Tell me, what is your favourite dessert? Creme Brule? Cheesecake? Sticky Toffee? I have the biggest sweet too of any person you could ever meet, so picking my favourite dessert is akin to asking a parent to choose their favourite child.
Tiramisu has to be up there though and I have eaten some bloody good Tiramisu in my time (can you even get bad Tiramisu though?). I used to work in a restaurant that makes the best Tiramisu and I have asked numerous times for the recipe. It is a traditional Italian recipe, made using the most beautiful mascarpone that has been imported from Italy. Until I have it, I haven’t dared to try any other Tiramisu recipe for fear of comparing it to my old restaurant’s version.
Therefore, this cake is the next best thing – a whisked sponge cake, soaked in coffee and layered in sweet mascarpone cream. It’s not quite dessert, so you can have it at any time of day really and so you should. It’s bloody delicious.
This recipe comes from the cookbook Crumb by Ruby Tandoh, a book every baker should have in their collection. It’s full of a wide variety of bakes and gives you tips and advice on the science of baking. I’ve made several recipes from Crumb and have not been disappointed once. When I saw this recipe I knew I was in for a treat, Tiramisu is one of my favourite desserts and this cake is a wonderful celebration of that dessert. It’s a simple cake to bake, but fiddly to assemble so take care. Don’t stress too much though, the cake isn’t the most show-stopping to look at but it don’t half taste bloody good.
Ingredients for the sponge:
- 40g butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g plain flour
Ingredients for the filling:
- 500g mascarpone
- 75g caster sugar
- 150ml double cream
- 150ml Muscat or other sweet dessert wine
- 200ml strong black coffee
- 100g dark chocolate, grated
- Start by preheating the oven to 160oc and grease and line a 20cm loose-bottom cake tin with greaseproof paper
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl for about 5 or so minutes using an electric whisk. You want to whisk until the eggs have gone pale and fluffy, the mixture has doubled in volume and the mixture leaves a trail when you lift out the whisk
- Sift in half of the flour and fold gently into the egg and sugar mixture, taking care not to knock out any air. Once you are happy no floury patches remain – sift in the final half of the flour and fold. Once there is no little flour pockets left, fold in the melted butter until combined
- Take care to pour the mixture into the readily prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is golden and springy to touch. Leave to cool down completely.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the filling. Start by mixing the sugar and mascarpone together in a bowl until combined. Slowly whisk in the cream and then finally the dessert wine until you have a smooth, spreadable mixture. Set aside.
- Once the cake is cooled, you can start to assemble. Using a sharp, serrated knife, carefully cut the cake into three equal layers. Don’t worry if you think you can only cut it into two, just create two layers instead. The layers will be thin and fiddly, so take care.
- Place the bottom layer onto a serving plate and drizzle over the coffee mixture. Top with a thick layer of the cream and then a layer of grated chocolate. Stack another sponge layer on top and repeat this process. On the final layer, smother the whole cake in the cream and coat with the grated chocolate. Place in the fridge to chill before serving.
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