This week's recipe for "Tuesdays with Dorie" was the "Tiramisu Cake," chosen by Megan of "My Baking Adventures." Please check out her blog for the recipe.
This was a half-recipe of cake batter, baked in two 6-inch round pans, and a full recipe of the frosting/filling. (That's the best part of tiramisu!)
The cake batter was very thick, and rose nicely. I may have underbaked it a little -- the edges were only just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, and there was no browning at all. But it tested done with a toothpick, and came out nice and moist.
Cutting the tops to level them revealed an unpleasant surprise -- a number of holes, including one massive gap! What happened, I wonder? I followed the recipe exactly (except for halving it, and I weighed everything) and also consulted Shirley Corriher's "Bakewise" for good advice and helpful tips on cakes. You know, it seems like I have this problem a lot, especially with very thick batters.
Thinking fast, I crumbled up some of the extra cake top and stuffed it into the larger holes. Good enough.
Above are some of the ingredients for the filling and frosting. Lovely local mascarpone and cream -- man, I love living in Wisconsin!
I'd stocked up on mascarpone a couple months ago when it was on sale, and frozen it. When I started whisking it with sugar and flavorings, the mixture became very runny. No way this was going to make a frosting when combined with whipped cream. It was going to be a sauce! Maybe it was because I froze it? Maybe it's this brand?
Well, that's why there's a package of unflavored gelatin stashed away in a cupboard. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of powdered gelatin, dissolved and warmed, and whisked it in. Then I folded in whipped cream. Still very soft. I chilled it in the refrigerator. Still soft. In went another 1/4 teaspoon gelatin. That wasn't too bad, although I think I should have added more. Next time, I'd do 1 teaspoon.
Finally it was firm enough to fill the cake. I did a double layer of filling with chopped chocolate in between. Yum. Then the cake chilled for a while, got a thin crumb coat of frosting, chilled some more, got the final coat, chilled some more... Finally, a dusting of cocoa, some piped frosting, and chocolate-covered cocoa beans. (By the way, piped frosting really does not want to stick to cocoa. Something to consider for next time.)
Love that thick filling! And the final verdict? The cake was fine, and the filling lovely and light. It was good. Still, I would rather have had my favorite Tiramisu -- the one they serve at The Roman Candle Pizzeria. (They make a great thin-crust Pizza Margherita, too.)
So, what would I change to make this recipe more to our tastes? Well, first, more coffee and more booze. Second, a bit less sugar. Third, more mascarpone. Finally, most likely a more spongey cake to soak up the extra coffee and booze. Hm...may as well just make tiramisu rather than a cake!
Still, many thanks to Megan for choosing this recipe! I got to practice my cake-making, assembling, and decorating skills and ended up with a very good dessert in the bargain.
My husband says he's tired of cake, it's time for pie! Does a lemon tart count as "pie," honey? I hope so, because that's what you're getting next week...