Here it is. Finally I got to make it. My highly anticipated, larger than life, even better than I had imagined; tiramisu cake. From the moment I saw it on the Smitten Kitchen website my mouth had been watering, taste buds waiting, even my mixer was probably dreaming about whipping the sweet mascarpone and heavy cream...thank goodness for fathers day because I really don't think I could have waited much longer to make this cake.
Both my family and I are extremely picky about our tiramisu, sometimes it can be too soggy and is just a mess in your mouth, or the other extreme where it's too dry, and you can hardly experience the melding of espresso, amaretto and cake taste. Well, this cake shot down both of those fears, as it was both incredibly moist and the perfect combination of flavors and textures.
While I was mixing the frosting/filling, it was so hard for me to stop "taste testing" just because it was so good. Actually, once I get some more mascarpone from the store I was thinking about making the same filling and pairing it with crepes for a heavenly dessert...or breakfast?
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs + 1 yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
Espresso Extract & Syrup
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Amaretto
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Amaretto
1 cup very cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans, line them with parchment paper and butter again for easy removal.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter until soft and creamy. When it has reached this stage, add the sugar and cream for another three minutes, don't stop early! Add the eggs and additional yolk one by one, beating for a minute after each addition and follow by adding the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, making sure to end with the dry ingredients. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 27-30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean and the tops are golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
Next, make the espresso extract/syrup. Simply stir in the 2 tablespoons boiling water into the espresso power and set aside. Next, stir the remaining water and sugar in a small saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the Amaretto and 1 tablespoon of the already make extract. Set aside.
For the filling/frosting, whisk together the mascarpone, vanilla, Amaretto and sugar until smooth in a large bowl. Then, in a separate bowl whip the heavy cream until it forms firm peaks. Gently fold in this whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture in 2 batches.
For the Grand Finale: assemble the cake! Take about 1/3 of the espresso syrup and brush over the bottom layer of the cake. Top with some of the mascarpone filling and crumble the semisweet chocolate over this layer. On another plate, take another 1/3 of the espresso syrup and soak the bottom of the next cake layer. Place on top of the bottom layer then brush the remaining espresso syrup over the top of the cake. Add the remaining espresso extract, or as much as you desire by tasting as you go, to the mascarpone filling and top off the cake. Sprinkle the top with grated chocolate and unfortunately, refrigerate for 1 day to allow the flavors to meld. Then, enjoy!