

I made this cake for my birthday (which was a while ago) and it was really quite delicious. The icing was absolutely addictive and I would definitely double it next time. I'm really into coffee flavoured things right now so it was hard to stop myself from eating too much icing before the cake had any icing on it. I love the mascarpone cheese in the icing (which wow is expensive from regular grocery stores but is a lot cheaper from Costco).

I only sometimes like actual tiramisu because I hate when the ladyfingers are completely soggy (yes I know this is one of the key points of the dessert). I've never used a syrup on a cake before (to moisten it) so I was scared it would turn too mushy, but it didn't. It was obviously a bit moister where I had put the syrup on but nothing like I had feared. The cake was actually still good a few days later (usually I'm really picky about how dry things can get in a couple of days).

Other yummy cakes I've made:
Elvis Fluffernutter Cake
Caramel Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Coconut Cake (with Cream Cheese-White Chocolate Icing)

Tiramisu Cake
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the cake layers:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the espresso extract:
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water

For the espresso syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Kahlua

For the filling and frosting:
8-ounce container mascarpone
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for decoration (optional)

Getting ready:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To make the cake:
Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them, and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right-side up.

To make the extract:
Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.

To make the syrup:
Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy; set aside.

To make the filling and frosting:
Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.

Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.

To assemble the cake:
If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Place one layer right-side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected with strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup. Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer - user about 1 1/4 cups - and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.

For the frosting, whisk 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling. Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add. If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread over the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so. Refrigerate the cake too.

With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top. If you want to decorate the cake with chocolate-covered espresso beans, press them into the filling, making concentric circles of beans or just putting some beans in the center of the cake.

Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving - the elements need time to meld.


VeggieGirl said...

Happy belated birthday, Ashley!!! What a FABULOUS cake variety to make (and eat) for the occasion.

No need to be scared!! It turned out beautifully, not mushy!!

Kevin said...

That looks so good! I like the chocolate-covered espresso beans on top!

Erin said...

Hope you had a great birthday! This looks incredibly delicious! It's definitely on the top of my list of things I want to make from Dorie's book, so I hope I get to make it soon!

Ricki said...

What an amazingly elaborate cake--and what a great thing to make for your birthday! I see what you mean about the frosting, too. . .

Oh, and Happy Belated Birthday! (can't wait to see what you'll whip up for the next one).

Katrina said...

Looks great and I don't like coffee flavored things. HBB (happy belated birthday)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a beautiful birthday cake! I didn't know Costco carried mascarpone cheese - I'll look for it next time I go. Thanks for the tip!

Helene said...

What a great way to celebrate a birthday with this beautiful cake. Thanks for the tip about Costco, I did not know they had mascarpone.

Rita said...

Wow, that looks great! I think I would have liked the cocoa on top though.

Snooky doodle said...

this looks so so good. Andit doesn t contain raw eggs :) I ll surely try it. The cake photo is beautiful :)

Lisa said...

Simply stunning. You've outdone yourself with this one!

Hannah said...

Happy belated birthday! This cake looks like the perfect celebratory dessert- who doesn't love the flavors of tiramisu? :)

Joanna said...

that looks so good!! i've missed your posts, so i'm happy you got back on. i'm a big tiramisu fan. i always get it when i go out to dinner... which hardly ever happens haha

Holler said...

That icing looks way too tempting! Lovely :)

Meg said...

Hope you had a wonderful birthday! What an amazing cake!

Grace said...

this is bordering on being the best birthday cake ever! i'm picky about my tiramisu too, but this is picture perfect. happy belated birthday, by the way--hope it was stellar. :)

Anonymous said...

i love tiramisu! i will definitely have to keep this cake in mind when i am thinking of baking a cake!!!

Usha said...

Belated Birthday wishes...the cake and the icing look absolutely beautiful :-)

kickpleat said...

what an amazing birthday cake! happy birthday!! it looks amazing and i'll bet it tasted amazing too. yum.

Claire said...

This looks oh so good! I've looked at it several times in the book but never made it...I don't really have reason to make cakes often. I need to find a reason!

Parker said...

Beautiful! The espresso topping with Kahlua sounds fantastic and it is so nicely decorated.

Cakebrain said...

happy belated birthday! thanks for commenting on my blog 'cause now I've found yours too! Fabulous looking cake!

Maria said...

Happy late birthay to you! The cake is amazing!! I hope it was a good one!

Dawn said...

yes Happy belated Birthday! You shouldn't be making your own birthday cakes on your special day. But since you did it looks perfect. All your creations are stellar.

Anonymous said...

hahahaha happy late birthday! i looooooove the idea of your tiramisu cake! tiramisu is one of my absolute favorite desserts, but it always takes forever to make! i'll just make your cake next time!

Cakespy said...

This looks so crazy delicious, I can barely stand it!

Jaime said...

mmmm i love tiramisu! will have to try this cake. thanks for the tip about the cheaper mascarpone at costco (it was like $16/lb the last time i bought it at the grocery store)

oh, and happy belated birthday btw!

Olivia said...

Wow this is a beautiful cake

Anonymous said...

By 3 large eggs you mean I should only use the yolks or do you mean I should use the whole eggs ?

eatme_delicious said...

Anonymous: You should use 3 whole eggs. And the recipe also calls for 1 large egg yolk, so it's 3 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk. =)