Tiramisu Cake

Getting real personal on the blog today, with a slice of this glorious Tiramisu Cake for company/comfort! ❤

Tiramisu Cake4

When I turned 24 in September 2017, I was ecstatic. I had only just quit my full time job and decided to spend time studying food photography and growing the blog. I felt free and fresh. I even baked my own birthday cake for the first time. Up until then I always had store-bought birthday cakes bought by family. I decided that I needed to treat myself to a homemade cake every birthday, like I would my friends and family. So, I baked a Honey Butter Cake… and forgot to post the recipe! (You can still see it here on my Instagram, though.) 😛

But my year of creativity quickly went south, with a tumble of horrible events and I found myself in a really bad place. Depression, that I had wrenched myself free of in my teens, returned. And I found myself going from one day to the next constantly trying to pipe down the negativity brewing in me. Somewhere in the mix, anxiety took shelter in my mind. It was a terrifying combination, coupled with fear of wasting my time and not earning. I had no routine, zero productivity, and as the days went by I became harder on myself.

It wasn’t until March 2018 that I was finally able to establish a routine. I positioned myself at my desk for 5 days of the week, dividing my time between working on blog content, pushing myself to study food photography (I’ve always loved studying!) and reading. I set small goals – writing a certain number of blog posts in the year (achieved!), reading 30 books before the end of the year (I’m reading book #26 at the moment!) and writing for myself (I still struggle with this, but I do it as often as I can). Slowly, I realized that being productive makes me happy. Truly happy.

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In September 2018 I turned 25. And this Tiramisu Cake is what I baked for myself. This gorgeous, delicious, incredible Tiramisu Cake. I spent two days making it. And though it didn’t go exactly according to plan, the end result was beautiful, rustic and in no way perfect – just like me at 25. I spent the morning of my birthday photographing this cake. And when I was done, I took a moment and realized that I had never before thought about what it would be like to turn 25. Half way through my 20s, and well on the way to my 30s.

I started this blog post the next day, on 28 September, but as I wrote, I decided I needed more time to take stock of all that had happened the past year, and what I’ve learnt… So here I am, at the end of 2018, the year I began living intentionally.

I have no inspiring story of how I beat depression. I haven’t. I still live with it and probably will for a long time. But I found that setting small goals helped me focus. I found that rekindling my love for reading opened me up to several worlds I’ve never lived in and brought me face to face with the inner goings-on of the minds of different writers and storytellers. Which in turn made the inner goings-on of my mind seem not-so-intimidating.

And through being productive, and actually doing what I set out to do back in 2017, albeit a year later, the heavy cloud above me has shrunk. I feel lighter, more purposeful and I’m happy.

This year has been a game-changer for me. And turning 25 has meant finally being at peace with who I am. I now appreciate every moment, every hug, every kiss, every tear and every curveball too. I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t know for sure where I’m headed. I just know that I can never go back to living the way I used to, with my head down and hustling. I want to live intentionally. Fully aware. Fully present. As I have for the last year.

I know that all of this seems like an odd build-up to a Tiramisu Cake recipe. It is, I agree. 😛 As you know, I never get this melancholy on the blog. But this Tiramisu Cake will always signify turning 25 to me. It will always signify finding peace, self love, confidence and purpose. It’s the flag-bearer to one of the most important turning points in my life. And so, it seemed fitting to write about what this cake, and this birthday really meant to me.

Ever so often we forget that there are people behind blogs, social media profiles and designations. We forget that disease, both physical and mental, don’t discriminate between race, nationality, religion or socio-economic background. So this is me telling you that I live with depression. And if you do too, I’m hoping you’ll feel a little less alone. My only wish for anyone struggling – with anything life throws our way – is that we find courage to talk about it. Speaking to loved ones and sharing the weight on our shoulders helps a great deal. Talking can help recognize potential. Talking can articulate love. Talking can lift someone out of dread. Talking can save lives.

If you have no one to talk to, please reach out to me. It’s not an empty promise. I mean it.

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Okay, after all this deep, heavy stuff, I really need some cake. Let’s make this fabulous Tiramisu Cake together, shall we?

Here’s what you need:

For the Chocolate Layer:

  • All Purpose Flour: 112.5 g
  • Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Brown Sugar – 85 g
  • 70 % Dark Chocolate – 40 g, chopped
  • Unsalted Butter – 25 g
  • Egg – 1
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp

For the Coffee Layer: 

  • Unsalted Butter – 150 g, at room temperature
  • Granulated Sugar – 120 g
  • All Purpose Flour – 150 g
  • Eggs – 2
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Espresso Powder – 3-4 tsp
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla Extract – 1/2 tsp

For the Vanilla Layer: 

  • Unsalted Butter – 150 g, at room temperature
  • Granulated Sugar – 120 g
  • All Purpose Flour – 150 g
  • Eggs – 2
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp

For the Coffee Syrup:

  • Water – 1 cup
  • Espresso Powder – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1/4 cup

For the Frosting: 

  • Mascarpone Cheese: 500 g
  • Icing Sugar – 1 cup, sifted
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 tbsp
  • Espresso Powder – 2 tsp, finely ground
  • Vanilla Extract – 1/2 tsp

Here’s how to make this three-layered beaut!

  • Preheat the oven to 175 ºC / 347 ºF.
  • Make the chocolate cake: In a heavy bottom pan, bring brown sugar to a boil with 1 cup of water. Once dissolved, pour the sugar syrup over the chopped chocolate and butter and let it sit for a few minutes. Then fold slowly until the chocolate and butter have melted completely. With a fork, lightly beat the egg, and then pour it into the chocolate mixture while stirring continuously. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and fold until well incorporated. Add in the vanilla and give the batter a final mix. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 6-inch round cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
  • Make the coffee cake: In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter and eggs until pale and creamy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and beat until just incorporated. Dissolve the espresso powder in 1/4 cup water and add it into the batter; beat until the batter is airy and creamy, about a minute. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 6-inch round cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
  • Make the vanilla cake: In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter and eggs until pale and creamy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and beat until just combined. Add in vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of water and beat until the batter is airy and creamy, about a minute. You can add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if you feel the batter is still quite thick and dense. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 6-inch round cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
  • Make the coffee syrup: While the cakes are cooling, bring water, espresso powder and sugar to a slow boil and continue boiling for 3-4 minutes or until the flavours infuse into the syrup and the aroma is heavenly. If the tops of the cakes are dome-like and uneven, level them with a serrated knife to get flat tops. Poke the cakes with a skewer and pour warm coffee syrup over them to soak.
  • Make the frosting: Beat chilled mascarpone cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract for about 3-4 minutes or until the frosting is airy and can hold its own. Divide the frosting into 3 bowls. Fold cocoa powder into the first bowl, espresso powder into the second bowl and leave the third bowl as is.
  • Assemble the cake: Place the chocolate cake on a cake base and top it with a thin layer of chocolate mascarpone frosting. Then place the coffee cake on top of it and top with coffee mascarpone frosting. Place the final vanilla layer over the cake.
  • Decorate the cake: To get the ombre effect, smear the chocolate mascarpone frosting roughly along the sides of the chocolate cake; the coffee mascarpone frosting along the sides of the coffee cake; and the vanilla mascarpone frosting along the sides and top of the vanilla cake. Then place the cake on a turn table, and using a bench scraper/offset spatula placed perpendicular to the turn table, begin smoothing out the frosting. Slowly go around the cake until the 3 different colours blend into each other, while scraping away the excess frosting. Be sure to completely clean off your tools between use. Don’t worry about being too perfect, a little naked spot here and a wonky line there works just fine. Chops some dark chocolate into tiny shards and sprinkle over the top.

Tip: This cake is best eaten a day or two after it is made. Because thats how Tiramisu rolls, ya’ll! Refrigerate, and leave out at room temperature 2 hours before serving.

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This cake is the food of Gods! That is IF they don’t really care about the 6-pack abs like the sculptures tell us they do. 😉 No, really, this cake belongs in heaven, with a large, glowing, golden hallow around it!

Every layer – chocolate, coffee and vanilla – comes in screaming, ‘Pick me, pick me!’ And when you decide to be impartial and take a large bite of this cake, you will be blown away. There’s something about the beautiful delicacy of chocolate, coffee and vanilla, blending, dancing. It’s a harmony that cannot be described in words. So calming, so nourishing to the soul, so comforting. It’s like tucking your feet under the fluffiest, softest comforter. Only better!

This cake is dark, intense and so indulgent. Every layer sings with its soft, delicate crumb and loud, boisterous flavour. The frosting does a great job of holding it all together while shining in its uniqueness. And when it’s sat on a platter and rests for a day in the refrigerator, you’ve got a gorgeous, amalgamated flavour profile that simply belongs together!

I shared this cake with my family and the fiancé’s family, and the resounding reaction was, “Why didn’t you make more of this cake?” Everyone wanted to go back for more, to reach for another slice. And with good reason. This cake was dreamy, and how!

A whole lot of ingredients and a whole lot of work go into making this Tiramisu cake. I’m not going to lie; it’s a real project that needs seeing through. But it is worth it to work hard at something only to end up with a stunning end result that is beautiful both inside and out. As it is with this cake. As it is with yourself. As it is with life.

I hope you make this cake to celebrate you and how far you’ve come. Because after all you’ve been through, you deserve it. ❤

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While we’re on the topic of Tiramisu Cake, can I interest you in this super-easy egg-free Tiramisu recipe, and a drop-dead-delicious Chocolate Tiramisu that’ll knock your socks off?

Want to Pin This recipe for later? Here you go…

Tiramisu Cake Recipe with Mascarpone Frosting Recipe. Tiramisu Ombre Cake Recipe. Rustic Ombre Cake Recipe. Dark Food Photography. Moody Food Photography. Food Photography. Tiramisu Cake Recipe. Chocolate Cake Recipe. Coffee Cake Recipe. Vanilla Cake Recipe. #cake #foodphotography #tiramisu #coffee #chocolate #vanilla #ombre #recipe #dessert #dessertrecipes #food

Psst… If you’d like to, you could come check me out on Pinterest! I pin a tonne of fun stuff – chocolate, lots of dessert, easy weeknight recipes; and home decor (I’m obsessed with home office spaces!)😛

Also, for regular updates on what’s happening in The Foodscape kitchen, follow me on Instagram at @thefoodscape! You’ll love all the deliciousness there, I promise! ❤

Author: Winola Peris

Food blogger, photographer & stylist with big dreams in my head, passion in my heart and a lot of hustle in my bones!

5 thoughts

  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post+ your photography+your writing+your cake recipe, oh my. Thank you! I promised myself that I would eat cake every day when I turned 80, and I will study and make myself this cake, dear girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janel! Thank you SO much for your super sweet comment! I am so touched, you made my month! And that’s such a great plan; cake everyday once you turn 80! That’s just genius! 🙂 Please let me know how you like this cake when you do try it. Till then, loads of love coming your way ♥️

      Like

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