I have been a busy bee this summer! Between family vacations, work, kids camps and activities, I baked for not one but two weddings! What makes these weddings so fun is that they involved both family (wedding 1), and dear friends (wedding 2 ), but both gave me the opportunity to bake something original and fun. I was given alot of freedom to experiment and think outside the box. The first wedding was my cousin Lauren’s. She married Dylan and neither likes cake so the thinking began. They both love tiramisu so we researched and came up with personal tiramisus in individual, disposable cups for ease of serving, and cleaning up.
I must confess that I do not like traditional tiramisu because I do not like coffee. I know I am totally in the minority but there it is . Because of this I suggested to Lauren that we do a few varieties. After some brainstorming, and a little nudging from me we decided on a limoncello, and a chocolate raspberry tiramisu to round out the selections. All of these recipies have the same base and process of assembly so I will just give you the variations at the end of the recipe.
Basic Tiramisu: I use the recipe from the cake boss himself Buddy Valastro. It is in his cookbook Cake Boss.
The Cake: There are several ways to do this. You can use pre made Lady Finger cookies, Make sponge cake, or you can use a basic yellow cake cake mix. For the size I simply made the cake in cupcake pans and sliced them in three slices in order to build the dessert. I used the sponge cake recipe from the same cookbook, and made them from scratch. If I had to do it again I would have simply made plain cupcakes from a box, because you soak them in the syrup and the cream layer is really the star I would not have wasted as much time and effort on the cake .
1 cup brewed espresso – I used strong coffee
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. coffee liquor
4 extra large egg yolks ( i used 5 large egg yolks)
1 lb mascarpone cheese
2 Tbs sweet marsala
1 cup heavy cream
40 – lady fingers/ 1 round cake 9″ cut in 3 layers/ cupcakes cut into three slices
* Put the coffee, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup coffee liqueur into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over med – high heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves (3-4 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool.
* Put the yolks, mascarpone, marsala, remaining sugar, and rest of the liqueur in a bowl, whip with the whip attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is airy – about 7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to another bowl and completely clean your mixing bowl and whip.
* Put the heavy cream in your clean and dry bowl and whip until the cream has stiff peaks. Gently fold the 2 mixtures together.
* Slice your cupcakes in three slices. Starting with the smallest ( in diameter) slice dip the disc in the syrup and place in the bottom of your cup/bowl. We sued the 9oz clear beverage cups from solo.
* Spoon or pipe ( I used a large piping bag filled with the mixture) a layer of the cream mixture.
* Repeat with the next larger cake disc dipped in the syrup, and more cream.
* After the final layer of the cream mixture you can refrigerate the cups ( I placed them on a tray).
* I garnished them right before we served them. You can use cocoa powder dusted on, chocolate covered coffee beans, chocolate curls, fruit, etc..
Full size: Same process, I used Milano cookies or you can use lady fingers for the outside of the cake. I used a springform pan larger than the cake pan I used. Put the first layer of cake in the pan, using a brush I brushed the syrup of the cake. Then placed the cookies around the pan between the cake and the sides of the spring-form. Then piped in the cream, repeated until the cream was just below the top of the cookies. To garnish I simply placed a ribbon around the base after removing the spring-form sides, and covered the top with chocolate curls.
* Refrigerate the cake or cakes loosely covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hrs, I did it overnight.
Limoncello – For the syrup I used 1/2 cup limoncello and 3/4 cup water and the sugar. In the cream mixture use the limoncello in place of the coffee liqueur. The cake is the same. I added lemon curd in the layering cake, cream mixture, dollop of lemon curd, cake etc… I garnished with sugared lemon peel.
Chocolate/ Raspberry – For the syrup I used 1/2 cup raspberry flavored italian syrup ( for a non alcohol alternative) but you could used rasp liqueur as well, 3/4 cup water and reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup. In the cream I used the rasp syrup instead of the coffee liqueur. For the cake I added cocoa powder to the sponge cake recipe, you can add it 1/4 cup or so to your white cake mix or just use devils food cake mix….I garnished with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls.
It seems complicated, but it is very easy and would be a great dessert to serve to impress your friends ( mine are easy to please)! In a later post I will reveal what I did when mascarpone cheese was not available in the amounts I needed, as well as how to make your own lemon curd, and easy chocolate curls!