Do you need a pick-me-up? I thought you just might so
I baked this delicious Tiramisu Cake to tempt your tummy and lift your spirits. Let me tell you, this cake is more than wet, tasteless sponginess and frothy filling. It is mildly sweet with a potent kick of double power espresso and rich, creamy mascarpone and amaretto filling that may make you a little bit giddy. Trust me, you want to make this cake!
I thought for a long time about what I wanted the texture of this cake to be like . The traditional lady fingers that are used in this dessert are very light and spongy. While I wanted to create something much like the original Italian delight, I also wanted this to be like a cake.
To achieve this half sponge-cake like and half butter-cake like texture, I played around with the proportions of a 1-2-3-4 cake. Here are the changes that I made:
- I removed all of the butter and replaced it with rich, dairy mascarpone. This lightened the cake and gave it a delicate neutral flavor.
- I added 2 eggs to the recipe to give it a light spongier texture.
- I removed a half a cup of sugar to lighten the texture and add strength and resiliency to the crumb. Plus this cake is better with a mildly sweet base.
- I added a touch of buttermilk and vinegar to add flavor and a touch of tenderness to the cake.
- I added a small amount of almond extract to mimic the flavor of the amaretto in the syrup and filling (yum!).
For the syrup, I boosted the flavor by adding espresso paste (Incredible stuff from Pastry Portal. Yes you need it!) to brewed espresso and glugged in some amaretto and a dash of sugar to keep it from seeming too wet.
If only there was a taste-o-web, I would give you this bite right here! But alas, we lack this futuristic technology so you will have to make one of these amazing treats for yourself.
What are your thoughts on tiramisu? Let me know!
- 8 ounces (227 grams) mascarpone*-1 cup
- 10 ½ ounce (298 grams) sugar- 1 ½ cups
- 6 eggs
- 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) vanilla extract
- ¼ teasponn (1 milliliter) almond extract
- 10 ounces (284 grams) all-purpose flour- 2 cups
- 4 ounces (113 grams) cake flour**- 1 cup
- 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (3 milliliters) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (3 milliliters) salt
- 4 ounces (120 milliliters) buttermilk- ½ cup
- ½ tablespoon (8 milliliters) vinegar (white or cider)
- 5 ½ ounces (160 milliliters) hot, strong-brewed espresso or coffee-2/3 cup
- 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) amaretto
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) espresso paste (I used the awesome paste from Pastry Portal)***
- 16 ounces (454 grams) mascarpone- 2 cups
- 3 ½ ounces (99 grams) sugar- ½ cup (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) amaretto
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 16 ounces (480 milliliters) heavy whipping cream -2 cups
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Pernigotti)
- 1 ounce (28 grams) dark or semisweet chocolate, grated or shaved
- Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C). Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour.
- Beat mascarpone and sugar for 2 minutes on medium-high speed of mixer. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla and almond extract.
- Sprinkle in the dry ingredients to distribute. Turn mixer on low and mix to moisten dry ingredients then increase speed to medium and beat 1 minute. Pour in buttermilk and vinegar and mix on low for 30 seconds until well combined and smooth.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cake tests clean with a toothpick. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn out to a cooling rack. Cool completely if using immediately, or wrap in two layers of plastic wrap if using later.
- *If you do not want to use mascarpone you can substitute cream cheese or sour cream.
- **If you do not have access to cake flour, substitute 99 grams all-purpose/plain flour and 14 grams corn or potato starch.
- ***You can also use 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) powdered espresso or coffee.
- Stir all of the syrup ingredients together to dissolve and cool to room temperature. (I like to pour mine into a squeeze bottle to apply it to the cake.)
- In mixer bowl beat the mascarpone, sugar, amaretto and salt for 1 minute on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Slowly add the whipping cream with the mixer on medium-low speed. When the cream is all added increase the speed to medium-high and beat to stiff peaks.
- Trim the top crust off of each of the cake layers to expose the inner crumb. Cut three score lines about half way through each of the cake layers and then rotate the cakes 90 degrees and cut three more score lines. (From the top it will look like a checkerboard pattern and the cut lines will allow the espresso syrup to penetrate the cake.)
- Place one cake layer cut side up and squeeze or drizzle one-third of the espresso syrup over the entire top surface. Top the cake with about one-quarter of the mascarpone filling and spread into an even layer. Dust the filling with half of the cocoa powder. Place the next layer of cake cut side up on top of the filling and repeat the syruping and filling process. For the final layer, place the last cake layer cut side up on top of the previous layer of filling and drizzle with the syrup; then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining filling. Finish the cake off by grating or sprinkling shaved chocolate over the top of the cake.
- Note: You can frost the cake with a buttercream if you prefer not to coat the outside of the cake with the mascarpone-whipped cream mixture. Enjoy!