Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TWD - Tiramisu Cake



This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen for us by Megan of My Baking Adventures. I love tiramisu and I love cake, but I wasn't visualizing what this cake would look/taste like. I was also feeling a little stress as our vacation is just days away and I'm at the crossroads of getting work done/prepping for an Audit Committee meeting/accounting for M.'s business so I can leave and not worry about things at home. I almost skipped this, rationalizing that it would be OK with our vacation days away.

As you can see, I didn't, and am I ever glad. First of all, Dorie made it easy to fit the making of this cake into all of the things I was working on. I got the layers in the oven in about 15 minutes. They cooled overnight, and I made the extract, the syrup and the frosting before work, and assembled the cake in time to start this post before I had to get in the shower to go to work. THAT'S a quick and easy dessert. Really!

I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home from work to pick up the mascarpone and whipping cream. Once home, I ate dinner, caught up on my Google Reader, and then at 9:00, kicked myself for not starting it earlier and went to get the layers in the oven. I deliberately did not buy buttermilk at TJ's since I knew I could make sour milk as a substitution, and didn't want to buy a quart of buttermilk when I only needed 3/4 of a cup. When I checked the fridge, I had some whipping cream that was a few days past its expire date and was definitely smelling...tangy. I decided to use it instead of "making" sour milk. Big risk. The batter smelled funky to me, the baking layers smelled funky. The baked layers smelled funky. I went to bed not sure if I had screwed this one up or not.

The next morning, I woke up at the normal time (don't scream but I naturally wake up at about 5:20), had my coffee, checked the weather, and got to work on finishing the cake. One of the layers baked freakishly uneven, so I sawed off a goodly portion and tasted it.

It was fine, no funky taste, although it was sort of dry. I made the espresso extract and syrup (these components were part of my initial confusion about this cake--I just couldn't picture how they would fit in--maybe I should have read the recipe!)

I whipped the cream a little too long so it had that choppy look to it, so I beat it more cream to soften it up. You can see on the left it looks smooth while on the right it's just a few moments away from becoming butter.


Gently mix the whipped cream into the Mascarpone.


I didn't use alcohol in any of the components of the cake and truly, I don't think it made a bit of difference. I love the flavor of coffee, and it had an opportunity to shine in the frosting. After assembling the cake, I realized I forgot to put the chopped chocolate between the layers.

Problem solved.



I took this to work where it quickly disappeared. Tiramisu lovers found it to be tasty, and I did too. It was dry, so I think it may have overbaked (it was a little past done at 18 minutes). Next time, I'll check it earlier and that should help maintain the moisture. It's possible that leaving it out uncovered overnight also impacted the moisture of the layers. This one was delicious if you're a coffee lover, and I think it lends itself well to some fun experimentation. I think glazing this with a pourable ganache would look and taste amazing. Or maybe serving it in a puddle of caramel sauce.


The cake scraps, espresso syrup and frosting made a yummy breakfast. It has dairy and, umm, coffee!

38 comments:

Marthe said...

I really enjoyed this one!! I agree: a great breakfast, although it's probably not the healthiest breakfast I've ever seen ;)

Alwayzbakin said...

Yours came out beautiful! I will have to try this one.

Amanda said...

Ha! I've done that before, made an entire recipe and forgot an ingredient LOL You solved the problem though! I loved this recipe, it was absolutely delicious, no leftovers. :) Stop by my blog and read my interview with Dorie!

Sabrina said...

Beautiful job!!! I loved the chocolate on the side of the cake. Very pretty!

vibi said...

WOW! How did you get the frosting so perfect? Pfff... that was the worst one to handle yet, I found.

Beautiful, Leslie!

dharmagirl said...

your cake is beautiful! i love all that delicious frosting...

have a wonderful vacation!

Jess said...

This is a great breakfast cake! Yours turned out beautifully - I love the chocolate pressed around the sides.

Teanna DiMicco said...

Mmmm... a puddle of caramel sauce. That is one puddle I would swim in any day! The cake looks delicious!

Megan said...

It took me several times of reading the recipe to figure out how everything went together - and I'm glad it all worked out for you in the end.

And I love the chocolate around the cake - it looks perfect!

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

You wake up at 5:20 naturally? My body cannot comprehend such a crazy thing! Though it does seem to allow you to be super productive, so maybe I should consider this. The cake looks wonderful. I added brandy to mine, but I think it was totally overpowered by the espresso.

Kayte said...

The guys here all thought it was great last night, but really great for breakfast, too! Yours looks so cute with the plain top and the chocolate on the sides...I like that idea. Interesting on the subs...I learn so much each week from everyone's posts.

carmencooks said...

Yum, looks great! I almost forgot to add the chocolate to the middle too, but looks like you found the perfect solution. :)

Pamela said...

You must be getting pretty excited about that vacation! Nice job on the cake! The people at your job must love you!

Joy said...

Your cake looks great - the chocolate on the sides and the plain top looks really pretty!

Have fun on your vacation!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Mmm, that pourable ganache is calling my name! Great job fitting this cake in, and I hope you have a great trip. How did you get such a perfectly clean cake slice?
Nancy

spike. said...

Glad you got to make and enjoy this week! looks great

Kara said...

Your cake looks great. Honestly, I found the cake itself to be dry, too, and I don't think I overbaked my cupcakes. If anything I think I underbaked one batch a little. I think it just needs more syrup. Then again, I like a really moist tiramisu, so maybe I wanted that texture with the flavor. :)

chocolatechic said...

Caramel sauce......oh wow does that sound good.

Karen said...

I think I have decided not to buy buttermilk anymore...mostly because of the substitution and I end up with chunky buttermilk.

Your cake looks delicious. Glad it didn't taste funky!

pinkstripes said...

Great looking cake. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Tracey said...

Your cake looks fantastic! Glad you enjoyed it! I did too and I definitely didn't expect to.

Jill said...

It looks glad. Glad that everything worked out!

What's for Supper? said...

Even not being a coffee drinker I really enjoyed this one!

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - looks great Leslie.

Danielle said...

Looks delish! I love the idea of using ganache for this cake i have to write that down!

AmyRuth said...

Leslie, Chocolate is definitely among one of "my" food groups, you? Oh yea dairy and coffee too. LOL
Yep, I've left those cake layers out to sleep on the counter before too. You're probably right? Either way, valiant effort and yes I do love to share the love. Hey, have a great vacation. I hope you have an amazing time. You deserve it!!! Glad the co workers scarfed it up. I'm sure they are all super spoiled by all your Dorie Do's. Isn't she the greatest. Where would we be without her? Just think of all the fun we would miss. he he
AmyRuth

Clivia said...

Cake and icing for breakfast - a baker after my own heart. Your cake turned out beautifully!

SUGAR B said...

I want the cake and the leftovers!

What a great entry. I love your ability to tell a story . . . through words and detailed pictures. AWESOME.

In case you haven't been reminded today, your blog is UBER cool. :)

Thanks for visiting mine, Leslie.

Heather said...

Your cake is beautiful - I love the chocolate on the side of the cake. I also found the cake a bit dry but wasn't it absolutely delicious overall!

margot said...

It looks great with the chocolate on the outside. I was totally afraid I'd miss a step since it was a really long recipe. Good luck getting your work done and enjoy your vacation!

Pollyanna said...

Totally would lend itself to a puddle of caramel sauce. I think yours turned out lovely!!

Michele said...

Looks great! I love the way you decorated the sides.

Sweet as Coco said...

ok, your um 'breakfast' should we call it...is what I had this morning. I laugh because I thought I was the only person who did that. ;) guess I was wrong. Glad you liked it!

Life with Kaishon said...

I really want to make this. It looks fantastic : )

TeaLady said...

looks perfect.

Tammy said...

Thanks for the tip on what to do when I over whip the cream. Your cake is lovely. I need to pull Dorie's book back out and make it. When syruping a cake, I found the flavors ripen and the moisture is more evenly distributed 1 day later.

Carol Peterman said...

Nice pick-up on the overlooked chocolate that was intended for the middle of the cake. It looks great as a garnish on the side. I think the cake is supposed to be dry because it is intended to be soaked with the syrup, so maybe just a bit more syrup next time?

Jo said...

I put Amaretto in mine but couldn't taste it at all. I'm leaving it out next time. My cake was dry as well but the mascarpone frosting made up for it. I like the chocolate on the side.