Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tiramisu Charlotte Cake (using cream cheese)

What is the one thing that comes to your mind when you see these 2 items??  Yeah, Tiramisu cake alright!

Made this dessert many times with mascarpone cheese and received compliments for it, but this time I decided to challenge using cream cheese instead.  Wanna see if there is much difference to using mascarpone cheese and cream cheese.  Yes, there is. Using mascaporne cheese yields a lighter tasting tiramisu, while cream cheese got the cake tasting slightly heavier and had that tangy taste, which I actually quite like! Great! A cheaper alternative for me next time keke~

Tiramisu, to me, is quite a fail-proof dessert that everyone can make.  Who doesn't like after-meal sweets??? So do it!

Tiramisu Charlotte Cake
Recipe by Happy Home Baking

(makes a 7" cake)

Espresso Syrup:
1 tablespoon instant espresso/ strong coffee powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water
1 tablespoon Marsala (I used Baileys Irish Cream)

250g mascarpone cheese (I used cream cheese)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons Marsala (I used Baileys Irish Cream)
1 cup (250 ml) heavy/whipping cream (I used whipping cream)

about 24 sponge fingers (savoiardi)
50g dark chocolate (optional, I did not use)

cocoa powder, to dust
dark and white chocolate shavings (optional)
strawberries for decoration (optional)


To make the Espresso Syrup:
Dissolve instant espresso coffee powder, sugar in boiling water. Leave to cool. Stir in 1 tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream. Set aside.

To make the Filling:In a mixing bowl, with a manual whisk, whisk mascarpone cheese (cream cheese) with icing sugar, vanilla extract, Baileys Irish Cream and 3 tablespoons of the espresso syrup until blended.

With an electric mixer 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 (cream cheese) mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture  (cream cheese).

To assemble the cake:
Cut off one end of the sponge fingers so that each one is about 3" in length. Line the sides of a 7" round baking pan* (with a removable base or use a springform pan) with the sponge fingers (do not dip them in the espresso syrup). You will need about 17 sponge fingers (depending on the type/brand). If the last sponge finger cannot fit in nicely, trim away part of it to fit it in. Save the leftover small pieces.

One at a time, gently dip (do not soak) sponge fingers in the espresso syrup and use them to line the base of the pan. Cut the sponge fingers into shorter lengths if necessary. Use the leftover pieces to fill the gaps.

Spoon over half of the filling. Spread evenly. Grate the dark chocolates over the filling (I used cocoa powder). Repeat with another layer of sponge fingers and spoon over the remaining filling (I did 3 layers and dust the 3 layers with cocoa power). Spread and smooth the top (I dust a 3rd layer of cocoa powder). Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, best left overnight.

I covered the top with clingwrap and secured it with a rubberband, and refrigerate it.

Just before serving, unmold the cake and dust the top with cocoa powder (my 4th layer). Decorate with dark and white chocolate shavings and strawberries (as desired).

Equally sliced and ready to be eaten!


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