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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Tiramisu Cake




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.

Tiramisu Cake

Ingredients :

300ml whipping cream, whipped
2 tsp Strawberry sauce (I omitted)

Caramalised Almonds
- 200g castor sugar
- 50ml water
- 140g almonds, toasted

White Sponge
- 6 eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 120g castor (superfine) sugar
- 110g plain (all purpose) flour, sifted

Filling
- 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)

Coffee Syrup
- 1.5 tbsp instant coffee granules
- 1 tbsp castor (superfine) sugar
- 300ml hot water
- 1 tbsp Sherry (optional)(I used rum)

Method :

Caramalised Almonds
- 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.

Sponge Cake
- 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.

Filling
- 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.

Coffee Syrup
- 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.

Caramelized almonds.

The filling. It is absolutely yummeh!!!

Cut the cake in two using cake leveler.

A slice of yum.

The interior. 






35 comments:

  1. I would like to bake this Tiramisu Cake one day! It does look a little bit more effort for the whole process of this cake, right? But I guess in the end it is worth it as it is a yummy and delicious cake! Your family must be enjoying every bit of this cake, right?

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    1. Mel, I was so tired after making this cake. Took 2 days because 2nd day do the frosting and put the almonds. It is a long process but it is worth it lah, once in a while. Yes, my family enjoyed the cake very much. Your family will love it too!

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  2. Yours don't look too bad at all!.. Almost as good as the one in the book:))

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    1. Thank you, Shereen! You are very generous with your compliments :)

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  3. Oh, so coincidence, i also bookmarked this recipe from flavours food magazine but have yet to bake it, already bought the cream cheese and hopefully i can bake it next week. Quite a lot of works ho...But your Tiramisu cake look so nice and must be very tasty..
    Also Thanks for mentioned my Kedai Runcit, memang kedai runcit, untung cuma beli butter and flour, hahaha..

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    1. Sonia, you will do a very good job on this based on your fantastic cakes. I can't wait to see your cake. A lot of work, half way through I actually regret, heh...heh...But worth it because the cake is delicious. Hah! Hah! Your Kedai Runcit maybe one day can expand and make more untung :)

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  4. Hi Phong Hong, you have my salute for been daring as an amateur baker. I'm not as gutsy as you. You are great but honestly I will not follow you here cos' I always shy away from recipes that use whipping cream. Anyway, don't stop trying but remember to send me a piece each time..hahaha.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! Sure, will reserve for you, hah...hah...I was just trying to get myself to be more adventurous. Don't just buy recipe book and let it collect dust. I am sure you can bake this cake if you set your mind to it. You are much more experienced than me in this area.

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  5. Not bad leh. the ones in red are those things that cookbooks doesn't teach. usually its like that. Uiks Sonia have a bakery shop??? I didn't know. will head over to check it out

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    1. Thank you, thank you! Once I try the recipe, I will share my experience so that others won't make the same mistake.

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  6. Sounds a lot of assembly works. Coffee with cream cheese must be delicious! Well done for the 1st attemp. Have nice weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Vivian. It is delicious and worth the hard work :) You have a nice weekend too!

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  7. Wah, your tiramisu looks very yummy - so moist and soft. Certainly seems a lot of work, good on ya. I've tasted the real thing at Su Chan - its really nice, esp with the strawberrysauce.

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    1. Esther, it was an epic experience for someone like me. Very tiring I can tell you and a lot of anxiety too. Definitely not a fuss free cake :)

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  8. I don't see what's wrong with the cake. It looks super luscious to me! I do love the coating of caramelized almonds! You don't like it? No probs, just toss it my way :)
    Sonia has a kedai? Must go check it out.

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    1. Thanks, Ping. Oh, I do love the caramelised almonds. Just that it is a bit too coarse. It's a good cake. Highly recommended and worth the sweat :)

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  9. My oldest LOVES tiramisu...I need to bake this cake for him. It looks so decadent and yummy!

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    1. Lizzy, you and your boys will love this!

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  10. Ohhh my! that's nearly as decadent as my pie :)

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  11. Good grief!!! Are you that young? Slim Whitman!!! Sail along the silvery moon!!! "When I'm calling you...ooooo...oooo....ooo!!!!" (Indian love call) LOL!!!! Cakes, I like to eat...but I don't dare to try. See my blogpost tomorrow...be prepared to expect some disaster. LOL!!!

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    1. Very young! My grandpa's favorite was "From a Jack to a King...." Ooohhh...I love disasters. Hah! Hah!

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  12. This was the 1st cake that I made a long time ago but not laku, my hubby didn't like it!Yours look just as good as the cookbook O!

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    1. Aiya, your husband funny lah :D!! I am very sure your cake tasted very good and thanks for the compliments :)

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  13. WOW! Such a lovely cake.Amazing!

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  14. hi phong hong, yeah i remember seeing this cake too in one of the magazines but i cant recall if it's from su chan or not. it really does not look that bad , ok? and i can imagine it's really not easy applying those caramelised nuts on the cake. me too can imagine if me coating the cake, the nuts will also be all over the kitchen! wonderful attempt!!

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    1. Thanks, Lena! It was featured in Flavours a while back. During that time, I wasn't interested in baking yet. So I just ignored it, hah! hah! Coating the cake with the almonds is very tricky. Next time, I will put newspapers on the dining table and on the floor to make cleaning easier :)

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  15. Hi Phong Hong, your tiramisu cake look sooooo good, I don't mind to have 2 big slices. Look like lots of work but the end result is worth it, you did a very good job. Beautiful!

    Have a nice week ahead.

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    1. Hi Amelia! Thank you for your compliments. Yes, all the blood, sweat and tears was worth it :)

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  16. Hi Phong Hong! How're you? This TIRAMISU looks fabulous. My jaw dropped wide open and drools were flowing down my chin. Love love love Tiramisu. It was and still is one of my favourite cake. Love the step by step too. Have a wonderful week. xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Jo! I'm doing good. Not bad for an old goat, eh? **Wink, wink***

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