Thursday, May 7, 2009

TWD: Tiramisu Cake, finally!

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...

24 comments:

Joy said...

Beautiful cake! I wondered how you were able to get the piping on the cocoa powder! I love Wisconsin for all the cheeses, too :)

Madam Chow said...

It looks gorgeous, and lemon tart does count as a pie!

Lynnylu said...

Wow! What a beautiful Tiramisu cake you have made. It's looks bakery perfect!

Kara said...

Your cake is so pretty!
I agree with you, though. It needs to be moister. I think the cake recipe would work fine with just more of the syrup in it. I am definitely going to make it again and try that!

Jill said...

It looks so good with all the filing in the middle! I enjoyed reading about your rescue efforts with the hole in the cake and the gelatin in the frosting/filling.

Mary said...

I am so jealous that you have local marscapone...Wisconsin-ites are very lucky people!

vibi said...

No doubt it was worth the wait to admire! Beautiful, Barbara, simply beautiful!

ButterYum said...

Barbara, Barbara, Barbara, Barbara, Barbara.... what a delectable looking cake! Oh my... now I need a chocolate fix!

Steph said...

I like your thick filling. I'm so curious about what creates those holes.

natalia said...

Ma che bello Barbara ! You tiramis├╣ cake is a work of art ! Complimenti !!

Gabe's Girl said...

Your cakes is beautiful. I love it. Your sentiments on the cake were exactly my hubby's. I like it well enough, but it was a lighter version on taste when compared to a real Tiramisu. I think us coffee and booze drinkers need a bolder flavor to greet our overworked palates :-) Next time, I will half all of Dorie's recipes, use smaller pans, and full filling/frosting recipes. The results seem to come out so much better!

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, that's a lot of frosting for the amount of cake (it is the best part though, I agree). Where's the local cream from? I've found local mascarpone, but no milk or cream :(

Bungalow Barbara said...

The cream is from Blue Marble farms http://www.bluemarblefamilyfarm.com/

It's only available in the Madison area, I think. I get mine at the Willy Street Co-op, or Dick's Piggly Wiggly in Dodgeville. You pay a $3.00 deposit on the bottles, which are returnable.

Wonderful stuff!

Fit Chick said...

I totally agree, the filling is the best part, LOL. Your cake looks great and I did a half recipe also, less to tempt me.

Tammy said...

Your decorating skills are fantastic and your cake is beautiful!
I've heard that the following can cause large holes in cakes 1)Oven temp too high. 2)Undermixing or extreme overmixing (too much gluten) 3) Too much leavening. or 4)insufficient blending of leaveners and flour.

Carol Peterman said...

How beautiful! My cake had large holes as well. I think there is more levener in the recipe than needed and will try cutting it back the next time I make this. I just filled the big holes with cake crumbs to hide them!

AmyRuth said...

Wow Barbara even if it is another cake flavored "like" Tiramisu (ya know in disguise) it is the most beautiful one I have seen. Great job. I did have to remind myself that it was really a cake. confusing????
AmyRuth

Anne said...

That looks delicious - I can taste tiramisu just reading about it! Yum!

Jo said...

Wow! Your cake looks incredible! I can taste it just by looking at it! My cake didn't turn out well but you have inspired me!

from my motorhome to yours said...

wow looks great!!

julie jams said...

Lovely cake! I'll have to try sometime. Thanks for sharing.

uclala said...

OMG, your cake looks like something I'd pick up at the bakery! Looks really tasty! I didn't have much luck with this one. Thank you for visiting my blog! =)

Lexie said...

Your cake looks so good! More coffee and booze sounds like a good idea to me!

karen said...

wow, your cake turned out absolutely gorgeous.