There is really no other way around it other than I flat out suck.
Now you can totally insert (heh) a dirty joke here, or just take it (heh) as me stating the obvious
:I have never quite gotten the hang of this whole blogging thing. End stop.
That’s right- no promise of improvement, or swearing of more effort, none of that.
Instead I am going to set your expectations (and maybe standards) even lower, so if BY CHANCE,
I surpass your (VERY LOW) expectations, you are pleasantly surprised.
Speaking of pleasantly surprised- this blog post is brought to you today by…no not a sponsor…a “happy” accident.
And by “happy” I mean a turn of events in which nearly left me throwing my laptop against a wall.
I had originally recorded a baking video on this cake for my youtube channel, but as fate would have it-it has now dwindled down into just a blog post.
While the filming process was messy, chaotic, and pretty much a shit show in general, I still had every intention of uploading it out of sheer determination to justify for the hell I endured.
Even when one of my cameras died halfway through & my ill-prepared ass lost the extra batteries– I still planned on pushing through.
Even when the last 10 minutes of footage was dominated by the persistent wails of my smoke alarm, I reassured myself it would assist in the “comedy”.
Even when I realized I had no close-up shots of the cake, sans the “cutting” AKA the absolute DESTRUCTION of it (it’s okay, my friend was the birthday boy and as tradition says he can do with it as he pleases) I still had every intention of making due.
It wasn’t until a few days later when I finally started editing together the (2+ hours of) footage, when I realized that my mic was turned off in every other clip.
“Meghan, haven’t you been at this youtube game since 2010”
OKAY H8TRZ SURE MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE CHECKED IT OR DONE BETTER
BUT WHATS DONE IS DONE.
So after screaming at my laptop louder than I do to my TV on Bachelor Monday’s
– I’ve decided to call this a “happy” accident
mostly just so the vein in my forehead will stop protruding in sheer anger.
Okay complaining over, now onto what you’re really here for- Tiramisu Layer Cake.
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever even had more than a bite of tiramisu…
It’s no secret that this baker has no sweet tooth, but even when I had more of a liking to it as a kid, the coffee & alcohol combo was a total turn off.
I remember my grandma used to make tiramisu ice box cake, a frozen twist on the traditional, & even with the addition to ice cream, I still wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.
When trying to brainstorm what cake to make for my friend’s 30th birthday, I surveyed him on his favorite non-cake desserts, & his answer of tiramisu got my creative juices flowing
Side note- I always thought I hated that phrase (creative juices) and now since I’ve typed it out (twice) I can whole heartedly stand by that. Gross. Let’s move on.
It’s Chef for “I couldn’t give a fuck”
Traditional tiramisu involves soaking ladyfinger cookies and laying them with custard, repeating & then refrigerating until set. Quite simple really. I wanted this layer cake version to mimic the steps and flavors, so I opted for a buttery genoise cake, doused in espresso brandy soak, smothered with a spiked mascarpone filling, finished off with a stabilized whipped cream frosting & a dusting of cocoa powder.
Leave it to me to make an idiot proof, no-bake dessert into a complicated, step-heavy 6 layer headache.
- FOR THE GENOISE CAKE:
- • 6 large eggs
- • 1 cup granulated white sugar
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • 1 cup sifted cake flour
- • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- • 1½ cups hot water
- • 2½ tablespoons instant espresso powder
- • 2½ tablespoons brandy
- • 2½ teaspoons powdered sugar
- FOR THE COFFEE SOAK:
- • 1 cup water
- • ½ cup granulated white sugar
- • 2 Tbsp espresso powder
- • ¼ cup brandy or coffee liqueur (optional)
- FOR THE MASCARPONE FILLING:
- • 4 large egg yolks
- • ½ cup granulated white sugar
- • ⅓ brandy (optional)
- • 16 oz. mascarpone cheese
- • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (cold)
- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING:
- • 6 oz. cream cheese (full fat, the kind in a brick)
- • ¾ cup powdered sugar
- • 2¼ cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
- • cocoa powder for garnish
- TO MAKE THE GENOISE CAKE:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, & prepare 3, 6-inch diameter cake pans (coat with non-stick spray & line with parchment circles)
- In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, whip together eggs, sugar & vanilla for 10-12 minutes (or until pale & tripled in volume)
- Add sifted cake flour in thirds, gently folding in with a spatula as to not knock the air from the mixture. Continue until no more flour remains.
- Finally fold in the butter, and pour the batter evenly into the pans.
- Bake off for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.Cool completely.
- TO MAKE THE COFFEE SOAK:
- Combine water, sugar & espresso powder into a small saucepan over med-high heat. Continue stirring until liquid simmers and sugar dissolves.
- Remove from the heat, stir in desired liquor & set aside to cool.
- TO MAKE THE MASCARPONE FILLING:
- Place a medium bowl over a pot of simmering water, and whisk egg yolks, sugar, and brandy together until the sugar dissolves, the mixture becomes thick, pale and doubled in volume.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the mascarpone until full combined.
- In a separate bowl, whip the chilled cream to stiff peaks, then gently fold into the mascarpone mixture.
- TO MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl & handheld electric mixer, whip together cream cheese & powdered sugar on high until smooth
- Turn the mixer down to a med-low speed, and carefully pour the heavy cream, streaming down the side of bowl as to prevent splash back.
- Scrape down the sides & finish on high, whipping until the frosting can hold a stiff peak.
- Level & slice each cake layer in half (horizontally)
- Place one layer on cake board or cake stand & brush generously with coffee soak.
- Top with a thick layer of mascarpone cream & spread edge to edge
- Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all layers have been soaked, filled & stacked.
- Crumb coat the cake with the mascarpone cream (you’ll have some left over) & set in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
- Crumb coat your chilled cake (again) - but this time with the whipped cream frosting. If you’re feeling super *rustic* leave it naked!
- Finish off with a final frosting of stabilized whipped cream, swirling your offset spatula around the cake to form a wave like pattern.
- Decorate as you see fit! I used a Wilton Star Tip 32 around the top of the cake, swirling dollops about an inch a part from each other. I dusted the top with coca powder, and then used the same piping tip to fill the gaps.
If you find that when stacking your layers your cake seems a bit wobbly, opt to secure it with skewers, straws, or any sort of dowel inserted for stability
By the nature of stabilized whipped cream, it does best when stored in the refrigerator until before serving.
This recipe makes a TON of mascarpone filling, even with a crumb coat of it I ended up with a ton left over. I opted to try my hand at cream puffs for the first time (stay tuned!)
& I used the remainder of the cream to fill them.
If you’re not feeling extra gluttonous- feel free to half it!