Tiramisu and Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake

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“Happiness is knowing there is cake in the oven”

Who likes tiramisu? Mascarpone frosting? Chocolate Mousse? Chocolate Ganache?? If you like at least one, or all of these – you will love this cake! This is a little 6-inch cake, perfect for your little birthday needs.

Tiramisu Cake (2 6-inch cakes)

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup +2tbsp sugar

1/4 cup espresso

2/3  cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with electric mixer and half of the sugar. When frothy, add in 1/4 cup of cooled espresso. Continue mixing until it thickens and color becomes off-white. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites until frothy and then add in  the rest of the sugar. Beat until you get stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the yolks. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Sift dry ingredients into the egg mixture until you do not see any loose flour. Do not over mix. Spoon batter into two well-buttered baking pans and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven – cakes should spring back when touched (this is a sponge cake). Let cool completely.

Mascarpone Frosting

8 oz mascarpone cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp Kahlua

2-3 tbsp. heavy cream

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine cheese and powdered sugar until thickened, add vanilla, Kahlua, and heavy cream and mix well. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

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Chocolate Mousse

1.5 tbsp water

1.5 tbsp sugar

1.5 egg yolks

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine water and sugar in saucepan over medium heat until boils and becomes a bit thicker. Remove from stove and turn off heat. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks in a large bowl until frothy and then add in the sugar mixture while whisking. In a separate bowl, microwave the chocolate until it melts, in about 30 second intervals. Combine the slightly cooled chocolate with the egg-sugar-water mixture. In a stand mixer beat the cream to soft peaks. Fold this into the chocolate-egg mixture.

Chocolate Ganache (make after cake is assembled)

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Heat cream on stove until it starts to just bubble a bit. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove, pour over the chocolate in a separate bowl. Mix until combined and smooth.

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Assembly

Place 1 tiramisu cake into a 6-inch springform pan, and line the sides of the pan with an acetate cake collar. Spread the chocolate mousse out evenly over the tiramisu cake layer in your cake pan and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Remove from refrigerator and remove side of cake pan as well as acetate collar. Spread a thin layer of mascarpone frosting over the mousse layer, and then top with second tiramisu cake layer. Now frost whole cake with mascarpone frosting (this is thinner than a buttercream frosting, and the cake will appear somewhat “naked” frosted, but you will still have the great mascarpone taste – don’t worry!) Now make the chocolate ganache and let it cool a bit. Pour over the cake evenly with a spoon, and top with desired fruits/meringues/berries. Enjoy!

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Loquat, Strawberry, and Mascarpone mini Galettes

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“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like” -Mark Twain

Well that sure is some pleasant advice! What if I like eating pie? Can I eat all the pie?? The perfect solution – bake mini galettes, throw in some fruit, and it’s kinda healthy too, right? 🙂

What is a galette? This is a French term for, usually, a flat, round, flaky pastry, often made of pie crust, but baked without a pie pan. It can be savory or sweet – and this one is definitely sweet! This galette recipe includes loquats, which are a Chinese fruit, orange in color, and sweet when ripe. I also added in some strawberries because the flavors tend to complement each other. Mascarpone brings the whole galette up a notch! Hope you enjoy it!

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Crust

1 1/4 cup flour

2 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into cubes

4 tbsp ice water

In a food processor, mix first 3 ingredients until combined. Next, add the small cubes of butter and pulse in processor until you get course crumbs. Now add the water, 1 tbsp at a time until the dough comes together. You may have to add 1 or 2 more or less tbsp than I did to get that nice dough consistency. Take the dough out of the processor, shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

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Filling and Assembly

Dough

1 box strawberries, chopped

10-15 loquats, peeled and chopped

1 8 oz box mascarpone cheese

1 egg (beat, to use as eggwash)

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Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out the chilled dough and use a round cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut dough into mini circles, about 4 inches in diameter. Spread the mascarpone in the center of each circle (as you see in the photos), leaving a border without any mascarpone to fold. Place 4-5 cubes of each fruit into the center of each galette. Next fold the edges towards the center, overlapping, until all folded in, with the center left exposed. Cover the dough with the eggwash. Place the galettes in the oven for about 12 minutes or golden in color. Remove, let cool, and enjoy!

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Tiramisu Cake

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“If in doubt…bake a cake.”

So I wasn’t reeeally in doubt about baking a cake, because, I mean, why wouldn’t you bake a cake?  🙂 However, I wasn’t sure in exactly the format I wanted to go with my tiramisu cake (once I decided on that). Tiramisu is a traditional Italian dessert, which is usually created with alternating layers of ladyfingers and a mascarpone-egg cream, with some good espresso and rum mixed in. I knew I wanted to do that cool ladyfinger lining on the outside of the cake though – which by the way, technically makes this tiramisu cake a Charlotte style cake (thanks wiki!). In the end, I decided that the cake would be most stable if I actually baked round sponge cakes and alternated that with ladyfinger layers to give the cake more structure and stability.

Here goes!

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Ladyfingers (makes about 2 dozen*)

3 eggs, separated

Two ¼ cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

½ cup flour

1/3 cup of powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut a half inch opening out of a piping bag.

Beat egg whites in stand mixer with whisk attachment – slowly adding in ¼ cup of sugar – until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar and the vanilla extract – with electric mixer until it is lighter in color and thicker. Fold yolks into whites.

Mix flour and salt together in a separate bowl. Sift this into the egg mixture. (The sifting is important!) Then fold the dry ingredients until combined into the egg mixture.

Transfer into prepared piping bag and pipe one inch ladyfingers across parchment paper, so that they are almost touching each other. Dust with powdered sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. Dust a second time with powdered sugar then place ladyfingers in the oven for 12-15 minutes until just golden. Remove and let cool completely to room temperature.

* I doubled the recipe when I baked the ladyfingers so as to have enough for inside and outside the cake

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Sponge Cakes (makes two 9 inch cakes)

8 eggs, separated

1 1/3 cups sugar

½ cup espresso

1 ¼  cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with electric mixer and 2/3 cup sugar. When frothy, add in 1/2 cup of espresso. Continue mixing until it thickens and color becomes off-white.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites until frothy and then add in 2/3 cup of sugar. Beat until you get stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the yolks.

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In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Sift these into the eggs (again, the sifting really does make a difference in texture). Fold the flour into the egg mixture until you do not see any loose flour. Do not over mix.

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Spoon batter into two well-buttered baking pans and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven – cakes should spring back when touched. Let cool completely.

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Mascarpone filling + Putting it all together!

6 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups mascarpone cheese

2 cups heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup + 3 tsp cold espresso

½ cup Kahlúa (or any dark rum)

Cocoa powder (optional) for decoration

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Place egg yolks in large metal bowl which is placed over a saucepan with boiling water in it (homemade double boiler!). Whisk yolks with sugar by hand for about 5 minutes on medium heat, and another 5 minutes on simmer. Remove from heat. Using an electric mixer, whisk yolks until pale (off-white) and thickened. Add the mascarpone and 3 tsp of espresso and mix well.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk 1 cup of the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold this into the egg-mascarpone mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the espresso and the Kahlúa

In the bowl of your stand mixer whisk another cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks (this is for the top of the cake).

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Let’s put it together:

Dip a pastry brush into the espresso-rum mixture and brush the first sponge cake with it generously. Now pile on the mascarpone mixture and smooth it out.

Next, dip the ladyfingers that will go inside the cake into the espresso-rum so that they are soft, but not soaking wet. Place this layer of lady fingers neatly around the cake, covering as much of the mascarpone mixture as you can. You may have to tear some to fill in spaces. Place another thick layer of mascarpone mixture on top of the ladyfingers and spread it so it is smooth.

Now brush your second sponge cake with a healthy coating of the espresso-rum mix and place this cake on top. Cover it with a nice layer of the mascarpone mix and then ice the whole cake with a thin (doesn’t have to be neat) layer of the mascarpone mix. Take the rest of your ladyfingers and place them around the cake like a crown.

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Fill a piping bag, fitted with a Wilton 12 tip, with the whipped cream you have in your stand mixer. Pipe large dots (they look like little white mountains) all around the top of your cake – working in circles, from the outside in. Take about ¼ cup of cocoa powder and sift it over the top of the cake. Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

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That’s it! You’re done! As they say in Italian – Buon Appetito!

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