Updated: Nov 11, 2021
As a recipe developer in my previous life, I came upon an intriguing ad on Facebook. The ad was for a scratch card style poster with '100 bakes to make with your family'. Going through the list, I realised that I know how to, or have made most of the bakes on the list. I set myself the challenge of taking these bakes and making them into a different version, a different recipe, whilst keeping the essence of the original bake.
I am beginning with Tiramisu.
Tiramisu is a coffee-flavoured Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa.
Roberto Linguanotto, owner of “Le Beccherie” of Treviso, Italy, was behind the creation of the first Tiramisu. This special dessert was created in the bakery of the restaurant.
This recipe is Coffee, Chocolate and vanilla flavoured sponge cakes, flavoured with a coffee syrup, layered with mascarpone cheese, sugar and vanilla frosting.
At first it sounds like a lot of faffing about, but trust me it's not. I hate anything that's faffy!
You might think that all of this coffee is going to be too strong, but honestly it's not. I don't like coffee cakes but I enjoyed this one. In fact, when I originally tried it I thought it wasn't coffee enough, so I added more to the recipe.
How to Make this cake
Make a cup of coffee.
Some parts of the recipe will require espresso powder to be added directly to the mix, other parts will require the espresso to be liquid.
Before you begin this recipe, put 5 tbsp of espresso powder in a cup, and dissolve with 5 tbsp of boiling water. Leave this to cool down before using in the cake.
Make the sponge cake.
The 3 flavours used in the recipe are made from one simple batter. Make it in a food processor and it will me done in minutes. I use the all-in-one method when making the majority of my sponge cakes - saves on time and effort.
The cake batter is then split into 4 equal quantities. 1 is to be flavoured chocolate with cocoa powder, 2 will be flavoured with coffee (these can both be put in the same bowl), and the remainder will stay as it is.
Make the coffee syrup.
This will be drizzled on the sponge cake layers to give an even stronger coffee flavour.
The syrup is brought to the boil to dissolve the sugar, so it will need time to cool down. I recommend using a pastry brush to add the syrup across each layer.
Make the Mascarpone Frosting.
In the same way as the cake batter was separated, so too is the frosting.
The mascarpone is must be brought to room temp for a few hours (less if it's hot). If it's too cold it will have to be beaten more to mix everything together, running the risk of it splitting or becoming runny. It can't be rectified it this happens.
The base frosting is mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract or scrape the seeds from a pod.
Don't mix the frosting in a food processor. It should only be mixed together using a spatula, and only until the ingredients are all combined. If the mixture is whipped too much then it will become runny and you won't be able to spread it on your cake.
This time it's split into 1 part for chocolate, 1 part for coffee and 2 parts for vanilla. If you don't want to recreate this effect then leave out this stage and just use vanilla.
Tips to get the perfect cake.
Read the recipe form beginning to end, to familiarise yourself with what needs to be done, when.
I have used Espresso Instant Powder in this recipe. The only one I could find was by Nescafe. Use this not the stuff that's ground for cafetieres etc, it's too grainy and you won't get the full strength of the coffee.
If you want a weaker coffee taste then take out a tablespoon of coffee from the cake batter.
Use room temperature ingredients wherever possible, even the mascarpone cheese. Don't skip this bit thinking you can use the mascarpone straight from the fridge.
Bake the cakes the day before you assemble them. The coffee syrup will have longer to soak in and they will handle better.
Use the tin size recommended in the recipe. Different sized tins will require different quantities of batter. They can be purchased from any supermarket.
Weigh the cake batter accurately when dividing it. It makes all of the difference to the outcome.
Weigh the mascarpone frosting when dividing it to make the different flavours. It will make it taste the same as the recipe and look more like the photo.
This cake is extra special and ideal as a Birthday Cake.
The cake can be frozen. Wrap securely in clingfilm before placing in the freezer.
Store the cake in the fridge once it's completed. Remove just before it's going to be eaten.
If you don't manage to eat it all in one go, what's wrong with you? But, it will keep in the fridge for 5 days.