Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tiramusu Cake

Tuesdays with Dorie took a bit of a turn this week and became...Wednesdays with Stacey! When there's a Wednesday birthday party and an absurdly spectacular cake, they must, must, go hand in hand. If it hadn't been for Stacey's birthday, I might have scaled down this challenge to a small cake or cupcakes, as I usually don't have any use for a fully iced layer cake.
This week, though, I went in the opposite direction. Yes, I upscaled. I made the cake layers twice, because I found them a little tough the first time--and second time, I think it's just the difference between sturdy genoise and American-style fluffy cake. Or too much baking powder, as there were also large holes. I mixed the first batch by hand and the second by hand mixer, and the mixer results were slightly better. I also think that my oven might be too hot, as everything cooked very very quickly. But that might have been the baking stone the pans were sitting on. For the final cake, I used three of my four layers, with the original amount of frosting/filling. It was a little tight, but the final result is tall and imposing. (Although, I have to stop being lazy with my layers, and make sure to trim them properly and stack them up to ensure they all match before final assembly. My pans are just slightly different sizes).

Back to the cake. Tiramisu is always a bit too boozy and creamy for me (shocking, I know, that anything could manage to be so). I like my custards with a bit of egg. My favorite tiramisus, somewhat embarrassingly, are the deconstructed kind, where you get a pot of cream, a pile of ladyfingers, and a double espresso. Now that, I can get behind, especially because the coffee is bitter and not cloying.

Why doesn't my blog spellchecker like the word tiramisu? Did it miss the 80s and 90s entirely?
Dorie's cake recreation of tiramisu is pretty simple--layers of yellow butter cake, brushed with espresso-kahlua syrup, filled and iced with a mascarpone and whipped cream mix, with chocolate shavings sprinkled inside (I used white chocolate and cacao nibs). The full recipe can be found at My Baking Adventures. The whole thing looks good (haven't tasted yet), but I'll give even those of you who have no interest in complicated layer cakes a little tip: Make the frosting for any reason, anytime. Eat it with berries. Spread it on your fingers or child. Do not wait for too special an occasion. This is very very very good stuff. This is whipped cream and mascarpone and coffee. This is not for the faint of heart.
See how spooky it is?

Luckily, our Stacey is nothing of the kind, and I am hoping that she will love her over the top, rich, tall, and handsome birthday cake, and have a wonderful wonderful year. I'll be making her wedding cake this summer, and chronicling that process (my first wedding cake) right here. She's a delight to make a cake for. Happy birthday, Stacey.

(Thanks to the obliging Christopher the blackberry shots)


Unknown said...

I can attest to Katya's description of this cake as exceedingly tall and to the description of the frosting as exceedingly delicious. Happy birthday to us.

Catherine said...

also i would like to add that katya told me that the frosting tastes better than pork, to which i respond that it is perhaps not better, but equally good. and anybody who knows me knows that that is high praise indeed.

Megan said...

Wow - you sure put a lot of work into this one! I hope you liked it after all was said and done - I thought it was great!

TeaLady said...

Pretty cake.

My spell checker doesn't like it either. But you have to realize, they weren't born until at least the mid-80s. 8-)