It's my birthday today, and I wanted to do some sort of crazy cake. I thought about making a Boston cream pie, but then decided on some sort of tiramisu. But then! Trouble. Someone on Twitter suggested I try out Deb's recipe for 'the best chocolate cake ever'. Oh, fine. I made a tiramisu version. It's crazy. And oh my god, why didn't it occur to me that a dozen eggs makes a BIG cake? I used my biggest mixing bowl, and still barely had room to fold the chocolate into the egg whites. Phew. I might freeze some of this cake if no one comes over to help me eat it.
Chocolate tiramisu birthday cake
From Smitten Kitchen.
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped*
4 T strong brewed coffee
2 T rum
12 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 1/3 c sugar
1/2 t salt
unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 4 9" pans and dust lightly with cocoa powder. Melt chocolate with coffee and rum, and set aside. Beat egg yolks with 2/3 c sugar and salt for about 5 minutes, until very light and very fluffy. Fold in to chocolate, and move to the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Clean out the bowl to your mixer well, dry, then beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the top, and beat another minute or two, until the whites hold stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then add the rest. Fold everything together gently, then divide between your pans. Smooth the tops, and bake 15-18 minutes (rotating once), until the cakes look done, and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Cool on a rack, then turn out onto waxed paper dusted with cocoa powder, stack cakes, and stick in the freezer for a while, while you make the whipped cream and the syrup, and wash some dishes.
*Don't have bittersweet? Me neither. Alex bought me a beautiful chunk of unsweetened chocolate, so I used that, plus 4 T butter and 1/3 c sugar, added in when the chocolate is melted.
Coffee and rum syrup
Coffee and rum syrup
1/2 c strong brewed coffee
1/2 c rum
1/4 c sugar
Mix everything together in a small pan. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and cook for 10 minutes or so, until reduced by about half. Set aside to cool.
Tiramisu whipped cream
3 c heavy cream
1/3 c sugar
1 1/2 T rum
1 1/2 T strong brewed coffee
an 8oz container mascarpone cheese, softened
Beat the cream with the sugar until stiff. Fold in the rum, coffee, and mascarpone. Chill until it's time to assemble the cake.
Assembling the cake
Put one layer of well chilled cake on a large plate. Drizzle with the coffee syrup, wait a minute or two for it to soak in a bit, and plop a good lump of whipped cream on top. Spread cream around, and carefully set another layer of cake on top. Drizzle with more coffee syrup, spread more whipped cream on top, and repeat with all the layers. Stick the cake in the fridge for a while, maybe while you eat a great birthday dinner, then slice thin slices and eat. Yum.