DD3 turned 2 yesterday :) She is a leap year baby and since I was supposed to be on bed rest over the weekend, I made her this simple tiramisu cake yesterday. It was just a simple cake cutting session for our family.
Alright, I know this is not an age appropriate cake for a 2 year old toddler since liquer was used. I've always wanted to make a tiramisu and had plans to make a non-alcoholic version by replacing liquer with orange juice but DS2 is still having a slight cough so I had to scrape the idea. Decided to just go ahead but will reduce the liquer used.
I have a recipe from a forum (by a Romania lady) and many who tried gave thumbs up. However, her recipe requires 100ml of liquer for 24 sponge fingers and I thought it may be too strong to my liking. After googling, I found HHB's tiramisu recipe here
(45ml for 24 sponge fingers) and decided to give it a try. However, I further reduced the liquer slightly as I do not favour liquer.
Generally, the way to assemble a tiramisu goes like this, sponge fingers -> syrup -> cocoa powder -> cream, continue and end with cream as final layer. Chill cake in fridge and dust with cocoa powder just before serving. I reckon spreading the cream on top of the cocoa powder will create a mess so I cheated by adding coffee and cocoa powder into the cream instead. That explains my chocolate cream :P
Whipping up the cheese and whipping cream was relatively easy, just ensure that the cheese is thawed to room temperature (I set the microwave on the lowest setting and zap it for 1 minute) before whipping. When mixing in the cheese mixture to the whipped cream, I used my electric mixer to beat to get the peak again.
Dusting cocoa powder on top was a challenge as I've laid the sponge fingers at the sides and was trying to avoid getting them stained.
Added some strawberries to cover up the flaws :P
My cake was in the fridge for 4 hours before slicing and it was quite messy when I tried to cut it. Best to chill the cake overnight before slicing.
Tiramisu is not my cup of tea as I'm neither a fan of liquer nor coffee, but my 2 older children enjoyed themselves and kept asking for more. As for the birthday girl, she ate only the strawberries and the sponge biscuits ;-)
I may attempt the green tea version next, definitely a much healthier option.
(makes a 8" heartshape cake)
24 sponge fingers (I used Vicenzi)
1 tbsp instant espresso/ strong coffee powder (I used Nescafe Gold)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
125ml boiling water
2 tsp Baileys Irish Cream (I used Mint Chocolate)
250g mascarpone cheese
2 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
1 1/2 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream
1/2 tbsp instant espresso/ strong coffee powder
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
200 ml non-dairy whipping cream
cocoa powder, to dust
strawberroes for decoration (optional)
To make the cream
- Roast the sponge fingers in the oven at 150°C for about 5 minutes (optional). Set aside for later use.
- Dissolve instant coffee powder and sugar in boiling water. Leave to cool before stirring in 2 teaspoons Baileys Irish Cream. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, with a manual whisk, whisk mascarpone cheese with icing sugar. Add in Baileys Irish Cream mixture (from step 1), whisk until blended.
- With an electric mixer whisk the whipping cream until medium peak. With a spatula, fold in 1/4 of the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture. Pour the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream and beat it with an electric mixer to get the peak again. Leave the cream in the fridge.
- Cut off one end of the sponge fingers so that each one is about 3" in length. Line the sides of a 8" heart shape pan* (with a removable base or use a springform pan) with the sponge fingers (do not get them soaked in syrup). You will need about 20 sponge fingers (depending on the type/brand). Save the leftover small pieces.
- Place a layer of sponge fingers on the bottom of the cake pan (use the leftover to fill the gaps).
- Using a teaspoon, pour the syrup over the layered sponge fingers, making sure you don't put too much in one side and avoid pouring syrup to the standing sponge fingers.
- Pour 1/2 portion of cream (I used 1/3 only though) and spread evenly on the sponge layer, ensure all the gaps at the sides are filled. Tap the cake pan lightly on the table to ensure there are no trapped air pockets.
- Place next layer of sponge fingers over the cream, sprinkle with syrup, and place the balance cream on top. Spread and smooth the top.
- Leave the cake (covered) to chill in the fridge overnight.
- Just before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder and unmold. Decorate as desired. Keep the cake in the fridge before serving.