I always wanted to make a Tiramisu. But how on earth will I get Mascarpone cheese in Kerala!! I had made tons of requests to my cousins who come from abroad to get me atleast one pack of it...they all said the same thing...it wont survive :( So I literally gave up hope and that's when my friend Anjana told me that it's available in Bangalore BUT I was in for a shock when I asked her the cost of it. It was Rs.450 for 250 g!! There's no way that I am going to spend so much...for a trial! ;0
So Tiramisu used to star my dreams(very often, till last night)... a perfect cheesy dream! But I felt that it was something beyond my reach as long as I am in India. So was kinda happy that I will be going to the US soon and that I'll get to try all the different cheese available there! Wee!
I still remember the conversation I had with Jobin,my fiance who lives in the USA.
Jobin: Beby, what all do you want to do once you come here?
Me: Hmmm... (serious thinking!) I want to go to a nice supermarket and buy lots of cheese!!
Jobin: (a pleasantly surprised laugh)
Little did my darling know what was in store for him! Or rather...what the store has in store to empty his pocket! :P
He had made friends with people who travel with him daily in the bus. So an elderly lady, his friend asked him recently
Lady: What does your fiance wants to do when she comes here?
Jobin: She wants to buy cheese!
Lady: Take her to Wisconsin then!
Now, I have another reason to empty his pocket! I have already planned a trip to Wisconsin! :) Buhahahaha!
It was not long before that I saw a recipe for homemade mascarpone. Vera's looked beautiful and I guess that's how it the store-bought ones look like :) And Deeba had recently made it (over and over again! :D ) And she was very happy with the results! I must have been the most happiest person to see that post of hers! :D
I twittered out to her with all my doubts and she was a sweetheart to reply back to each one of them! Thanks a bunch Deeba!
Homemade Mascarpone Cheese
Recipe adapted verbatim from Vera's blog Baking Obsession
Makes about 12 oz
Ingredients: (I made only half the quantity as it was my first-time,but regret now for not making the whole quantity! :P )
- 500 ml whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream ( I used 25% Amul Fresh Cream)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering.
- Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating.
- Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir.
- Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time).
- Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
It was so smooth and creamy!! Perfect cheese for dessert and cake filling.
We had guests for dinner last night, and I had mascarpone ready at hand with me. So I searched for a Tiramisu recipe,again bad luck,no ladies finger!! And I was in no mood to pipe some out! So the search went on and it ended at a beautiful Tiramisu cake! My! I was bowled over by it! A very eye pleasing one!
Baking:From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Recipe adapted from Deb's Smitten Kitchen
For the cake layers:
2 cups cake flour( I substituted using this proportion: 1 cup cake flour = 3/4 cup flour + 2 tbsp cornflour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used salted butter)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
For the espresso extract:
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
For the espresso syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy (I used Rum)
For the filling and frosting:
1 8-ounce container mascarpone
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted ( I added 1/4 cup more )
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy (I used Rum)
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for decoration (optional)
Cocoa powder, for dusting
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess, and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
- Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them, and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right-side up.
- Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.
- Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy; set aside.
- Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.
- Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch
- If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them.
- Place one layer right-side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected with strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup.
- Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer – user about 1 1/4 cups – and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.
- For the frosting, whisk 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling. Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add. If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread over the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so. Refrigerate the cake too.
- With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top. If you want to decorate the cake with chocolate-covered espresso beans, press them into the filling, making concentric circles of beans or just putting some beans in the center of the cake.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving – the elements need time to meld.
The recipe might sound lenghty but it is a breeze to make this cake! By the time your cake is baking , the filling & syrup can be done. Then the rest is easy!
It is one of the BEST dessert I ever had! The cake was splendid and the filling was smooth and lush! Got rave reviews from our guests. My Dad and Mom LOVED it! As I always say, if my mom likes a cake, then it will be delectable! She is super choosy when it comes to liking cakes! I left the cake in the fridge for almost 4 hours. So the flavours did meld well! It was moist,super soft and sinfully delicious! I had 2 huge slices of it :)