13 February 2012

Tiramisu Cake

Yesterday it was my Mum's birthday and after some discussions we agreed to make a tiramisu cake for her.


Discussing further, I mentioned that I fancied trying a particular cake shape. My Mum disagreed - she wanted a BIG cake. But when I came to make it, she was busy doing something else, so I took the opportunity to do what I'd decided to do anyway.

The cake shape in question is a giant brioche basically, but made from pyrex and is also useful for a Charlotte. Another thing on my to try list.

The recipe for the mascarpone cream comes from a book on Italian food, something I purchased for my Mum at least 20 years ago, long before the people of Sweden knew what pesto is.

The below results in quite a lot, if you're making portion sized tiramisu, only do half of this, it should be enough for 8 - 10 people.


6 tbsp dark rum
2 tbsp Cointreau
2 dl cold strong coffee
30+ ladyfinger biscuits
15+ walnut "amaretti" biscuits
800 g mascarpone
4 eggs, separated
10 tbsp icing sugar
100 g coarsely grated dark chocolate

  1. Mix half of the rum and half of the Cointreau with the coffee in a shallow and wide bowl, to allow for a quick dip of the ladyfinger biscuits.

  2. Line the big brioche dish with dry ladyfinger bisquits and some of the small amaretti biscuits at the bottom and set aside.

  3. Turn out the mascarpone into a separate bowl and stir to loosen.

  4. Add the egg yolks, the remaining rum and Cointreau and the icing sugar and stir together well.

  5. In a clean metal or glass bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.

  6. Carefully fold the whites into the mascarpone mix and incorporate well.

  7. Pour a little of the mascarpone mixture into the brioche bowl, just enough to cover the amaretti biscuits at the bottom. Spread so as not to leave air bubbles.

  8. Dip some amaretti biscuits into the coffee mixture briefly and place on top of the cream, try to fit in as many as possible.

  9. Spoon another layer of the mascarpone cream to cover, then quickly dip some ladyfinger biscuits and fit over the cream.

  10. Repeat one more time until the brioche bowl is filled, finish with a layer of ladyfinger biscuits.

  11. Cover with clingfilm and let stand overnight.

  12. Before serving, if any of the outer ladyfinger biscuits are sticking out, trim them so that they are level with the bottom layer of the cake. Then turn over the brioche bowl onto a serving plate and carefully remove from the tiramisu cake.

  13. Grate the dark chocolate and sprinkle on top.

Because I wanted this thing to stand and not collapse like my other creations, I opted to keep some of the ladyfinger biscuits dry. This worked, but the cake felt a bit on the dry side, so should perhaps have dipped some of them.

I also think the balance between rum and Cointreau was off - too much rum, not enough Cointreau, and so it felt quite boozy and not in a good way, at least I didn't think so. Next time I'll adjust it - maybe equal amounts would be better.

I also had quite a lot of mascarpone cream left over, so I made 6 portion glasses with a ladyfinger each.

Looking at my photos, I should have saved the cream and used it to make the outward appearance a bit smoother, before sprinkling the chocolate.

Needless to say we put away half of this on the day of celebration and my parents worked through the remainder on the following day.

But I'm glad that my idea worked and that the cake was able to stand on its own.

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