Sail along silvery moon...nah..nah.nah..nah..nah..naaaaah.....(I do this when I can't remember the lyrics). Is anyone young enough to remember Slim Whitman? He was one of grandma's favorite country and western singers. Grandma used to refer to these songs as "Cowboy Songs". Slim Whitman's song played in my head as I stepped back to admire my Tiramisu Cake.
OK, its rather comical looking. And what on earth are those things encrusting the cake. Gravel? Sure looks like it but those are actually caramelized almonds. Yes, that's me trying to be sophisticated. But you can tell that the person who made this cake is a fly by night baker. Look, there's a big chunk of caramel on the upper left of the cake. Way too coarse, Madam. Should have crushed them a lot finer or I might as well call this "Gravel Cake".
What you won't be getting from me are beautiful looking cakes. I am here to showcase my ameteur attempts, warts and all, in the name of giving encouragement to my baking compatriots. Should you have a bad cake day, come look at my cakes, and you'll go "Oh, mine is not thaaaat baaaad....". This is some kind of community service I'm providing to depressed novice bakers.
This cake requires a certain degree of finesse, of which I have very little. What I had was ignorance, determination and a good dose blind faith. As you may already know, I have a plethora of cookbooks and this is one of the gems in my collection :
As I gawk at the pictures, one cake caught my eye.
It was the Tiramisu Cake. And I took it upon myself to attempt this lovely cake.
I am reproducing the recipe below by Ms Su Chan with my notes and observations in red.
300ml whipping cream, whipped
2 tsp Strawberry sauce (I omitted)
- 200g castor sugar
- 50ml water
- 140g almonds, toasted
- 6 eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 120g castor (superfine) sugar
- 110g plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
- 300g cream cheese
- 100g castor (superfine) sugar
- 3 eggs yolks (please use pasteurized eggs for your safety)
- 1 tbsp Sherry (optional)(I used rum)
- 250ml double (heavy) cream, whipped
- 100g chocolate shavings (I omitted)
- 1.5 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 1 tbsp castor (superfine) sugar
- 300ml hot water
- 1 tbsp Sherry (optional)(I used rum)
- Line and grease a flat tray and set aside.
- Boil sugar in water until caramalised.
- Add almonds and stir until evenly coated.
- Transfer almonds to prepared tray and set aside to cool.
- Crush almonds and store in an air-tight container until needed.
Note : It took quite some time for the sugar to caramelise. When it does, be sure to work quickly when coating the almonds because it hardens quite fast.
- Line a 22.5cm (9") round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
- Preheat oven to 150C
- Whisk egg whites and sugar in mixing bowl until stiff.
- Add egg yolks one by one until well combined.
- Fold in flour, the pour batter into prepared tin.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of cake comes out clean.
- Remove and leave to cool.
Note : This is where is messed up. I was scared of adding the egg yolks into the stiff egg whites and was not confident of folding the flour in. Soo.....I mixed the egg yolks with flour and added milk until I got a smooth consistency and then folded it into the egg whites. Luckily for me, the sponge caked turned out alright.
- Beat cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl until light.
- Add egg yolks one by one.
- Add sherry and fold in whipped heavy cream.
Note : I prepared this while the cake was cooling. Once done, I chilled it in the fridge for about 45 minutes before filling the cake.
- Dissolve coffee granules and sugar in water.
- Cool, then add sherry and set aside.
To assemble the cake :
- Cut sponge into 2 layers.
- Place one layer into a 22.5cm (9") springform pan.
- Pour half the coffee syrup over sponge and allow to soak in.
- Then spread with half the filling. Top with chocolate shavings and then the remaining filling.
- Place second layer of cake on top and pour remaining coffee syrup over.
- Refrigerate overnight for cake to set.
Note : I messed up again. I placed the cake in a bigger tin and this resulted in the filling leaking out as the pan was not snug. I learnt my lesson :(
To serve :
- Remove cake from refrigerator and place on a round cake board.
- Cover cake with whipping cream.
- Then coat with caramelized almonds.
- Slice and serve chilled with strawberry sauce.
One of the challenges I faced was cutting the sponge cake into two. Not as easy as it looks on Youtube. By the way, I got my cake leveler from Sonia's Kedai Runcit and if you are interested in that gadget or any other baking stuff, go visit Sonia.
Another challenge was coating the cake with the almonds. I was clumsy and inexperienced and ended up with caramelized almonds on the dining table, on the floor, underneath my feet and everywhere.
I must say that it was quite an effort to make this cake but all in all, it was worth it. It is a very tasty cake and it got very good reviews. My "gravel" topping was forgiven and this cake really made my day.
|The sugar boiled for the longest time. A case of waiting, waiting but not getting.|
|At last the golden caramel.|
|The filling. It is absolutely yummeh!!!|
|Cut the cake in two using cake leveler.|
|A slice of yum.|