Tiramisu Cake

Tiramisu CakeJ’s dad has been on my case to make him these tiramisu cupcakes, ones he absolutely fell in love with a few years back at a Superbowl party. Trust me I’ve been wanting to make them too, and give everyone in J’s family the satisfaction of eating these delightful Italian inspired cupcakes, but like the traditional recipe, they take a good amount of time, and effort, to make. It’s not a batch of classic vanilla cupcakes that you can easily whip up during the afternoon before a special dinner. From heating the eggs with sugar then beating, making the coffee-port syrup, steeping the milk, soaking the cake layers, making the frosting and of course decorating it. Yes, that is a mouthful of tasks.Tiramisu CakeWhen J asked me to make a cake for his parent’s wedding anniversary dinner for the family, I knew the only thing I could bake the happy couple, was their favorite cupcakes into a celebratory cake. Fall is about bringing family and friends together, and that’s what cake does! Tiramisu CakeThis isn’t a new recipe. It’s just this cupcake recipe, doubled. But when I made it , I thought it was too pretty not to share in its layered cake form. Tiramisu CakeEach cake layer, bakes like a giant cookie with a crispy shell and chewy, soft center. Every 30 minutes to an hour, dredge the poked cake layers with the coffee-port sauce. Yes, I know it’s a process, but go ahead and fold the laundry or put away the dishes, then come back to the cake. I highly recommend you soak each cake layer refrigerated overnight, and wrapped in plastic of course. Save the remaining coffee-port sauce, you’ll need an extra brushing of it before layering with cream.

In the meantime, beat up your fluffy and tangy mascarpone whipped cream filling goodness. Refrigerate it until your cake layers are thoroughly soaked in coffee-port flavor and ready for assembling.  Tiramisu CakeWhen assembling the cake, place the first cake layer onto your cake board, and brush it with a bit more coffee-port syrup. Fill your piping bag with a #805 round tip, and pipe the mascarpone frosting around the edge of the layer. Then fill in center and spread until smooth and even. Be generous with your sifted cocoa powder. J doesn’t like chocolate, but the taste of cocoa is his favorite part of tiramisu. Tiramisu CakeTiramisu CakePlace the second cake layer on top of the mascarpone frosting layer, bottom side up {top side right onto the frosting}. And then frost the top of  the cake until it’s smooth and even. Tiramisu CakeTiramisu CakeLightly cover the sides of your cake with the mascarpone frosting too. This is your time to get creative. I choose to keep it simple, dragging my spatula upward, creating ridges like a tree, or yule log {my mind may be drifting towards Christmas}.Tiramisu CakeTiramisu CakePipe dollops or small swirls of mascarpone frosting around the outer edge of the top of your cake. Dust with more sifted cocoa powder. The center of this cake is calling for a mound of chocolate curls, yes go ahead and chop some fresh chocolate onto this Tiramisu. Tiramisu CakeUnlike traditional tiramisu, where the lady finger cookie layer often becomes soggy, this cake remains firm yet moist. I mean with all the coffee-port syrup that was used and mascarpone cream that hugs these layers, it’s no surprise this cake is full of flavor and is so good. This cake really is a crowd pleaser, even non-chocolate and tiramisu lovers have approved of this cake . This cake is for all dessert lovers. Tiramisu CakeAnd with the holidays fast approaching, this cake is one to save in your recipe to do list, and yes I’m assuming you have one…

Tiramisu Cake

Ingredients {Makes two layer 9″ cake – Serves 14 to 16}

2 1/2 cups – All Purpose Flour {sifted}
1 1/2 teaspoons – Baking Powder
1 teaspoon – Salt
1/2 cup – Milk
2 – Vanilla Bean {halved lengthwise & seeds scraped}
8 tablespoons {1 stick} – Unsalted Butter {room temperature, cut into pieces}
6 large – Eggs {plus 6 egg yolks, room temperature}
2 cups – Granulated Sugar
Coffee-Marsala Syrup
1 cup – Freshly Brewed Espresso {or very strong coffee}
2 ounces – Port Wine {or you can use Marsala Wine}
1/2 cup – Granulated Sugar
Mascarpone Frosting
2 cups – Heavy Cream
16 ounces – Mascarpone Cheese {room temperature}
1 cup – Confectioners’ Sugar {sifted}
Unsweetened cocoa powder {for dusting}

Recipe {original recipe here}

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 9″ cake pans with baking spray or butter with flour, then line the bottoms with parchment paper. Sift together flour {which has already been sifted once}, baking powder, and salt. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and vanilla bean until bubbles form around the edge. Remove from heat, whisk in butter until melted, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard vanilla beans.

With mixer on medium speed, whisk whole eggs, yolks, and sugar in a heat-proof bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water, whisking by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm {about 6 minutes}. Remove from heat, and whisk with electric mixer on high-speed, until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough that a ribbon holds onto the surface for several seconds when the whisk is lifted.

Gently fold flour mixture into the egg mixture, in three batches, until blended well. Fold 1/2 cup of the batter into the strained milk, then fold milk mixture back into remaining cake batter, just until combined. Divide batter evenly among both cake pans. Bake, rotating halfway, until centers are completely set and light golden brown {about 35 to 40 minutes}. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cakes from pan.

Brush the tops of cupcakes evenly with the coffee-port wine syrup, repeating until all the syrup has been used. Let the cake absorb liquid at least 2 hours, preferably overnight wrapped in plastic and refrigerated. To assemble cake, brush cake layers with remaining syrup, pipe top of one layer with mascarpone frosting, and dust generously with sifted cocoa powder. Top with second cake layer, top side down onto frosting. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining mascarpone frosting, as desired. Finish by dusting top with additional sifter cocoa powder.

To make the Coffee Marsala Syrup, stir together the hot coffee, port wine and sugar, until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool and set aside.

To make the Mascarpone Frosting, whisk the heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium speed, until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, beat the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, then gently fold the whipped cream into mascarpone mixture, in two batches, until completely incorporated and smooth. Use immediately, and refrigerate until ready to use, allowing to warm to room temperature before using.

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