Monday, May 30, 2011

Birthday Tiramisu

In honour of my sister hitting the big 3-0, I made a tiramisu charlotte cake. Actually, this is also an excuse for me to make my first tiramisu. I first got to know the existance of such a dessert when I watched the Hong Kong movie Tiramisu, starring Karena Lam, Nicholas Tse and Candy Lo. This was back in those days when I did not have an oven and was interested in making this no-bake cake. But I wasn't confident that it will turn out well, so I abandoned the idea. Ever since I picked up baking as a hobby last year, tiramisu has always been on my to-bake list. But because of the high fat content of mascarpone cheese and whipping cream, I have to find a special occasion to try this out.

With my very limited culinary skills, I chose HHB's Tiramisu Charlotte Cake as it does not require any form of cooking, just whisking and assembling. But even that made me sweat buckets. I used a mini 12 cm cake pan and had a big problem trying to line the inside of the pan with sponge fingers. In the end, I gave up and only placed the outer sponge fingers after the filling has set. Instead of espresso, I used instant coffee, which does not have a strong fragrance. I will use more coffee or stronger coffee powder for the syrup next time.

And I'm in time for another entry to Aspiring Bakers #7 – Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by DG from Tested and Tasted.


Coffee Syrup:
2 tsp coffee powder (will use more next time, or use a stronger coffee powder/espresso)
1 tsp sugar
60 ml boiling water
2 tsp Marsala (I used Baileys Irish Cream)

100g mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp Marsala (I used Baileys Irish Cream)
100 ml whipping cream
about 18 sponge fingers (savoiardi)
25g dark chocolate, grated
cocoa powder, for dusting


Coffee Syrup:
  1. Dissolve coffee powder, sugar in boiling water. Leave to cool. Stir in 2 tsp Baileys Irish Cream. Set aside.
  1. In a mixing bowl, with a manual whisk, whisk mascarpone cheese with icing sugar, vanilla extract, Baileys Irish Cream and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the coffee syrup until blended.
  2. Whisk the whipping cream until soft peak (do not over whip). With a spatula, fold in 1/4 of the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Cut off one end of the sponge fingers (for the sides, I used 14) so that each one is about 3" in length. Line the sides of a 12 cm round baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cut sponge fingers into shorter lengths. One at a time, gently dip (do not soak) sponge fingers in the coffee syrup and use them to line the base of the pan.
  3. Pour over half of the filling. Spread evenly. Sprinkle half of the grated dark chocolate on top of filling.
  4. Repeat with another layer of sponge fingers dipped in coffee syrup. Pour over the remaining filling. Spread and smooth the top. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, best left overnight.
  5. Unmold the cake and remove the parchment paper. Transfer the cake to a larger cake board. Place the 3" sponge fingers along the circumference of the cake and secure with a ribbon. Dust the top with cocoa powder and sprinkle remaining dark chocolate on top.
Recipe adapted from HHB's Tiramisu Charlotte Cake.


  1. Very nice tiramisu! I love the idea of spreading the chocolate in between ... made this very delicious looking treat!

  2. This cake looks very pretty and absolutely perfect for birthdays!