tiramisu layer cake

This recipe is fun to make though it is an intricate three-layer cake. First make one recipe of white velvet cake, then moisten the layers with a coffee liqueur mixture, fill between the layers, and  frost. Decorate the cake with a dusting of cocoa powder and fresh raspberries. Easy!

Tiramisu Layer Cake

White Velvet Butter Cake (adapted from The Cake Bible)

4 1/2 egg whites (4 oz.)
1 cup milk
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon coffee powder

1 heaping teaspoon coffee powder
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons Kahlua coffee liqueur

1 square unsweetened chocolate, for making chocolate curls (optional)
2 cups fresh raspberries (optional)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Prepare to bake. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease three 9×1 1/2 inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper then grease again and flour. Set aside.In a cup, measure 1 heaping teaspoon coffee powder and dissolve in 1/4 cup hot water. Add 2 tablespoons Kahlua and set aside.

Combine the egg white mixture. In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating after each addition until just blended. Scrape down the sides after each addition.

Divide the batter. Scrape one-third of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth surface with a spatula. Repeat for the second pan. To the remaining batter in the bowl, add 1 teaspoon coffee powder and blend well. Scrape coffee batter into the third pan. The pans will be half full. Shift the pans back and forth on the countertop to release any air in the batter. To divide the batter evenly, Martha Stewart recommends using a kitchen scale. Weigh the empty bowl then weigh the bowl again with the batter in it. Subtract the two figures to find the weight of the batter. Divide that figure by three.

Bake the cakes. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. Also jiggle this cake and if it looks wet in the middle don’t put a toothpick in the middle, it will deflate. Don’t test it until it looks set, but this can go from wet in the center to done pretty quick.

Cool and moisten the cakes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. Remove the parchment paper. To prevent splitting, re-invert so that the top is up. When the cakes are still warm, poke holes in the layers about 1 inch apart. Brush each layer with the coffee-Kahlua liqueur syrup mixture.  Cool completely before wrapping air tight for frosting. The cakes can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Make the filling. You will need mascarpone cheese for the filling. As it is quite expensive and difficult to find, you can make your own mascarpone substitute. This recipe is from allrecipes.com .

Make mascarpone substitute (if using):
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Blend the cheese, cream, and butter in a small bowl. Set aside.

Make mascarpone filling:
8 oz mascarpone cheese (or mascarpone substitute)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons Kahlua coffee liqueur

Blend cheese, sugar, and Kahlua in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer set on low speed, beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Make the frosting:
2 cups heavy cream (In Canada, 36% milk fat)
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons Kahlua coffee liqueur

In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat 2 cups heavy cream, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of frosting mixture into filling mixture. Set aside.

Assemble the cake. Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Spread half of the filling on top. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer. Spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls and/or berries.

Slice of Tiramisu Layer Cake

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