Secondly, her recipe for the cake is very easy even though you might get a little worried and think otherwise looking at the length of the recipe. What’s a little different in Ms Greenspan’s recipe is that she uses a layer of chocolate chips in the filling for texture. I replaced chips with finely chopped chocolate as I didn’t want chips in my cake.
Also, Dorie Greenspan’s recipe calls for a coffee extract as well as a syrup while I made do with only a soaking syrup. The amount given in the recipe just gives the cake a coffee flavour and doesn’t really moisten the cake as much as you would expect in a classic Tiramisu.
You might want to make a little more of the espresso syrup if you want a really syrup drenched cake rather than a moistened one. I was fine with this because this is a cake and not a tiramisu, but if you would prefer a more moist cake, you might want to make a little more of the espresso syrup (about double the amount perhaps). You can also increase the strength of the coffee syrup if you really like a very strong coffee flavour.
The other important thing with this cake I was making was that I discovered a trick to make sure my cake baked with flat tops. Most of my cakes tend to dome when they bake and that’s just fine when you’re doing much with your cake after baking it, except dust the top with sugar or something similar. There’s something very homely and comforting about plain and rustic looking domed cakes. But I dislike them if I have to make a layered cake. First of all, some cakes don’t lend themselves very well to my inexpert techniques of cutting them into layers. So if I decide to divide the batter and bake the individual layers separately, then I have domed cakes which mean that I have to slice off the domes off. These mostly crumble and there’s no one to eat them and I hate wasting/ binning the pieces and crumbs. It’s not very practical to make trifle-like desserts to use them up every time I have to slice of the domes of my cakes either. Then I discovered the “trick”. It’s not my idea and has been doing the rounds forages , but I discovered it only recently. Apparently there are these “baking strips” you can buy to wrap around your cake tins and the cakes will turn out with flat tops. Not only are these strips on the expensive side, I cannot get them here locally. However you can make very functional baking strips at home very easily. All you just need is an old towel that can be torn and recycled into baking strips and few safety pins. After the baking is done, wash and dry them out and they can be used again!
Take a clean old cotton hand towel and cut it into strips long enough to wrap around your cake tin and of width equal to the height of your tin. If you’re unable to get long enough pieces, you can always use two pieces pinned together to wrap around the cake tin.
Just before pouring the cake batter into your cake tins, wet the towel strips with water so that they’re really damp but nor dripping. Wrap them around the greased and floured (or lined) cake tins securing the ends with safety pins. Pour the batter into the tins, place them in the oven and bake according to instructions in your recipe. That’s it. You will have perfectly flat topped cake layers that need no trimming/ levelling or anything else of the sort before you assemble them into your masterpiece. A Tiramisu cake may seem like a lot of work but it is quite easy to make, even more so when you consider it is a layered cake. So if you want a cake to make for a special occasion without spending all your time on it, this is the one to make.
Tiramisu Cake (Adapted from )And just in case you need an excuse or some justification to eat this cake or any cake I leave you with this quote from Jeanne Ray’s book “”. “A slice of cake never made anyone fat. You don't eat the whole cake. You don't eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that's safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what is served on the happiest days of your life.”