> Lemon and Strawberries: Tiramisu inspired birthday cake

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tiramisu inspired birthday cake


This month I'm celebrating not only a birthday of my special someone, but also the first anniversary of Lemon & Strawberries! The time is passing so fast, that it only occurred to me when I realized I'm posting a birthday cake recipe and remembered that I started this blog with one too!
Throughout this year I've learned a lot about blogging, taking food pictures and got tons and tons new ideas! I found many interesting recipes to try out, but I also found great communities of bloggers like me, who are a great support when I'm second-guessing myself. So to celebrate all of this, and many more milestones I've reached last year, I'm sharing with you an amazing recipe for a tiramisu inspired birthday cake - soft, fluffy and delicious!

INGREDIENTS: (for the sponge cake ⌀24cm)
  • 6 eggs (whites & yolks separately)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4-5 tbs potato starch (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
For the tiramisu cream:
  •  6 yolks
  • 3/4 cup powder sugar
  • 750g mascarpone cheese
  • 1tbs amaretto liqueur or few drops of amaretto extract
  • 1 cup of coffee for soaking
  • 3-4 tsp cocoa powder 
  • chocolate sprinkles for decoration

Preheat your oven to 170°C (338°F) and lay the bottom of baking pan with paper. Do not cover sides of a form with baking paper or anything else - spongecake will stick to the sides while baking and this way you'll prevent it from dropping down. Later you'll just need to cut it out from the sides.
Whip the whites until foamy and still whipping on high speed, add sugar - spoon by spoon. Mix until stiff and smooth. Still mixing, but now on low speed add yolks, again one by one.
Sieve the flour with baking powder and potato starch (this one is optional, it makes the cake a little more fluffy, but if you don't have it, it's save to skip this ingredient). Gently mix it in into whipped eggs. Do not rush, add few spoons of flour and mix with spatula or a spoon, then add more. You want to keep as much air as possible in the cake mixture.
Pour your batter into a baking pan and bake for about 35-45 minutes. Do not open the oven during first 30 minutes, so your cake won't drop down. Then you can check if it's ready by sticking a little wooden stick into it - if it comes out dry, your cake is baked.
Take it out of the oven and drop it to the floor (yes, you read that right!) - from about 40cm height. However crazy it might sound, this helps to get rid of excess air and prevents your cake from losing its shape. Let your cake to cool down completely before cutting.

Meanwhile, make a cup of strong coffee for soaking - espresso is the best, but even regular instant coffee will serve the purpose. Add amaretto liqueur or extract, stir it well and set aside to cool down.

When your cake has cooled down, prepare the tiramisu cream.
Whip the yolks with sugar in water bath - boil a cup of water and place a bowl with eggs over it (it shouldn't touch the water!). Mix the eggs and sugar on high speed for about 8-10 minutes. After 2-3 minutes you might start wondering why you should do it longer, as the mixture will become pretty thick, but trust me - it should be done! The sugar will melt completely, and the mixture will become really fluffy and smooth. Next, take it off from the water bath and mix for another 4-5 minutes.
In another bowl, place mascarpone cheese and mix it for about a minute. Add whipped yolks and gently mix them together - you can use mixer on low speed or a spatula. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Divide it into 3 parts.

Cut your cake into three slices - you can do it with a long, sharp knife or with a thread - get a piece long enough to tie around your cake and slowly tie a knot - it will cut through really nicely!

Place the first slice on a plate and soak it up using a spoon, soak it up with about a half of the coffee. Then spread 1 part of the cream, leaving  a little bit of space from the edge. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Place another slice of cake on top and press gently to make them stick together and to even out the cream layer (while pressing it will come to the edges). I got so busy layering my cake, that I didn't take photos of every single step, but I think you can get the idea from the picture below!

Repeat the steps on the second layer of your cake - soaking, spreading the cream, cocoa powder sprinkling. The top layer is not soaked with coffee to make sure the decoration will not lose its shape from the wet surface. 
Use the last part of your cream to cover the top and sides of your cake and to decorate it! Get creative! I used a open star shaped tip and a piping bag and a pattern to create mine. I also sprinkled the sides of my cake with chocolate sprinkles. 
Tiramisu cream needs to be cooled down before cutting into pieces, so put your amazing cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. It goes great with a cup of coffee, but come on, it's a tiramisu inspired birthday cake, it's delicious on its own!


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