After watching this years #GBBO bakers make Tiramisu cake…
Then Mary Berry & ”the male judge” showing us how it should be done in their masterclass I was certain this was for us (minus the alcohol of course), you see my husband and I (and possibly the kids sneak a small slice which is why I don’t make it so often) like coffee and walnut cake but he’s the main espresso drinker, I’m more inclined towards the beverage when i’ve had a ‘bad’ day.
I already had the endorsed great british bake off swiss roll tin from making this, it was a no brainer or so I thought. Turns out Mary Berry’s recipe uses a larger swiss roll tin, never mind i found another recipe by pyrex using a regular round cake tin, yes the glass bakeware company do metal too!
This tiramisu cake recipe used a marsala wine custard based mascarpone filling and was soaked in coffee mixed with other liquor so I experimented with an alcohol substitute for marsala wine made of apple cider vinegar, vanilla and sugar. The custard wasn’t half bad just not quite sweet enough because when sandwiched between coffee soaked sponge with layers of grated 74% cocoa chocolate, the final result ended up bitter and slightly sour, i was craving for sweetness and lots of it.
Alhamdu’lillah It wasn’t all bad because I’d only made a small version using half the ingredient quantities, so that’s a lesson for you too, when baking experiments in your kitchen commence always make small batches then when you strike gold you can go and make a full sized version and hopefully be thankful you haven’t wasted too many ingredients in the process.
I was given the solution via a sister on instagram – to make this more closer to the classic tiramisu, literally meaning ”pick me up”. It did just that and without the use of any alcohol or alcohol substitute, only the power of pure espresso!
Whilst researching this classic Italian dessert I’ve discovered the original neither used alcohol or egg whites and although this recipe I’m sharing now does contain egg whites which lighten the mascarpone filling you could leave them out for a heavier dessert although I much prefer to keep them. The whipped egg whites bring lightness into the rich and indulging mascarpone mixture, almost convincing you it’s healthy! of course everything (halal) is, in the right quantities.
You start with making espresso, easy enough for those of us with a coffee machine. A substitute using instant will be given below.
Next you make the filling, mixing egg yolks and sugar together, beating in mascarpone until smooth, your arm hurts at this point, so let your stand or handheld mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites then double cream (in separate bowls) until stiff peaks, before gently but thoroughly folding those (one at a time) into the mascarpone mixture,
Then it’s just a matter of soaking sponge fingers in coffee, placing half in a bowl of your choice, nothing fancy unless you have it i used a mixing bowl, then layer half the mascarpone mixture on top, smooth out and add some grated chocolate on top of that, repeat those steps one more time and feel free to dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa, I was satisfied without.
A sweet, velvety cream against soft coffee soaked sponge and chocolate, does it get better? This dessert for you and/or the coffee snob(s) in your life.
I only used half the original recipe quantities, one because I only had 1x 160 gram pack of trifle sponges, ideally you would use a 200 gram pack of ladyfingers /boudoir biscuits, in italian that would be Savoiardi but my husband brought the trifle ones so that’s what I used. Again i quite like the softer trifle sponge they soaked up the espresso a little too well so I had to make a small quantity of instant for the last sponge soaking, recipe below will show adjustment. Feel free to double below recipe if you’re feeding a crowd.
One last thing, always keep the dessert chilled in the fridge and if you’re concerned about using raw eggs or for medical reasons such as pregnancy it’s maybe best you don’t try this dessert unless you can find pasteurized eggs which are usually only available to the commercial food establishments and even then, there are no guarantees you won’t get ill, you could try making your own pasteurized eggs at home or leaving out the egg whites and cooking the egg yolks with the sugar gently over a ban marie, stirring constantly for 15 minutes until thick, then cooling over bowl of ice water before adding the mascarpone and double cream.
Writing about this coffee lover’s dream takes longer than actually making it, go on try it.
- 1 packet of sponge fingers (boudoir/ladyfingers/savoiardi/ or even trifle sponges)
- 3 shots or 180ml espresso with ½ teaspoon concentrated halal vanilla extract, cool ( you can use 1 ½ tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 180 ml boiling water)
- 2 eggs, separated
- 80ml / ⅓ cup golden caster sugar
- ¼ teaspoon concentrated halal vanilla extract
- half a packet or 125 grams full fat mascarpone
- 125ml double cream
- grated dark chocolate (i used one with 74% cocoa solids)
- cocoa powder, * optional (i didn't)
- Make espresso and set aside to cool.
- Beat egg yolks with vanilla and sugar then beat in mascarpone until smooth.
- In separate bowls whisk egg whites and double cream until stiff peaks stage.
- Fold egg whites and double cream into mascarpone mixture (best to do this gently to keep as much air in as possible) until you have a homogenous mixture.
- Soak sponge fingers in espresso and layer half of them in a bowl of your choice, top with creamy mixture then some grated chocolate and a dusting of cocoa powder(if using) then repeat process with remaining ingredients.
- Chill in the fridge for minimum 1 hour until ready to serve. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.