Tiramisu Cake

My sister is a fan of tiramisu cake because the cake is soaked in strong coffee. It was her birthday last Friday so I made her a tiramisu cake. The cake has four layers with two different sponges, a vanilla sponge and a coffee sponge. Each layer of sponge is soaked in coffee and topped with mascarpone cream.

Tiramisu means “lift me up”. It originated from Veneto Italy in 1960. Tiramisu is an Italian dessert where lady fingers are dipped in coffee. It covered in mascarpone, whipped cream and sabayon. The recipe has been adopted in different ways over the years.

Ingredients

Vanilla sponge

4 eggs

1 cup plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

drop of vanilla paste or essence

2/3 cup sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 1800

Line a swiss roll pan or a large square pan 36×21, or two small square pans 18×21 with oil and non stick baking paper.

In a mixer place egg, vanilla paste and sugar and whisk until it is creamy, foamy, pale and four times the size.

Once ready, gradually add flour and fold the mixture.

Place on baking pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until fully baked. To test the cake, touch it, when it springs back it is ready or use a skewer. If it is clear than it’s ready.

After five minutes, remove from pan and let it cool.

Coffee Sponge

4 eggs

1 cup plain flour (remove two tablespoons of flour and replace with two table spoons of ground coffee).

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

drop of vanilla paste

2/3 cup sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 1800

Line a swiss roll pan or a large square pan 36×21, or two small square pans 18×21 with oil and non stick baking paper.

In a mixer beater place egg, vanilla paste and sugar and whisk until it is creamy, foamy, pale and four times the size.

Once ready, gradually add flour and fold the mixture.

Place on baking pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until fully baked. To test the cake, touch it, when it springs back it is ready or use a skewer.

After five minutes, remove from pan and let it cool.

To make Coffee Syrup

You can extract coffee from your coffee machine and add a bit of sugar, when it is cool add marsala.

or make a syrup

Ingredients

100g Sugar

100g water

1-2 tablespoon of coffee

15g Marsala (optional)

Method

Boil water and sugar together. Let sugar dissolve, remove from heat and add the coffee. Let it cool and add marsala.

To make Mascarpone cream

The ratio is 1:1

600g thick cream

600g Mascarpone

Method

Whisk Mascarpone and place in a bowl.

Whisk thick cream until it is a firm peek.

Add a bit of mascarpone to the cream and fold, add more mascarpone and continue folding.

If not using mascarpone

2x 600g whipped cream.

Method.

Whip cream until it’s a firm peek.

To assemble.

If you used the large tray, cut sponge in half.

Place coffee sponge at the bottom, use a brush and dab coffee syrup on the cake, add the mascarpone cream, add the vanilla sponge, dab coffee syrup and mascarpone cream. Continue with the remaking two layers.

Once done ice the whole cake and place in the fridge.

Use the remaking icing to make decorations on top of cake.

Dust with cocoa powder.

Easter Bunny Cake

Yesterday was the first time I did an Easter bunny cake. The whole process was fun to do. I used two butter cakes. One was used for the bunny’s face and the other one was used to make the ears, used a knife and to cut out the shape, if you have a cutter that resembles an ear, that would be perfect. I used triangle cookie cutters to make the bow tie. I also made basic vanilla icing, used the number 5 star nozzle to pipe and divided some buttercream and added pink colour. I used black fondant to make the nose, ears, mouth whiskers.

To make the basic butte cake:

Double the recipe to make two.

Use 2X 18cm round tin

Ingredients

125g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

70g caster sugar

2 eggs

185g sieved flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

125ml milk

Method

preheat oven to 180o

Line baking tins with melted butter.

Place butter and vanilla essence in a bowl beat until light and fluffy Gradually add add sugar, beat well.

Add eggs one at the time, beating well after each addition. Add the baking powder to the flour. Fold flour and milk alternatively to the mixture.

Add mixture to tins and bake for 40-45 minutes or until fully baked.

Remove from oven and let it set for 5 minutes before turning it over.

This is the easiest and fastest butter cream to make. I increased the quantity, the more buttercream you have the better. Buttercream can be stored in the freezer up to a month.

Vanilla butter icing

I kg icing sugar

240g butter

8 tablespoons boiling water

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Pink coloring to be added to the buttercream

Method

Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat until it is a creamy consistency.

How to make bunny.

Cut out two ears from one cake and a bow tie. You can use a cookie cutter or a knife.

Place buttercream on the round cake. Attach the ears and tie to the round cake,

Place buttercream on ears and tie.

Place in the fridge.

Once set, use the number 5 nozzle and pipe. Start with the pink first, once done, wash nozzle and work with the white.

Once done place in fridge to set.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Over the weekend I made my niece a graduation cake. The vegan cake is light and simple to make, you do not need a mixer just a spatula and two bowls. One for the dry ingredients and the other one for the wet ingredients. I used vegan buttercream to decorate the cake. I love this recipe because you use the day to day ingredients in the pantry therefore you are not running around looking for a special ingredient and you can reuse the ingredients again.

The vegan cake does not have eggs which is substituted by using vinegar and bi-carb. Instead f butter I substituted it with vegetable oil.

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

180g cake flour

45g cocoa powder

6g bi-carb of soda

180g caster sugar

Wet ingredients

180ml of water

120ml vegetable oil

15ml white vinegar

15 ml marsala (feel fre to use vanilla esence, fruit juice or brandy.)

Method

Preheat fan force oven to 170C.

Add the sieved flour, cocoa powder ad bi carb of soda in a bowl, add the sugar.

Add the ligiids in another bowl.

Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour the wet ingredients. Mix all ingridents together.

Pour in a lined 20 round cm cake tin and bake for 25 minutes or until skewer come out clean.

(I used a cone shape tin to make the graduation cake, which was 12cm x 12cm and took 45 minutes to bake. The time will vary by the tin you use.)

To decorate

I both vegan buttercream in a tin and I did a crumb coat first and let it set in the fridge. Once it set I used a 7cm star nozzle and piped. (Fell free to use another design)

Notes

Do not cut cake in half if you notice cracks on the cake.

If they are cracks, gently put buttercream on the cracks.

Because it is fragile do not pile another cake on top of each other, will fall apart. (Trust me that happened to me.)

Christmas Pudding

Christmas is not Christmas if there is no pudding. The Christmas pudding is filled with load of sultana, raisins and glazed cherries soaked in grand mariner overnight. The following day I beat the butter and brown sugar until it becomes creamy, than add the eggs and flour, bread crumbs and chopped almonds. I placed the mixture in a lined tin and steamed it in the oven for an hour.

Once it had cooled down I I made a caramel sauce which is made by placing brown sugar and butter in a saucepan and once it is melted I added masala.

Yule Log

I attempted to make a Yule log this year for Christmas. It is a simple and easy Christmas threat that take a few hours to do. To make my yule cake I baked two Genoese sponge sheets, which consisted of eggs, flour, sugar and cornflower, once they were ready and cooled I made chocolate ganache, which is made by boiling thick cream and pouring over the chocolate. I spread the cholate ganache on the the two sheets and rolled them like a swiss roll. Placed it in the fridge to sheet overnight, (You can let it set for two -four hours). Once it was set I cut one of the rolls diagonally to make three small branches. Iced the longer log with ganache and attached two of the three pieces of the branches on to the longer log and spread more ganache. Placed it in the fridge again to set. Melted dark chocolate and I used my spatula to spread it evenly on a flat board. I let the cholate harden and broke the pieces to make small backs. Trimmed the ends of the cakes and placed the cholate pieces on the cake and placed it in the fridge to set. Dusted icing sugar before serving it.

Points to consider:

Do not overbake genoise sponge because it will become dry and hard to roll

Make sure the sponge is not too thick or it will crack when you roll

Place a bit of sugar on a non stick paper so the cake will not stick

Do not melt chocolate on a hot flame it will burn

Make sure all the chicalote is melted and no lumps

The consistency of the ganache should be smooth and spreadable should not be too watery or hard

Make sure the chocolate shades are thin and easy to break and not to thick and hard to snap