Tiramisu Cake Slice

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Serves 12

This bakery style tiramisu cake slice will impress even the most narrow eyed cake critic (provided they like coffee!)

Inspired by Cake Boss

Ingredients:

For the chiffon cake:

2 cups self-raising flour (sifted)

1 1/2 cups castor sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sunflower oil

7 eggs separated

3/4 cup water at cool room temperature

2 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 seeds from 1/2 a vanilla pod

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar

Extras for cake assembly:

2 heaped tablespoons of instant black coffee made up with 3 cups of boiling water, sweetened with 3 teaspoons of sugar.

2 to 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

For the cream frosting:

800 ml of double cream

3 tablespoons of icing sugar

1 teaspoon caramel flavoring (optional)

200 g of mascarpone cream cheese

 

Method

To bake the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.  Grease, line and flour two 9 inch square cake pans.

NOTE: the original recipe did not grease or line the pans.  I assume this is to help the cake rise by catching on to the sides of the pan and to stop it deflating inwards when you remove it from the oven.  As I didn’t want to take a risk of not lining my pans, I decided to grease, line AND FLOUR.  The flour will allow the cake to catch onto the sides better and rise.

2. Separate the eggs and place the whites in a completely grease free bowl.

 

3) Add the cream of tartar into the egg whites and whisk until stiff peaks.  Leave aside

 

4) In another large bowl, place the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Make a well in the middle and add the oil, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon extract, water.  Whisk this well for about 3 minutes until it becomes a pale creamy colour.

 

5)Fold the eggs whites into the yolk batter

 

6) Divide the mixture between the two pans

 

 

7) Reduce the temperature of the oven to 165 degrees C and bake in the center of oven for 35 minutes. Check it after 25 minutes through the oven door to make sure it’s not browning too much.

 

If it is, check with skewer it may be cooked! If it wobbles when you open the door, put it back at 160 degrees C for 5 to 6 minutes.  A cooked cake will spring back when you gently press on it or an inserted skewer comes out clean.

8) Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

 

9) When cool enough to handle, remove from the pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.

To prepare the cream frosting:

The cake is filled and covered by the same frosting.  Place all the double cream (minus about 2 tablespoons) in a large bowl and whip until just at soft peaks.  Add the mascarpone, flavourings, sugar and the rest of the cream. Whip gently to combine (careful not to over whip, it should still be at soft peak consistency.  Loosen with a little milk if necessary).

To assemble:

1) Place one of the cake sponges onto a serving plate or cake board. Make up the hot coffee as described in the instructions.  Using a tablespoon pour enough coffee to soak the top 5 mm of the surface.  Wait a few mins and repeat to cover any dry spots.  The sponge should not be completely soaked as it will make cutting neat slices difficult.

2) Carefully spread 1/3 of the cream filling onto the soaked layer.

3) Using a fine sieve, dust the entire top of the cream filling with cocoa powder.

4) Place the second sponge on top of the dusted cake.

5) Repeat the soaking step.

6) Cover the entire cake with the rest of the cream frosting. Using a palette knife, try and keep it as neatly square and level as possible.

7) Cool in the refrigerator for 30 mins

8) Remove from the refrigerator and now it’s time for the the fun decoration part! The top of the cake needs to be dusted with cocoa powder.  You can either dust the entire top of the cake with cocoa powder using a fine sieve or, use a stencil to add a pattern. I created a grid pattern by using a piece of an educational game (well washed and thoroughly dried) as a stencil but you can use any cake stencil or make one using cut outs from parchment paper or card.

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9) Place the completed cake into the refrigerator to set up for at least 2 hours

To serve:

Using a large serrated knife, carefully cut the cake in half horizontally so now you have two cakes each being approximately 9 inches by 4.5 inches.  Cut each cake into 6 slices (or more or less depending on how many slices you want or how big you want each slice ;P).  CLEAN your knife after each cut made.

The cake is ready to impress!! It really is so delicious and light that some people may want two slices from the ready!

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Coffee Buttercream Recipe

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This deliciously smooth frosting is one of my favourites.  It goes very well with any cake flavour but best pairs up with coffee cake.  For a good coffee cake recipe click here.  If you do use this recipe, increase all the ingredients by 5o% so use 6 eggs, 12 oz flour etc.  Bake in two 9inch round pans. Then use the below frosting recipe to fill between the two cakes and cover. That will yield 12 generous servings.

My recipe for the coffee buttercream is slightly adjusted to the one in the link.

Ingredients:

250g salted* butter softened to room temperature

2 cups of icing sugar

2 teaspoons of instant coffee (I used Columbian arabica) dissolved in a tablespoon of boiling water.

Method:

1. Beat the butter on medium high speed for 2 minutes.

2. Add the icing sugar 1/3 cup at a time, scrapping down the bowl regularly and beating with each addition. Occasionally a little less or more icing sugar may be needed to reach the desired consistency.

TIP: icing sugar has a tendency to fly everywhere so place a damp tea towel near the mixture to catch the dust.  If your mixer does not have a splash guard, place a damp tea towel on top too or stir each addition in carefully before starting the beaters.

3.  Slowly pour in the dissolved coffee with the beaters running.  Scrape down the bowl and give it a final beat on high for a minute or until whippy.

*I find salted butter produces a better result in baking and in frosting recipes compared to unsalted.

Most frosting recipes may look simple but can be tricky to get to the correct consistency.  This particular frosting is very easy to get a perfect consistency and taste.  Happy baking!

Salted Caramel Cake

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Salted Caramel Cake

This dense flavor-packed cake featured on Junior Bake Off (the childrens version of The Great Brish Bake Off).  The kids were given 1hr 20minutes on the show but in reality you need double that if you want to allow for preparation and cooling. I didn’t use the recipe on the website so this is my own variation but I did get my daughter (the ‘junior’ part) to help out with the decoration.

This cake is all about preparation. You can prepare certain items before hand to make it easier to assemble especially if kids are helping out. You can also buy some of the fillings and decorative components to the cake e.g. caramel sauce, packet chopped nuts, dream whip/ squirty cream etc. Below is the recipe of the cake I made from scratch.

Ingredients Serves 16

8 oz Butter (Softened)

7 oz Caster Sugar

4 Eggs

9oz Self Raising Flour

Vanilla ( 1/2 a bean or 1 tsp extract)

3 to 4 tbsp. milk

1 cup caramel sauce –  I used this  salted caramel sauce recipe found on Sally’s Baking Addiction.

125g salted peanuts

400 ml double cream (600 ml if you include for the caramel sauce recipe above)

Butter Cream ( 3/4 cups butter and 2 cups icing sugar – see recipe details in the method)

Method

Prepare the caramel sauce as directed on Sally’s website.

To prepare the chopped nuts:

Preheat the oven at 180C.  Place the peanuts on a baking tray lined with baking/greaseproof paper. Using a damp cloth, wipe the excess salt off the peanuts.  Bake the nuts until golden brown (about 20 minutes). Cool the nuts then crush using the end of a rolling pin.  Set aside.

To make the Madeira cake, cream the butter with the sugar until pale.  Add the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Finally, fold in the flour, alternating with the milk until well combined.  Split the mixture between two round 9 inch greased and lined pans and bake in a pre-heated (160 C) oven for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cakes to room temperature. Trim the top of the cakes to remove the brown tops and uneveness (optional but the cake will have a cleaner finish when you cut into it)

Whip 200ml of the double cream to soft peaks.

Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake board with the base side of the cake facing the cake board. Spread 1/3 of the caramel sauce over the top. Cover this with the whipped cream and place the second cake on top with the base side facing upwards. Set aside while you make the butter cream.

To make the buttercream, beat 2/3 cup of butter until pale. Beat in 2 cups of icing sugar gradually adding a very small splash of milk to aid mixing.  Add the second third of the caramel sauce into the buttercream and beat until smooth and spreadable.

Using a hot palette knife, spread the butter cream over the top of the cake and down the sides.  Try and get the top of the cake as smooth as you can.

Press the chopped nuts into the sides of the cake. Use the palette knife to press the nuts neatly around the bottom edge of the cake tucking any stray nuts in.

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Fill a piping bag (no nozzle) with the remaining caramel sauce.  Cut the tip to make a 5mm hole.  Pipe lines across the top of the cake about 1cm apart.  Next, run a toothpick perpendicular to the caramel lines to drag the caramel down to form a V. Continue along the top of the cake, each time going in the opposite direction to create the pattern.  This is the part my daughter enjoyed most!

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To finish the cake, Whip the remaining cream (about 200 ml) and pipe a neat border around the top edge of the cake.

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Salted Caramel Cake

Remember this cake contains fresh dairy ingredients so store in the refrigerator and take out 30 minutes before serving.

Cappuccino Cake

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This take on the classic tiramisu dessert is absolutely satisfying for all cream cake and coffee lovers. It’s not overly sweet, allowing the flavours of the coffee, cocoa and mascarpone to come through , It has a wonderfully fluffy creamy texture and is light enough for a perfect dinner party dessert.

Serves 12-16

Ingredients

Two nine-inch genoise sponges cakes

1 1/3 cups of coffee, made a cup at a time using 1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2/3 cup of boiling water.  You can make up the coffee using an espresso machine if you like. I don’t like the taste of instant coffee if Im drinking it but it works well in desserts.

Cocoa powder for dusting

600 ml double cream

300g mascarpone cheese

4 tablespoons of icing sugar

milk as required

1 tsp caramel extract (optional and can use any extract that will go well with coffee e.g vanilla, hazelnut, toffee etc)

Method

Lay one of the sponges on a cake board or a serving plate. Prick holes on the top of the cake using a fork. Make up a cup of coffee as above and use a large spoon to drizzle the entire cake with coffee, making sure to soak the edges of the cake. Leave the cake aside to cool down while you make the mascarpone filling.

To make the Filling:

Whip up 400 ml of the cream to soft peaks.  Add all the mascarpone, icing sugar and extract. Combine carefully using the slow setting on an electric whisk. It will thicken quickly so be very careful not to over whip. use the extra 200ml of cream and small splashes of milk to thin the mixture if it starts to thicken which it will as we leave it to work on the rest of the cake.

Put one-third of the mixture onto the soaked sponge using a piping bag to get an even covering. Do not use a spatula as the soaked sponge is very delicate and it will crumb as you try to spread it.

Dust the top of the filling with a generous amount of cocoa powder.

Place the second sponge on top and repeat the process of soaking in coffee (make a fresh hot coffee).

Place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Thin the remaining mascarpone cream with double cream and milk until its piping consistency. Place into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. I used the Wilton 1M.

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There is no need to crumb coat the cake. Just pipe the rosettes directly onto the cake. It’s not a tall cake so only one row of rosettes are needed for the sides. Pipe a second row to cover the junction between the top of the first row and the top edge of the cake. Cover the top of the cake in rosettes filling in any gaps between the roses by piping small stars. Use the following video if you’re unsure of how to pipe rosettes.

Set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Dust with cocoa powder before serving.

This cake will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. It slices nicely and plates well as it isn’t too tall so it wont topple!

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Strawberry Gateau

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Strawberry Gateau

Ingredients

2 x 9″ Genoise sponges (see previous post)

2 small punnets fresh strawberries

1 Kiwi fruit

550 ml fresh double cream

200g cream cheese

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/3 cup icing sugar

1/3 cup evaporated milk (more may be required to thin the cream)

Method

1) Slice half of the strawberries to 6-7 mm thick slices.  These will be the filling.

2) Use some strawberry jam to affix the first cake onto a cake board

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3) Whip the cream to soft peaks

4) Add the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice and mix in gently.  The mixture will thicken very quickly so be careful not to over whip. Use a spatula to stir in the evaporated milk. one quick blast of an electric whisk is all that’s required to blend everything together. Keep extra evaporated milk handy to thin as required as it will stiffen with time. Use a spatula to stir in any extra milk as a whisk will further stiffen the cream.

5) Keep a palette knife in very hot water. Wipe off the water with a clean towel and use the hot knife to spread about a cup of the cream mixture over the first sponge.

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6) Place the sliced strawberries on top, pressing down slightly.

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7) Place the other sponge on top making sure the flatter surface of the sponge faces up. Press the whole thing down gently to even out.

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8) If the rest of the cream mixture has thickened, stir in a little more evaporated milk. Leaving 1 cup of this mixture for the swirls, spread the remaining mixture over the top and smooth over the sides using  a hot palette knife.

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9) To tidy the sides, I used the wilton triangle decorating comb, and ran it around the sides. If you don’t have anything similar, run a hot palette knife around the sides, wiping off regularly. Or make a disposable comb from a clean piece of card.

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10) Using a hot palette knife, tidy the top edges wiping off the excess regularly.

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11) Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with the remaining cream mixture (remember to thin down with evaporated milk if it’s thickened).  Pipe rosettes around the rim of the cake. Clean up the bottom edge of the cake with a wet paper towel.

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12) Arrange sliced strawberries and kiwi fruit in random fashion on the top of the cake.

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Keep refrigerated and consume within 2 days.

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Genoise Sponge Cake

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This sponge is perfect for gateaux and fresh cream cakes as it is light, airy and absorbant.  There are fatless variations but I personally found them to be dry in texture. The addition of the butter makes it slightly harder to control the airy-ness of the batter therefore I use self raising flour to ensure I always get a good rise.

Ingredients

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6 eggs (or 5 large eggs)

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup self-raising flour (sifted)

6 tbsp melted butter

Vanilla (I used half a pod which I mixed into the melted butter)

Pre-heat oven to 165C.

Grease and line two 9 inch cake pans.  This cake is versatile.  A smaller sized cake tin can be used for more height. For the above measurement, I wouldn’t go larger than 9″ pans. If using 10″ pans use 8 eggs and increase all the ingredients by 1/3. If you want to make three layers in your cake, use an 8 egg batch and place 1/3 of the batter in one pan and 2/3 in the other and monitor the baking. This will result in one taller cake which can be sliced across into two discs.

1)Place the eggs and sugar in a large glass bowl and set on top of a pan of simmering water (the water should be shallow and not touching the underside of the bowl). Whisk continuously using a simple whisk for about one minute. Use your fingers to check all the sugar has dissolved and the texture is not grainy. The eggs and sugar should feel slightly warmer than room temperature.

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2) Take off the heat and use an electric whisk to whip the eggs and sugar until pale fluffy (soft peak) and 4 times the volume. This will take about 5 minutes of continuous whisking.

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3) Gently fold in the flour using a spatula.  The flour will be resistant to dissolve into the airy mix and will fall to the bottom of the bowl so add the flour in three goes, folding in each time with sweeping folds from the bottom of the bowl to the top.

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4) Take out one cup of this batter and add it to the melted butter and stir. This step helps the larger amount of batter accept the fat element more readily.

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At this point I had to work quite quickly so apologies for lack of pics!

5) Add the butter batter into the main airy batter and very gently fold and mix together.  Its ok if it falls slightly as this recipe uses self raising flour which should ensure a good rise.  Traditionally plain flour is used and a great deal of effort is made at this stage to keep as much air into the batter as possible.

7) Split the mixture equally beween the two pans and bake in a pre- heated oven at 165C for15-20 mins.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

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I cut into the cake so I can show you the light airy texture.

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Below is an example of how I used this cake in a 14″ cream cake. It has three layers.  Each layer was a 6 egg recipe baked in a 14″ pan, so in total this cake used 18 eggs but its a big cake enough for 40 desert servings.

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NOTE: A Genoise sponge is not recommended for wedding cakes or any cakes where the frostings are heavy as this sponge is too light to carry the weight. It is also a sweet sponge (the sugar is required to stabilize the airing of the eggs) and so a sweet icing such as buttercream would not suit the flavor nor texture of a genoise sponge.

In my next post I will be showing you how to use this sponge in a strawberry gateau.