January
25
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 25-01-2009

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The Italian phrase tirami su literally translates into “pick me up” which makes sense once you hear that this espresso laden treat was served to Venetian courtesans between romantic conquests to provide them with an energy boost!  Ooh la la! (no that’s French)

Actually, I haven’t been able to find evidence to support this and it appears this dessert is of  more recent times.  Who cares!  Is what I have to say!  This dessert is too good to worry about who made it first and when…

Tiramisu - pick me up, and espresso laden dessert torte by Cake ArtisanAnyway, I have always loved this dessert and have a recipe for it that is quite easy to prepare and then enjoy!

My version has light sponge lady fingers around the edge with layers of the same cake soaked with espresso flavoured simple syrup.  Then there is a filling made with mascarpone and cream with a few other ingredients thrown in for good measure.  I’m salivating just thinking about it so I will get the recipe typed up as quickly as possible for you!  PLEASE don’t be deterred by how long this recipe looks… I have just spelled it all out step by step which makes it look a lot longer!  It’s absolutely worth the effort!

Components

2 lb. 12 oz. Ladyfinger batter
9 fluid ounces Simple Syrup
2 fluid ounces Coffee or almond liqueur
1/2 fluid ounce Coffee extract
1/2 fluid ounce Vanilla extract
3 pounds Mascarpone Cream Mousse
Chocolate Ganache for decorating
Chocolate decorations, as needed

Ladyfingers

Ladyfingers are made from a spongecake batter that is piped into finger-length strips. After baking, these soft cakes may be eaten plain as a cookie or petit four. They are equally good when dried out in the oven, like biscotti. These versatile cakes are used to line the mold for a Bavarian dessert. For convenience, the batter may be piped close together to form a strip after baking and used to line a mold or torte ring.

Ingredients

3 ounces Cornstarch
4 ounces Bread flour
6 Egg yolks
6 ounces Granulated sugar
6 Egg whites
1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice

Method

1.    Sift the cornstarch and flour together.

2.    Whip the egg yolks with 2 ounces (60 grams) of the sugar until thick and creamy.

3.    Whip the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 2 ounces (60 grams) of the sugar and the lemon juice. Continue whipping to soft peaks, then add the remaining sugar gradually and whip to stiff peaks.

4.    Fold approximately one-quarter of the egg whites into the whipped yolks to lighten them, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Fold in the flour mixture.

5.    Place the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe 4-inch- (10-centimeter) long cookies onto paper-lined sheet pans.

6.    Bake immediately at 425°F (220°C) until lightly browned, approximately 8 minutes.

Simple Syrup (Cake Syrup)

Ratio: 2:1

Ingredients

16 oz Sugar

8 oz Water

Method

Place water and sugar into saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding flavourings.

Mascarpone Cream Filling
Yield: 3lbs

Ingredients

1 lb. 5 oz. Mascarpone , warmed to 105°F (40°C)
9 Egg yolks
8 ounces Granulated sugar
5 fluid ounces Water
1/2 ounce Sheet gelatin, softened
1 pint Heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Method

1.    Place the warmed mascarpone in a large bowl.

2.    Make a bombe batter by whipping the egg yolks in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip. Cook the sugar and water in a saucepan until the syrup reaches the soft ball stage 240°F (115°C).

3.    Pour the sugar syrup into the yolks, with the mixer running at high speed. Pour in a steady stream between the side of the bowl and the beater. Once all the sugar is incorporated, whip one more minute at high speed then reduce to medium speed and whip until the bombe mixture cools to approximately 110°F (49°C).

4.    Add the softened sheet gelatin to the warm bombe batter. Stir until the gelatin dissolves completely.

5.    Fold the bombe batter into the mascarpone cream.

Ganache
Yield: 2lbs

Ingredients

1 pound Bittersweet chocolate
1 pint Heavy cream
1 fluid ounce Almond or coffee liqueur

Method

1.    Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large metal bowl.

2.    Bring the cream just to a boil, then immediately pour it over the chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula to blend. Stir gently until all the chocolate has melted.

3.    Stir in the liqueur.

4.    Allow to cool, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula until the desired consistency is achieved.

Assembly of Tiramisu

1.    Butter and flour two paper-lined full-size sheet pans. Using a plain medium tip, pipe half of the Ladyfinger batter into 4 disks measuring 7 inches (17.5 centimeters) in diameter.

2.    To make the strips of ladyfingers to line the ring mold, pipe the remaining batter into ladyfingers 4 inches (10 centimeters) long placed close together so they join at the sides and form a strip the entire length of the sheet pan. Bake as directed.

3.    Lightly oil and sugar 4, 7-inch (17.5 centimeter) torte rings. Place them on a paper-lined sheet pan.

4.    Cut the strip of ladyfingers in half lengthwise. Trim the strips of ladyfingers on each long edge to fit evenly inside the ring molds.

5.    Position the ladyfinger strips inside the rings, cut to size to make a tight fit. Place a ladyfinger disk on the bottom of each ring.

6.    Combine the simple syrup, liqueur, coffee extract and vanilla extract. Moisten the cake with half of this syrup.

7.    Divide half of the Mascarpone Cream Mousse between each mold.

8.    Place the second ladyfinger disk in the rings and moisten with the remaining coffee syrup.

9.    Fill with the remaining Mascarpone Cream, leveling it to the rim.

10.    Refrigerate or freeze the tortes for 2 hours.

11.    Remove from freezer and cover the top surface with a thin layer of  chocolate ganache, or sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder to garnish. Remove the rings then decorate the tortes with chocolate decorations of your choice (I made roses from chocolate modeling fondant).

_____________________________

Notes:

I made this fancy tear shaped cake by placing cardboard and heavy plastic strips in a large 14 inch round pan to achieve the shape I wanted.  LOTS of tape and smaller plastic molds were used to get the shape right.

Original recipe source:  OnBaking – Labensky 2005

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January
24
Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 24-01-2009

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Crusting cream cheese buttercream on a red velvet birthday cake with gumpaste stars and edible decorations Once people find out you make cakes, look out! I recently made this cake for a friend’s daughter who was turning 17. She wanted a red velvet cake and her favourite colour is turquoise. Those were the sum of the instructions I got. I have daughters so it was pretty easy to come up with a design I thought she’d like. Firstly, I had to research just what was this red velvet cake which has lately become a bit of a National obsession and just what flavour is RED? 😉 After scouring books and asking questions it became apparent that red velvet cake and cream cheese icing are quite often a popular and successful pairing. But I wanted the look of fondant and the taste of cream cheese. As luck would have it I found this fabulous recipe for “Crusting Cream Cheese Buttercream” on the RecipeZaar website courtesy of one of their members. THANKS!

Recipe – Crusting Cream Cheese Buttercream

SERVES 1 , 4-5 cups (change servings and units)

Ingredients :

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 lb cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
3 1/2 lbs sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.   Cream butter, shortening, cream cheese and extracts. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and salt. Beat on low speed until nice and creamy. If you want whiter icing, try to use butter without dyes available at most health food stores.

2.   This recipe is for a stiff consistency. For a thinner consistency, use 3 pounds of powdered sugar instead.

3.   If you want a very smooth cake, let the cake sit for 15 minutes after icing (longer for a thinner icing). Then using your spatula or fondant smoothing tool (this works best)and smooth it with a plain, non-patterned Viva paper towel. To do this, take your paper towel and lay it on your icing (after it crusts) and lightly rub over the paper towel with your hand, spatula or fondant smoothing tool to get a smooth surface. If the icing sticks to the paper towel, you didn’t let it “crust” long enough. Stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to let it “crust” then try again. If you let it dry too long it will get harder to achieve the smooth look.

4.   This recipe will ice, fill and decorate an 8″ double layer cake with icing left over.


When a buttercream is called “crusting” it means that it dries out and hardens enough to be smoothed with a paper towel and/or your smoothing tool. It doesn’t get as hard as royal icing but hard enough to handle. If your room is warm or the icing starts to get sticky you can pop the cake back in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes until it firms up again. If you like the look of fondant but not the taste this can be smoothed to achieve the same visual appeal. I made the first red velvet cake but it just wasn’t “red” enough. It looked more like chocolate cake that had a red tint to it. So I remade both the 12×12 and the 6×6 cakes again and this time they were RED! They also turned out to be very moist and tasty. I made some gumpaste from a Nicholas Lodge recipe and then proceeded to make various sized stars to which I inserted wires and painted with edible silver and edible turquoise glitter. Then I coloured some gumpaste to a turquoise shade, made a plaque for her name and a few more stars for good measure. I sprinkled the top of the cake with a little more glitter and called it done. My friend Susan was so happy with the cake I made for her daughter she cried. 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MORGAN! Things I learned from this cake adventure… RED velvet cake gets on EVERYTHING and leaves a stain – be warned! Stick wired objects into the cake AFTER you drive across town to deliver it – they wobble a LOT! Happy baking! ~ Colleen 🙂

January
24
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 24-01-2009

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50th birthday cake travels 500 miles to surprise party in Omaha Nebraska.  Chocolate-yellow marble cake with mocha filling and chocolate ganache frosting.My friend Curt turned the big 50 recently. His wife Kristi and family threw him a party in Omaha’s Old Market area. I offered to make the cake and also wanted to surprise him by just showing up at the party.

I made him a four layer chocolate/yellow marble cake with a mild coffee flavoured ganache as filling. I also covered the cake in a ganache frosting and made chocolate tombstones as decoration. The board was also covered in a swirl of different coloured chocolate. My husband and I packed the cake in a heavy duty box surrounded by ice packs to make the long 500 mile journey from Oklahoma City to Omaha Nebraska and set off about 4:30am on the Saturday morning of the party.

The trip was going well until we were about 20 minutes south of Wichita Kansas. It had been raining heavily during the week and we totally disregarded the Turnpike truck with the big arrow on one of the side exit ramps. It wasn’t flashing or out in the middle of the interstate so all must be ok. Not two minutes later the traffic came to a halt.

So we sat on Interstate 35 North for an hour before a nice police officer came to tell us that there was impassable water over the road just ahead of us and we could drive up the inside of the trucks and turn through the 4ft high median where there was a break. Long story short… We arrived in Omaha about two hours late but they all got to enjoy the cake and Curt was really surprised. The restaurant Chef said he and the staff thought it was one of the best cakes they had tasted in a long time! Yay! Happy Birthday Curt xx.

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January
19
Filed Under (Product Review) by Colleen on 19-01-2009

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This silicone edged beater blade for the Kitchenaid mixer is a must have.  Watch this YouTube.com short video demonstration courtesy of nursegadget.  You will see just how fabulous it is and you won’t need to stop and scrape down the bowl sides as often, if ever!

BUY ONE HERE!

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January
18
Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 18-01-2009

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andrea It’s my daughter Andrea’s birthday today and I just wanted to wish her a wonderful day.  She likes carrot cake so I will have to make her one and get it to her soon!  Love you and miss you!!  xxx

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January
15
Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 15-01-2009

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Finished this 3 tier white cake tonight for a friend’s baby shower on Saturday.  She has decorated the nursery in a jungle theme for her little boy arriving soon.

Jungle theme baby shower cake by Cake Artisan

It has soft green cream cheese frosting and gumpaste/marzipan animals and palm trees.

This is the back of the cake. (Apologies for the bad lighting of photo)

Jungle theme baby shower cake by Cake Artisan

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