I was in an embarrassing situation sometime last week. Or was it the week before? We had a lunch function for Melbourne Cup and everyone was instructed to bring a plate. That week I was super sick and also didn't know how 'big' the event would be so I got it into my head that a packet of biscuits and some dip would suffice.
It was rather awkward when our contributions were gathered together and everyone else had brought home-cooked meals and baked desserts. I thought I'd die from shame if someone asked me 'which one is yours?'
Luckily that never happened but I still felt internal guilt for the rest of the lunch.
Let it be known that this is my last week of clinical placement before I graduate! As a result, we had a clinic party today to celebrate. When that was announced, I did a mental jig because I thought 'yes!! My time to redeem myself'.
I vowed to put in some effort, which isn't exactly a lot to ask for because I LOVE baking and in my prime, would have been thankful for an opportunity to make something big. These days my cooking frequency is lacking but I still wanted to pull it all together to create something worthwhile.
Ages ago, I made a tiramisu cake for my mum that she adored. Actually my whole family did. I was young and silly then and I remember having a sook because I was doing something and when I came back, the cake was all gone and no one had offered me a slice.
I dug out the old recipe again. It's from 'Woman's Weekly - Best Food Desserts' and I was faithful to the recipe except I didn't have enough marscapone so I substituted 1/2 for thickened cream and I also ran out of syrup so I made up some more with extra Kahlua and coffee. Reading the recipe now, I realize I also left out cornflour but my sponges turned out OK.
Tiramisu Layer Cake
For the sponge
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup self raising flour
- 1/2 cup cornflour (I forgot this)
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
- 1/2 cup marsala (I used Kahlua)
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 cup marsala (I used Kahlua)
- 2 cups mascarpone (I used 1 cup macarpone and 1 cup thickened cream)
- 300ml thickened cream (I omitted this)
- 100g dark chocolate, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line 2 standard cake pans with baking paper.
2. Beat eggs with electric mixer for around 10min or until thick and creamy. Add the 1 cup of sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the sugar dissolves between each addition.3. Gently fold in the triple-sifted flours and then 1/4 cup of boiling water.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 pans. Bake for around 25min or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean (mine took just under 20min).5. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool. Slice each cake in half horizontally.6. While you're waiting for the cakes, you can make the syrup by combining the 1/2 cup of marsala/Kahlua with the instant coffee and 3/4 cup of boiling water. Set aside.7. You can also make the mascarpone cream by beating together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until it's creamy. Add the mascarpone (or mascarpone and cream combination)and 1/4 cup marsala/Kahlua.8. To assemble the cake, I placed the slices on a tray and brushed with the syrup mixture. I only used 3 of the slices I cut and used the 4th slice to make a mini cake... but anyway.9. Place down one of the slices. Smear on 1/4 of the mascarpone cream. Sprinkle with some grated chocolate.10. Repeat for the other 2 slices.
11. Use the rest of the cream to over the cake on top and over the sides.12. Grate some more chocolate over the top to decorate. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
Note: this cake can be make 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
I was worried during the construction process that this cake would turn out looking like a pile of slop but the end result was passable. The most satisfying moment for me was cutting it up to reveal nicely defined layers.
The mascarpone cream is divine on its own. I loved the boozy, moist, coffee-soaked sponge too. When I first made this cake, I thought the grated chocolate in between the layers was pointless but this time I noticed the rich zing it gave to cut the cake both in terms of texture and taste.
Cleaning up the chocolate mess