So after last week’s post, I’m sure none of you will be surprised that I was over the moon to discover another Italian favourite in the technical challenge this week!
Tiramisu is one of my go-to favourite desserts to make (and eat!), but I have never made it as a cake before. Watching the Bake Off contestants struggle with this recipe made me slightly daunted by the challenge, particularly about cutting such a thin sponge horizontally in half.
I was also taken with the idea of the signature bake – the self-saucing puddings. I have not yet had time to make my own take on this, but once we have found someone to help us eat the ton of tiramisu cake we have left over (any volunteers?), I will try it out and post about it too. (Hint: it will definitely involve lots of chocolate!)
Because I make tiramisu on a regular basis, I feel I have perfected my version of it. So, when the recipe called for brandy, which I don’t have, I happily substituted with a little Baileys, which is what I usually use in my recipe, as I feel it complements the mascarpone, coffee and chocolate better. But that’s a personal preference!
So this is the result of this week’s challenge:
You can find the recipe here.
I was excited to work with chocolate for the decorations. I have tempered chocolate to make Joanne Harris’ mendiants and other things before, but I particularly enjoyed playing around with using it decoratively.
With the cake itself, I felt the sponge was a little over-baked. I should have taken it out of the oven earlier – it seems our oven always bakes things faster than the recipe states! It also came out quite uneven, with one side higher than the other, so when cutting it horizontally, some parts ended up quite thick, while the other side was so thin I ended up only being able to do 3 layers rather than 4 (although I think this worked out well with the amount of mascarpone available, as well as considering the fact that there is a lot of cake for just 2 people!).
Despite these minor issues with the sponge, however, the cake came out beautifully. I was very happy to do the usual tiramisu mix, as I’ve made it so often I could do it in my sleep. Shame the one part that was new to me was the least successful, but I suppose that’s to be expected!
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this week’s bake. It tastes delicious and looks better than I thought it would! It was difficult, probably the most difficult of all the challenges so far! The separate components are not too hard to make (other than getting the sponge perfect!), but getting the cake together is very tricky and fiddly. I’m amazed I managed to even get a slight definition of the layers, as it didn’t feel like I would when I was assembling it.
It probably didn’t help that the cake took the majority of a day for me to complete, with regular stops to feed, change and entertain this one! 🙂