Tiramisu Cake – Sweet and Fluffy

It was my father-in-law’s birthday and I wanted to make a cake for him. He’s from Italy and loved my tiramisu a few Christmas’s ago, so I decided to make a tiramisu cake. It’s got all the great flavors and textures of tiramisu but in a cake form. Instead of lady fingers there is sponge cake, and it’s just as good.

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Unfortunately, half of my photos did not come out. They were wiped off my SD card in my camera, so I am missing all of my photos of decorating, making chocolate curls, and the inside of the cake. Worst of all, all of the birthday photos of family and my father-in-law blowing out the cake are lost! Don’t buy your SD card in China, it may not work after a while.

I found this recipe from Rock Recipes. I liked this recipe because of the chocolate mascarpone whipped filling. Yum.

Tiramisu Cake

From Rock Recipes

Yield:  one 8×8 two layer cake

Ingredients:

 For the Sponge Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 eggs separated, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1 cup sugar, separated in 2 half cups
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Tiramisu Cream Frosting

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

For the Chocolate Espresso Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips ( I use 50% cocoa chips)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

4 to 6 ounces Kahlua, coffee flavored liqueur, or sweetened espresso

Directions:

For the Sponge Cake

  1. Sift together flour and baking powder, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tarter until foamy, about 3 minutes. Add ½ cup sugar gradually until egg whites are stiff, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Beat egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until foamy and thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Fold beaten egg yolks into the beaten egg whites along with the vanilla for only a few turns before slowly and gradually folding in the flour and baking powder mixture very gently by hand using a rubber spatula until just incorporated into the meringue mixture. DO NOT OVERMIX, you just want the flour to be incorporated; over mixing will deflate the egg whites and result in a tough textured final product.
  4. Pour into ungreased 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with the bottoms lined with parchment paper and bake at 325 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until center springs back when touched.
  5. Cool completely in the pans before running a sharp knife around the edge to release the cakes from the pans and then remove the parchment paper from the bottoms.

For the Tiramisu Cream Frosting

  1. Whip together heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and espresso powder until stiff peaks form. Set aside about 2/3 of the whipped cream mixture in a large bowl.
  2. In the other 1/3 of the mixture, beat in the marscarpone until smooth. Fold the mascarpone whipped cream mixture into the reserved 2/3 whipped cream mixture.
  3. Set aside about 1/2 cup of this final tiramisu cream frosting to make into the chocolate espresso filling.

For the Chocolate Espresso Filling

  1. In a double boiler melt together chocolate and heavy whipping cream.
  2. Allow chocolate mixture to cool to almost room temperature. Use as little heat as possible in order to get it to melt. Reserve about 1/2 cup chocolate to drizzle on top. Fold the rest of the chocolate into the reserved tiramisu cream frosting.

To Assemble the Cake

  1. Using a fork, poke holes over the surface of both cake layers and evenly brush 2 to 3 ounces coffee liqueur or espresso over each layer (total 4-6 oz over both layers).
  2. Frost first layer with the chocolate espresso filling. Place second sponge cake layer on top and frost entire cake with the tiramisu cream frosting.
  3. Drizzle the chocolate over the top or decorate with chocolate curls.

For the sponge cake, whip the egg whites for a nice meringue-looking mixture.

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Until it turns white and forms peaks. When you lift the attachment out of the egg whites and sugar you’ll see the peak stays.

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Then I transferred the egg white mixture to another bowl so I could beat the egg yolks and sugar.

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Here is the sugar mixed with egg yolks.

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It turns whitish looking too.

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Then fold the two egg mixtures together carefully.

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Then slowly fold the flour in until combined. Be careful!

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Load up the baking pans of choice. I didn’t read the directions correctly and greased my pans, but it turned out fine, so I don’t know why you don’t grease it.

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See? They come out very nicely. I never knew sponge cake was so delicious and has that nice crust. It tastes like lady fingers.

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Now the delicious tiramisu cream frosting. Here is the whipping cream and espresso powder mixture – I don’t have instant espresso powder, so I used finely ground espresso. Tastes great to me still!

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Keep beating it, it will start to look like this.

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Then fold in the mascarpone into the whipped cream.

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Then you set aside some of the whipped cream frosting above for the chocolate espresso filling…start melting that chocolate and cream, try not to eat it before mixing it with the whipped cream mascarpone!

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Then fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped mixture.

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Until it’s a nice and smooth chocolatey looking filling.

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Yum…you will need to eat some of this. Actually, you can because I found there was too much of this filling in my cake. It completely smushed out which is why my cake has an ombre look to it going darker and lighter up top. That wasn’t on purpose, but I liked the end effect!

I then used a chopstick to poke holes in my cake.

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And brushed the tops with the sweetened espresso. I believe the recipe meant 2-3 oz kahlua on EACH layer…but I’m not sure. I only used 3 oz of sweetened espresso split between the two layers and I thought it was too dry. I recommend doing more, it’ll seem like a lot of liquid, but remember tiramisu is soaked lady fingers. You want that same moisture.

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Then layer the chocolate filling on the first soaked layer of sponge cake. I put a long piece of saran wrap in my baking pan and put the sponge cake down, then the chocolate filling, and again so it would be straight.

DSC_0261_webEh, my trick didn’t work so well. The pan wasn’t tall enough.

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Oh well…

There were a couple more steps between this and my final photo, but as I said before my camera crapped out. All I did was frost the outside with the tiramisu whipped cream. I actually mixed in all of the melted chocolate and whipped cream mixture because I knew I wasn’t going to drizzle it on top like the recipe. I took some cocoa powder and sprinkled it on the top. Then I took some leftover chocolate filling and filled my piping bag with it and with the whipped cream frosting so I got the dual blobs on top of the cake.

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I found this great tutorial for chocolate curls from Pioneer Woman. I’ve tried chocolate curls before, but could never do it. This tutorial is great! It finally worked for me. I had to stick the chocolate layer in the freezer a couple times when it softened too much.

Lessons Learned/Tips

  • There was a little more chocolate espresso filling than I expected, next time I would set aside a little less tiramisu cream frosting for the chocolate filling
  • I would put more liquid in between layers – not sure if that was intended with the recipe, but I didn’t get it if it was. I would do 3 oz Kahlua or espresso on each layer
  • I would sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder in between the layer of cake and filling for a more classic tiramisu flavor

Hope you enjoy!

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