“What is tiramisu?”
“You’ll find out.”
“Well, what is it?”
“Some woman is gonna want me to do it to her, and I’m not gonna know what it is!”
Name that movie.
Easy, right? Sleepless in Seattle – one of my all-time favorites. There are many reasons I love that movie, but mostly because I love Seattle, I love Tom Hanks, and I love Meg Ryan…plus, there’s nothing wrong with a good love story. I’m sure there aren’t many of you out there who haven’t seen it, but if for some reason you haven’t, please do. It will make your heart happy.
Speaking of happy, this recipe will definitely put a smile on your face. I bought a couple of tubs of marscapone cheese when they were on sale a couple of weeks ago so I had a feeling that tiramisu was in our future. Then last night while flipping through one of my cookbooks, I opened right up a recipe for tiramisu cake. Fate, if you ask me.
While I didn’t really care for the recipe in the cookbook, it did serve as inspiration for this cake. It’s a pale yellow cake infused with a coffee-flavored simple syrup. The filling consists of coffee soaked ladyfingers sandwiched between layers of marscapone cream, and it’s frosted with a Kahlua whipped cream sprinkled with cocoa powder.
And, frankly, it’s amazing. Uh-May-Zing. The cake and the lady fingers soak up all of the coffee syrup and become super-moist. The filling is rich and exactly what you expect in traditional tiramisu. Top it all of with the creamy, not-too-sweet whipped topping and you’ll be going back for a second piece.
Hope you love it! Enjoy!
3 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cup sugar (superfine if you have it)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
4 large eggs , room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch baking pans by lining them with parchment and spraying with cooking spray. (I like to spray the pan first, then put the parchment down, then spray the parchment again.)
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth – slowly add the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. (about 30 seconds.)
Divide the batter between the two pans and bake until a cake-tester comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Coffee Syrup Ingredients:
1 cup brewed, strong coffee
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons coffee-flavored liqueur
In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together coffee and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, stir in liqueur.
2 8oz tubs Marscapone cheese
1/2 cup powdered/confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
2 Tablespoons half-and-half or whipping cream
Combine ingredients in a small bowl using a hand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy.
12 Italian ladyfingers soaked in coffee syrup mixture (don’t soak until ready to assemble cake)
2 cups chilled whipping cream
2 teaspoons coffee-flavored liqueur
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, for garnish
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff. Add sugar and liqueur and whisk until just combined.
To assemble cake:
Using a large serrated knife, level or flatten the tops of the cake layers if necessary. Eat the leftover cake scraps. Using a pastry brush, liberally brush the tops of both cakes with the coffee syrup mixture.
Place the bottom layer of the cake on a cake board or your serving plate. Top with half of the filling mixture.
Soak the lady fingers in the remaining coffee syrup mixture. Arrange the soaked lady fingers on the first layer of cake. Do not allow the edges of the ladyfingers to expand outside the edge of the cake. You can cut/break the ladyfingers if necessary to make them fit better.
Top the ladyfingers with the remaining filling. Use a soft spatula to push some of the filling down between the ladyfingers as much as possible.
Place the top layer of cake on top of the filling.
Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Refrigerate the cake for30-60 minutes before serving, and store (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Source: Yellow Cake adapted from Cooks Illustrated, Concept inspired by Dorie Greenspan
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