But the weather is so gloomy! It has been raining the WHOLE DAY! The sky became so dark at one point that I suspect Faith would have thought that it was evening!
I had wanted to bake Tiramisu for the hubs since it is his favourite. Problem is I do not have mascarpone cheese and after entertaining thoughts of giving the baking a miss, I dragged my feet to Cold Storage to purchase it, complete with Faith in tow. And am I glad that I went!
I had baked Tiramisu using Keiko’s recipe but this time round, I googled and decided to use this instead with minor modifications. No raw eggs were involved and that’s good news. =)
Decided to do the Charlotte version because it is so pretty (and looks like a gift) and besides, it is easy to make. So this is my gift for the hubs, on top of the three shirts I bought him yesterday (that’s because I wanted him to ditch his usual wear!). The hubs came back with grapes and chocolates in his hands since he wanted to make some grapes dipped in chocolate kinda thing. But, the chocolate is KIT-KAT!!! Sigh! Not sure why he didn’t want to leverage on his strength (expressing in written words) for this V-day. So in the end, he gave up and said, “We go out this Saturday and shop for what you want!”
But…I don’t even know what I want. If not, I would have made my request. Now, I have to think what I want to get this Saturday. Sigh! =p This is a good problem.
Having said that, we are really not into celebrating this kind of ‘day’. We would like every day to be a V-Day and while people say that the hubs is a fortunate man (erm, with a wife who enjoys working in the kitchen), I would like to believe that I am the more fortunate one. I have a husband who loves me very much and is always there to support and encourage me. He’s also a wonderful father to Faith, very hands on.
And above all, thank you God for making this union a blissful one. I am blessed.
(makes a 7″ cake)
1 tablespoon instant espresso/ strong coffee powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water
1 tablespoon Amaretto
250g mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons Amaretto
1 cup (200 ml) heavy/whipping cream
cocoa powder, to dust
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 Amaretto. Set aside.
To make the Filling:
In a mixing bowl, with a manual whisk, whisk mascarpone cheese with icing sugar, vanilla extract, Amaretto 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 mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture.
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 1/3 of the filling. Spread evenly. Sieve cocoa powder over the filling. Repeat with another layer of sponge fingers and spoon over another 1/3 of filling. Spread and smooth the top and sieve cocoa powder. Repeat for the last layer. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, best left overnight.
Just before serving, unmold the cake and dust the top with cocoa powder. Decorate with strawberries (as desired).
Note to self: Can afford to dip the sponge fingers with more syrup to have a more moist version.