Tiramisu Cake – Gennaro Contaldo



This is a twist on the popular Italian dessert. The sponge is a classic pan di Spagna, often the basis of most Italian celebration cakes, which is brushed with espresso coffee and filled with a creamy Mascarpone filling. It can be served as an after-dinner dessert or for teatime. If you are not serving it immediately, store it in the fridge until required.

Cooking time: 35–40 minutes

Serves 6–8

 For the pan di Spagna sponge:

  • butter, for greasing the tins
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 g/3¼ oz/scant ½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 90 g/3¼ oz/scant ¾ cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • a pinch of table salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the coffee:

  • 150 ml/5 fl oz/scant 2/3 cup espresso coffee
  • 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tbsp Marsala wine, Passito (Italian straw wine), or other liqueur

For the cream:

  • 250 g/9 oz mascarpone
  • 40 g/1½ oz/scant ¼ cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 125 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup double (heavy) cream
  • 2 tbsp Marsala wine, or other liqueur
  • 20 g/¾ oz dark (bittersweet) chocolate, grated, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease and line 2 × 19-cm/7½-in round cake tins (pans) with parchment paper or, for extra speed, use ready-made cake tin liners.

Prepare a pot of espresso coffee, take off the heat and set aside.

For the sponge, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved (to help speed up the process, add a drop of hot water). Fold in the flour, salt and vanilla extract. Pour into the prepared tins and bake in the hot oven for 17–20 minutes. Insert a skewer into the sponge to test it; if it comes out clean, the cake is done. Set aside to cool a little in the tins.

Meanwhile, combine the cooled espresso coffee, sugar and Marsala and set aside.

For the cream, whisk together the mascarpone, sugar, egg yolks and double cream in a bowl, until light and fluffy. Fold in the Marsala wine just before assembling the cake to avoid splitting the mixture.

Remove the sponges from the tins while still warm, but cool enough to handle. Remove the parchment paper/tin liners and, using a pastry brush, brush the coffee mixture over both sides of the sponges. Leave to soak in for about 5 minutes. Spread one of the sponges with about half of the cream mixture and sprinkle with some of the grated chocolate, then sandwich with the top layer of sponge. Spread the remaining cream over the top and sprinkle with the last of the chocolate.

Recipes and images from Fast Cook Italian by Gennaro Contaldo published by Pavilion RRP $39.99

Fast Cook Italian – Gennaro Contaldo

Fast Cook Italian by Gennaro Contaldo is full of flavourful Italian recipes that can all be cooked in 40 minutes or less.  Perfect for busy people!

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