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Tiramisù Cake

  • Time preparation 1 hour 30 minutes, plus chilling
  • cook time 20 minutes
  • Serve Serves 10

This towering cake is an elegant version of the much-loved, classic Italian dessert. Thin layers of light sponge are soaked in coffee and sandwiched together with a decadent mascarpone filling and a hint of dark chocolate. For the best results, bake the cake the day before you plan to assemble - the sponges are easier to slice in half. Assemble and chill the cake a good few hours before serving to allow the flavours to mingle.

Recipe taken from The Great British Bake Off: Love to Bake by Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith & The Bakers (Sphere, £22.00)
  • For the whisked sponge:
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder pinch of salt
  • 50g ground almonds
  • For the coffee syrup:
  • 150ml freshly brewed hot espresso or strong coffee
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • For the mascarpone filling:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp marsala or amaretto
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125g white chocolate, chopped
  • 750g mascarpone cheese
  • 150g 70% dark chocolate, coarsely grated to decorate
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp chocolate-coated coffee beans, roughly chopped
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
  • Special kit:
  • 20cm cake tins x 3, greased, then base-lined with baking paper and lightly dusted with flour
  • 20cm, deep-sided springform tin
  • Piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle

Heat the oven to 180°C/ Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Make the sponge (the day before serving, ideally). Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly. Whisk the eggs in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Add the sugar and whisk on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until thick and mousse-like, and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk.

Sift together the plain flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl, add the ground almonds and, using a large metal spoon, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Pour the melted butter around the inside edge of the bowl and gently fold in. Divide the mixture equally between the lined tins and level with a palette knife. Bake on the middle shelves for about 20 minutes, until golden, well risen and a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.

Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Next, make the coffee syrup. Pour the hot coffee into a bowl, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.

Next, make the mascarpone filling. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, marsala or amaretto and salt in a heatproof bowl until fully combined. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is hot to the touch, very thick and tripled in volume. Remove from the heat and plunge the bottom of the bowl into a sink of cold water to stop the cooking process, and whisk occasionally until cold.

Melt the white chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth and remove from the heat, then leave to cool slightly. Beat the mascarpone until smooth. Fold the mascarpone and melted white chocolate into the cooled egg mixture until combined and smooth.

Using a long, serrated knife, slice the sponges in half horizontally. Place 1 sponge layer in the bottom of the 20cm springform tin, brush generously with the coffee syrup, then spread with 2 heaped tablespoons of the mascarpone mixture. Scatter with 1 tablespoon of the grated dark chocolate and top with another sponge layer.

Repeat the filling layers, and keep going (sponge, syrup, fillings, sponge, syrup, fillings) until you top with the final sponge. You will have Mascarpone mixture and grated chocolate left over - cover each and chill until needed.

Press the stacked sponges together, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Remove the cake from the tin to a serving plate. Cover the top and sides with the remaining mascarpone mixture, then press the remaining grated chocolate onto the sides of the cake to cover. To decorate, whip the cream to soft peaks. Spoon it into the piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle and pipe little blobs of cream all over the top of the cake. Scatter with the chocolate-coated coffee beans and lightly dust with cocoa powder to serve.

Ingredients

  • For the whisked sponge:
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder pinch of salt
  • 50g ground almonds
  • For the coffee syrup:
  • 150ml freshly brewed hot espresso or strong coffee
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • For the mascarpone filling:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp marsala or amaretto
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125g white chocolate, chopped
  • 750g mascarpone cheese
  • 150g 70% dark chocolate, coarsely grated to decorate
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp chocolate-coated coffee beans, roughly chopped
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
  • Special kit:
  • 20cm cake tins x 3, greased, then base-lined with baking paper and lightly dusted with flour
  • 20cm, deep-sided springform tin
  • Piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle

Method

Heat the oven to 180°C/ Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Make the sponge (the day before serving, ideally). Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly. Whisk the eggs in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Add the sugar and whisk on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until thick and mousse-like, and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk.

Sift together the plain flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl, add the ground almonds and, using a large metal spoon, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Pour the melted butter around the inside edge of the bowl and gently fold in. Divide the mixture equally between the lined tins and level with a palette knife. Bake on the middle shelves for about 20 minutes, until golden, well risen and a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.

Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Next, make the coffee syrup. Pour the hot coffee into a bowl, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.

Next, make the mascarpone filling. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, marsala or amaretto and salt in a heatproof bowl until fully combined. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is hot to the touch, very thick and tripled in volume. Remove from the heat and plunge the bottom of the bowl into a sink of cold water to stop the cooking process, and whisk occasionally until cold.

Melt the white chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth and remove from the heat, then leave to cool slightly. Beat the mascarpone until smooth. Fold the mascarpone and melted white chocolate into the cooled egg mixture until combined and smooth.

Using a long, serrated knife, slice the sponges in half horizontally. Place 1 sponge layer in the bottom of the 20cm springform tin, brush generously with the coffee syrup, then spread with 2 heaped tablespoons of the mascarpone mixture. Scatter with 1 tablespoon of the grated dark chocolate and top with another sponge layer.

Repeat the filling layers, and keep going (sponge, syrup, fillings, sponge, syrup, fillings) until you top with the final sponge. You will have Mascarpone mixture and grated chocolate left over - cover each and chill until needed.

Press the stacked sponges together, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Remove the cake from the tin to a serving plate. Cover the top and sides with the remaining mascarpone mixture, then press the remaining grated chocolate onto the sides of the cake to cover. To decorate, whip the cream to soft peaks. Spoon it into the piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle and pipe little blobs of cream all over the top of the cake. Scatter with the chocolate-coated coffee beans and lightly dust with cocoa powder to serve.

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