Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tiramisu Cake


This cake is a celebration and nothing less. It's just a slight challenge to create, a beauty to behold, and a delight to taste.

I was having a dear friend and her husband over for dinner one night several months ago and I wanted a special dessert. These are very special friends, and she was bringing dinner for us, an Italian dish, her specialty, so I wanted a special dessert to compliment her dish. I thought about Tiramisu, but I wanted something more special even than Tiramisu. So I decided on the flavors of Tiramisu, with the beauty of a high, cream-filled cake. The recipe is my grandma's Hot Milk cake, which creates a tender, if slightly dry, crumb. It's perfect for soaking up all the sweet coffee syrup. To the whipped cream I add a small amount of instant vanilla pudding, which keeps the cream nice and firm so the cake lasts for a few days without the cream puddling all over.

I made this cake again recently for the faculty luncheon at our school, and it was just as well received. I made a special effort to write down every measurement and every step so I could share it with you. A few notes: the first time I made this cake (when I took the pictures) I baked it in two pans and sliced them in half horizontally. The second time, I baked it in three pans and had three layers instead of four. This decision is entirely up to you. The four layers certainly look pretty, but slicing the cake in half is another step -- and not necessarily an easy one. In the future, I will bake in three layers, but that's you're call. Also, If you would rather not use alcohol in this cake, you can substutute all coffee syrup. It's very little alcohol (no one could get tipsy on it, not even children) and I enjoy the flavor.

Tiramisu Cake
serves 12-14

1 cup milk
½ cup butter
4 eggs
pinch salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T. instant vanilla pudding
¼ cup powdered sugar
8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
1 t. vanilla
⅔ cup strong coffee, cooled
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Marsala wine

3 cups heavy whipping cream
4 T. instant vanilla pudding
½ cup powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

2 oz semi-sweet chocolate

Grease and flour two (or three) cake 8 inch pans (9 inch can be used, but bake for a shorter time). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Scald milk. Add butter and let cool.

Beat eggs and salt for about 2 minutes until very foamy. Slowly "rain in" sugar, pouring slowly over the eggs. Slowly add flour and baking powder, mixing thoroughly. Slowly add milk and butter mixture and vanilla, thoroughly mixing.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake -- 30 minutes for two pans, 22 minutes for three pans, until toothpick comes out clean. After 10 minutes, remove cakes from pans. Cool completely.

Cut off any hard edges of cake. I find that a kitchen shears work great for this task.

Dissolve sugar in coffee, heating coffee is necessary. Add marsala wine. Cool.

Place one layer of cake (if baked in two pans, split cakes in half horizontally for a total of four cakes) on plate. Tear foil or waxed paper in thin strips and place under cake around edges of cake to keep plate clean.

Whip one cup cream with 1 T. instant pudding and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until stiff, adding vanilla at the end. Gently fold in softened mascarpone cheese until completely incorporated.

Carefully and slowly, drizzle coffee syrup on top of cake, with a spoon or measuring cup with a spout, a little at a time until cake is fairly soaked (using less the one fourth for four layers and one third for three layers).

Top with one half -- for three layers, one third for four layers -- of whipping cream mixture and spread to edges. Using a microplane or small openings on a hand graters, grate a thin layer of chocolate over top of each layer of cream and cheese mixture.

Top with another cake layer, drizzling with coffee syrup, topping with whipping cream mixture and chocolate. If using four layers, repeat, using all the mascarpone cream in between the layers. At last layer drizzle with syrup.

Whip 3 cups cream with 4 T. instant pudding, 1/2 c. powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until stiff. Frost tops and sides of cake with a thick layer of whipped cream. Grate chocolate over the top at the end. Remove foil or wax paper strips. Chill several hours or overnight (preferably) before serving.


Deborah said...

WOW! That is inspired! Sounds heavenly... I wonder if my husband could manage it for my 30th. He's promised to make me any cake I want and tiramisu is my all-time favourite dessert so just maybe! :D

Anonymous said...

I recall days of yesteryear when I would think nothing of tackling something like this and it was such a joy to do, but today, I see it and it is almost unimaginable. I only wished I was a neighbor of yours so that I could see and taste all these great cookings you do! How wonderful! JP

Zina said...

Oooo, Barbara, my mouth is watering for this cake. I think I'll make it for dh's birthday next week. We loooove Tiramisu!

Liz said...

Yum! That sounds delicious! I'm wondering if the ingredient, 1/4can of marsala wine is supposed to be 1/4cup? I would love to make this cake sometime so I just wanted to make sure I understood correctly. I always enjoy reading you blogs. Liz in NC

scmom (Barbara) said...

Good catch, Liz. For some odd reason, my recipe software program automatically turns "c" into "can" instead of "cup." Dumb. I changed the recipe, officially. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Sounds (and looks) amazing! I must tell you that the day I stumbled upon your blog was the day I fell off my diet...but it's been fun;)