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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tiramisu Cake

We are already into our last month of the year. Time really flies! And I thought it was only recently that we celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year. Now we are already into December 2013. To many of you, December is probably a special month too - Christmas, upcoming New Year's Day and the festive mood increases as you go into malls with all the festive songs jingling in the background whilst you can't stop humming to it. It is like that for me as well but even more, with a special person celebrating her birthday too ;) It's so fast to see the little kid sister growing up so fast. She already celebrated her 21st birthday just not too long ago and now it's her birthday again.

Geez, I think I'm getting all nostalgic with this. I better get on with this post before the emotions start taking over ;P

The little kid sister wanted this special cake - tiramisu cake. Yes, not just a plain boring tiramisu but a tiramisu cake. Incidentally, I found 2 recipes and one of them is from Dorie Greenspan and the other is from Tish Boyle. After studying both recipes, I've decided to use the one from Dorie Greenspan simply because of Kristin's convincing sentence "This Tiramisu cake is light, creamy and divine". I believe this would be what the kid sister would prefer. Of course, I will definitely try to attempt the one by Tish very very soon too :P

This recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Cake

200g cake flour

2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
141g unsalted butter, room temperature
225g 200g sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
183g buttermilk

Espresso extract

2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp boiling water

Espresso syrup

1/2 cup water
75g cup sugar
1 tbsp Kahlua

For Filling and Frosting

227g mascarpone cheese
62.5g icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Kahlua or brandy
240g cold heavy cream
70.8g chocolate, finely chopped or mini chocolate chips

Cocoa powder, for dusting

Method:
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess, and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. 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. 
  4. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. 
  5. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. 
  6. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. 
  7. 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. 
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  9. 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.
  10. To make the extract: Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving – the elements need time to meld.
  17. Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with cocoa. 
I have made several tiramisus with spongefingers but never once with a cake. This is my first time and I must say, Dorie's recipe for the cake is really good. The cake alone is very good and is rather addictive. However, with the mascarpone cheese, it seems abit overpowering for me. I would probably still eat tiramisu with spongefingers for a lighter texture but I'm glad I attempted to make this tiramisu version though. I love the tight crumb of this cake. It's a tad lighter than Sara Lee's cake but tastes much nicer :P

Psst, I made this tiramisu with Bailey's and love the creamy texture of it. If you like, you can try brandy or Kahlua.

See my tiramisu cake below.







I'm also submitting this to Cook-Your-Books #7 hosted by Joyce of kitchenflavours.


I'm also submitting this to We Should Cocoa hosted by Chocolette of Chocolate Log Blog.


I'm also submitting this to Calendar Cakes hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes.


I'm also submitting this to Treat Petite December 2013 organized by Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, hosted by Cakeyboi.


I'm also submitting this to Tea Time Treats (December 2013) organized by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Kate of What Kate Baked, hosted by Kate.


I'm also submitting this to the "Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipes Collection 2013" event that Yen of Eat Your Heart Out is hosting.
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