Gastronomically Terrific

February 1, 2016

Tiramisu layer cake

Filed under: Cake, party, pudding, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 2:34 pm

To end my dinner party, I decided to make tiramisu for dessert. I’ve made tiramisu before a number of times, but I had never tried the one in Nigella’s Christmas cookbook. The majority of recipes from this book seem to come out well, and I knew that the likelihood of it being fairly alcoholic was relatively high.

Thankfully, nothing disappointed. The recipe was simple, there was plenty of alcohol, and it made for a great dessert.

I had bought a loaf cake to make this tiramisu with, but I was a little worried it was more coffee than chocolate flavoured, and I knew that without chocolate cake the coffee flavour was likely to be overwhelming. Luckily, earlier that week I had ended up making chocolate sponge traybake with my son, having failed to make sure I had the right ingredients to make apple crumble in the house (or rather, having had the ingredients but then somebody eating all the apples). So I used that in place of the shop-bought loaf I had.

Now, Nigella’s recipe states quite clearly that homemade sponge cake doesn’t tend to soak up the alcohol as well as shop-bought loaf cake. Not so my cake, which soaked up a lot of Kahlua… I had to use three times as much as suggested (I’m not sure what this says about my baking, but it meant extra booze, so I guess it’s a good thing). I was also using Kahlua rather than the suggested Tia Maria; simply because that’s what we had in the house. It seemed to work fine!

Making tiramisu is actually pretty easy – it’s mostly about creating layers. Other than beating together eggs, caster sugar, mascarpone, double cream and the Kahlua, all you need to do is layer up the cake.

Firstly, you soak the sponge in Kahlua. Then you add this to the bottom of a tin before adding a layer of the cream mixture. You basically keep going with soaked sponge and cream layers until you’re done, ensuring you end with a cream layer. It’s a good idea to use a spring-form tin because when you’re done the cream hasn’t set yet – it needs to go in the fridge for at least 12 hours for this to happen. Having a spring-form tin means the cream stays in one place – but once it has set, you can remove the sides and it looks pretty good around the edges. And tastes, hopefully, lovely and boozy!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 93-94


June 8, 2015


Filed under: pudding — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:14 pm

… nearly all gone.

I’ve made this before, a number of times, but not for a while now. I love tiramisu, and this is a really easy, cheat-type version – so I decided it was time to make it again.

To make it, you put together a coffee and marsala mixture, then tip some sponge fingers into this. This makes up the sponge layers of the tiramisu. You then beat together cream and icing sugar, and fold in some mascarpone cream and marsala. This is spread over the layers of sponge fingers, ensuring you end with a layer of the cream mixture. Finally, sprinkle some chocolate over the top and leave in the fridge for all the marsala to soak up into the pudding.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Cheesecakes pavlovas & trifles, Australian Women’s Weekly, pg. 51

February 26, 2015

Trinity Cake

Filed under: Cake, Easter — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:59 am

Trinity cake with slice cut out from aboveI specifically hadn’t planned to bake much in the near future, knowing that soon there would be a new baby in the house. But this baby is taking their time, so I’ve found myself with a fair bit of spare time. So, on Pancake Day, I was hunting through a Hallelujah! Easter recipe book to remind myself of the amounts needed for pancake ingredients. As I flicked through the book, I realised that a lot of the recipes were pretty simple and used ingredients we already had lying around the house. So I figured it was a good book to use to make relatively easy, simple-to-find-ingredients-for-recipes until this late baby made an appearance.

The first thing I made was the Trinity Cake. I have made this before, but it was a couple of years ago. It’s actually a super-easy cake to make, but made a bit more complex by the fact that each layer is flavoured slightly differently. So there is a vanilla sponge layer, a chocolate sponge layer and a coffee sponge layer. Each layer is sandwiched together with buttercream, and then the top is simply dusted with icing sugar. The only time-consuming element is mixing together 3 different sponge cakes instead of one.

One thing worth mentioning is that the recipe suggests using three 7in round sandwich tins. I used three 6in square sandwich tins – simply because that’s the type of tin I had three of, and I couldn’t be bothered to cook each layer in the oven separately. It turns out that this was the right choice; there was only just enough mixture to cover the bottom of my 6in square tins. It turned out fine, but if you did want to use 7in tins you should probably make more mixture than the recipe suggests (which is 50g of each basic sponge ingredient plus one egg).

For a quick and easy weekend cake, it’s fine – but it’s not very exciting. The flavourings are pretty mellow (although I guess it would be easy to add extra coffee or chocolate for a stronger taste), and it is, when you think about it, just a basic sponge cake. I’m not sure it’s something I would choose to make for a special occasion like Easter though (unless you really are a novice baker).

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter by Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 56-57

October 15, 2010

Coffee Victoria Sandwich

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:17 pm

Probably one of my favourite sandwiches 🙂


Coffee cake with coffee buttercream dripping over the side. You just keep pouring until it no longer stays on the cake, then its OK to stop.


This is a basic “Victoria Sponge Sandwich” recipe, with coffee granules melted into the mixture and coffee added to the buttercream.  I suppose that “technically” it is a sandwich, since we’ve pressed two baked goods together with a filling in between.  Still, would you be willing to replace the buttercream with some tomatoes and lettuce?  Because I wouldn’t.

We made this cake because a friend, who we will go by the pseudonym of “Mr A”, invited us over for dinner and then added that we might not be not getting in without either coffee cake or carrot cake.  Having everything needed to make coffee cake in our first aid kit, we whipped this fellow up.  It was not bad for an emergency cake – perhaps a little heavy which can be good or bad depending on preferences.  Anyone can make coffee cake but only “Mr A” can eat the whole thing in a day: it was gone 24 hours later.

We did however get fed, and rather well with a yummy Stuffed Mushroom (I think this recipe) for the veggies and steak for the meaties, so I think we came out even!

PS: Wikipedia agrees with me that a Sandwich should probably be made with  bread (and not “bread”).  Though clearly “sandwich” is used to imply that you get something tasty sandwiched in between; e.g. wafer sandwich biscuits, ice cream sandwich, etc, this does seem somewhat like cheating to me.  These things are important…

Who made it: Dan actually did do much of the work for this one, well at least some mixing and oven checking, but was supervised by Anna

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book, page 195.

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