I love making cake. Love it. It’s such a fun process. Baking the cake, making the filling and frosting or ganache or glaze or whatever you want! There are so many possibilities. Which is why I offered up my powers of cake baking and divine frosting whipping for my Father in law’s __st birthday. (Left blank to respect his youthfulness).
Me: So what kind of cake are we talking about here?
Me: That’s it? Just something mocha flavoured.
Okay. No problem, Pssshhhht. I can so totally make anything Mocha flavoured!
So I scoured the far reaches of the intraweb. But, once again, my OCD kicked in. Every recipe was just not quite what I was looking for. Nothing is ever up to snuff for me. I have a problem, I need to tweak. And tweak I did. The following is my interpretation of a classic Italian dessert, but in a much neater form. I love Tiramisu, but it’s no cake. I much prefer a big slab o cake to dig my fork into…I need the substance. I also prefer the cake form over the original because of texture. To me, tiramisu is almost pudding like, Trifle-esque really. It’s a dressed up, fancy Italian version of good old English Trifle.
So, in working my magic, I hope that I have created a new favourite dessert for someone out there. I know I have a few fans already. Enjoy!
Yield: One 4 layer cake to serve 12
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
For the Sponge:
1 1/4 cups All purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee or espresso powder
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. instant coffee powder
16oz container Mascarpone, room temperature
500mL whipping cream, whipped
3 tsp. instant coffee powder
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
75mL whipping cream
150 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
1 Tbsp. instant coffee powder
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of two 8″ cake pans with baking paper.Do not grease.
2. Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and sugar into large bowl.
3. Beat egg whites in mixer until soft peaks form, then set aside.
4. Combine water, vanilla and coffee powder in medium bowl, stir until coffee is dissolved. Whisk in oil and egg yolks. Stir your wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until smooth.
5. Gently, fold the egg whites into the rest of the ingredients. Mix until completely incorporated.
6. Pour batter evenly into both pans. Set in middle rack of oven, side by side. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
7. When cooled slightly, run knife around edges and turn onto cooling rack. Cool completely.
8. Cut each cake into two layers (Horizontally of course).
9. For the filling: Dissolve coffee and sugar in vanilla. Set aside.
10. In stand mixer bowl, beat Mascarpone until completely smooth (you don’t want any lumps!). When smooth, slowly add whipped cream. Then add coffee, mixture. Beat until combined.
(This is completely optional, but I separated the filling into two containers. I then used one container for the filling and then added the ganache to the other container for the frosting. Creating a two-tone look. You could just not add ganache, or add it to the whole amount of filling. If you do add the ganache, melt the chocolate and whipping cream in a double boiler over low heat [watch carefully!], then stir in coffee until completely combined. Beat into cheese mixture until smooth.)
11. On a cake stand (or wherever you will be serving from), line edges with strips of wax paper. Set first layer of cake onto stand, cut side up.
12. Combine water, sugar and coffee granules. Brush onto first cake layer, but do not soak like you would for a tiramisu, the cake needs to be able to stand under it’s own weight!
13. Add thin layer of frosting, going almost all the way to edges. Repeat for next 2 layers. When you get to the last layer, brush with coffee, but no frosting.
14. You want to do a crumb coat first, before you frost your cake. So spread a very thin layer of frosting onto cake. Then frost as you wish. I had to stick mine in the fridge between layers of frosting as it was very hot in the kitchen, and the frosting began to melt.
15. You can add grated or shaved chocolate to the otside of the cake if you wish! Delicious!