Miniature tiramisu cakes

Miniature tiramisu cakes



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Week 4 on Great British Bake Off will go down in history for one thing and one thing only and that one thing is not tiramisu. Iain Watters vs Diana Beard in the saga that became known as #bingate might be what people are talking about right now, but it’s important to see the bigger picture. Whether or not Iain’s ice cream or Iain himself had the biggest meltdown of the day is obviously a critically important question, but we need to gain some perspective, people! There were other important questions at play on Wednesday evening. Namely, just how delicious did Mary’s tiramisu cake look?

This week’s Great British Bake Off technical challenge was Bezza’s anglicised version of a tiramisu, requiring tempered chocolate decorations and some serious knife skills. The main issues for the contestants seemed to be in getting Mary’s fatless sponge to rise and then in neatly slicing it horizontally afterwards. The trick with a fatless sponge is to fold the flour in with a metal spoon in a slicing action. This prevents all the air being knocked out of the mixture. If the sponge has risen properly, the horizontal slicing becomes less of an issue, but it is still a tricky endeavour, requiring a steady hand and practice rather than specialist knowledge.

For my simplified version, I have forgone the tempered chocolate decorations. As pretty as they looked on Mary’s big cake, I think it would be over egging the pudding on these little ones. If you fancy trying your hand at a little chocolate work, don’t be scared off. You can find my tips for a perfect temper in my recipe for gluten-free Florentines.

My mini tiramisu cakes require no horizontal slicing, so there’s no risk of ending up with a pile of perfectly baked crumbs. I never add cream to a tiramisu usually – the eggs and Mascarpone add enough richness on their own – but this is a version of Mary’s cake, so I dutifully added the whipped cream her recipe stipulates. I didn’t bow down to the doyenne’s choice of tipple though. I left the brandy in the drinks’ cabinet, in favour of sweet Marsala wine and dark rum.

If you don’t have little square moulds (60 x 60 x 35), this recipe will work just as well in individual dishes or, you can try your hand at the tiramuffins in my latest book, Baking Mash-Up.

  • For the cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
  • For the sweetened espresso

  • 120ml of espresso, hot and strong
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of dark rum
  • For the filling

  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 25g of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of Marsala wine
  • 100g of mascarpone, full fat
  • 100ml of double cream
  • For dusting

  • 1 tbsp of cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 9 x 13 inch roulade tray with baking parchment
To make the cake, whisk the eggs and caster sugar together until pale and mousse-like. This can take a few minutes with an electric hand whisk, so be patient. Whisk in the salt and vanilla seeds and sift over the flour. Use a large, metal spoon to fold the flour into the egg mixture, using a slicing and turning action, to avoid knocking the air out of the batter. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level it with a palette knife before baking for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and no longer sticky to touch
Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack completely
Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack completely
In the meantime, make the sweetened espresso. Dissolve the sugar in the coffee before stirring in the rum. Leave to cool
To make the filling, whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt until stiff and set aside. Use the same whisk (no need to wash up in between) to whisk the cream to the soft peak stage. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and thick. Whisk in the Marsala and fold in the Mascarpone, followed by the whipped cream. Once fully incorporated, fold in the egg whites with a large metal spoon
To assemble, cut the cake into 12 squares, using one of the moulds as a punch stamp. Place one square of cake at the bottom of each mould and use a pastry brush to soak it with the boozy espresso. Spoon over about an inch of the mascarpone filling and top with a second square of cake. Use a pastry brush to soak the cake slice until pale brown, and pour the remaining Mascarpone filling over the top. Level the tops with a palette knife and pop in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours, but 4 – 6 is best
Cut the cake into 12 squares
Once set, dust the tops with cocoa and slide off the moulds. Serve on a tiered cake stand. Enjoy!
Once set, dust the tops with cocoa and slide off the moulds
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