My all-time favorite desserts will always be chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, preferably served together, but tiramisu is definitely a close runner-up. The best tiramisu I’ve consumed in Italy is at our good friend, Alfie’s restaurant, Trattoria Baldini in Florence. The only issue is that everything on the menu is utterly amazing and I have to consciously remember to save room for tiramisu at the end and even when I “save room” for dessert, I usually leave the restaurant in a state of pain because I am so full… But I’m never disappointed!
Whenever I order tiramisu at other restaurants I’m always… underwhelmed. There is such a fine line of too much or too little mascarpone cream or maybe it’s just too dense, the coffee flavor isn’t as pronounced as I would like, or the ladyfingers are too soft and mushy.
So enough was enough, I’m in Italy, I’m asking Italians for recommendations, and I’m making tiramisu at home. ‘Scuse me, Tiramisu Cake… I’m just not willing to compete with Trattoria Baldini on this one.
If you like tiramisu, this cake is for you. It’s a bit of a process to make and assemble but it is well worth it. Might I say it even rivals the best tiramisu I’ve ever had?? It’s a simple sponge cake cut into four layers (this is a must!), soaked in an espresso syrup, layered with mascarpone cream, and then decorated with cocoa powder, shaved chocolate, and savoiradi biscuits. I made the cake the night before serving so the cake and the biscuits were able to soak up all of that mascarpone and espresso goodness and oh, my goodness, it was delicious.
Despite the 6 hours it took to prepare, this cake will definitely make an appearance at our household over the holidays!
Tiramisu Cake recipe from Call Me Cupcake:
2 ½ deciliters (~1 cup) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 deciliters (~1 cup and 3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 deciliter (~¼ cup and 2 tablespoons) milk
50 grams butter
2 deciliters (~¾ cup) espresso
½ deciliter (~3 tablespoons) coffee liqueur
1 deciliter granulated sugar
250 grams of mascarpone cheese
2 deciliters(~¾ cup) heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 deciliter(~¼ cup and 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Grated or Chopped Dark Chocolate (~100 grams)
Savoiardi Biscuits (~200 grams)
- To make the sponge cake, preheat oven to 175°C (350 F). Butter and flour a round 20 centimeter cake pan or two round 20 centimeter cake pans (just make sure to cut into four equal parts).
- Whisk the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Gradually add the milk mixture and vanilla extract to the batter. Mix the flour and baking powder in another bowl and then add it to the batter. Pour the batter in the prepared pan.
- Put the pan on the lower rack in the oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes (15-25 minutes, if using two pans) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto parchment paper. Let cool for a while and then split the cake into 3-4 pieces.
- To make the espresso syrup, brew 2 deciliters of strong espresso. Mix with coffee liqueur and sugar in a saucepan and let boil until all the sugar has melted. Let cool.
- To make the mascarpone cream, mix egg yolks and sugar in a heat proof bowl in a double boiler over simmering water. Mix constantly so the mixture until the mixture starts to thicken. Be careful so you don’t make scrambled eggs! Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a dry, clean bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
- Mix the mascarpone and the egg yolk mixture. Add the whipped cream and vanilla. Gently fold down the whipped egg whites. Put it in the fridge for a while.
- To assemble the cake, use a spring form pan slightly bigger than the cake, about 23-25 centimeters.
- Soak all the cake layers in coffee syrup.
- Start by putting the first layer in the bottom of the spring form, then put savoiardi biscuits all the way around the cake. Evenly spread out the mascarpone cream on the first layer. Repeat the same step until you have used all layers. Finish off with a layer of mascarpone cream on top and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours
- Before serving, powder with cocoa powder and garnish with grated chocolate.