I feel like tiramisu is everyone’s favourite dessert. I’ve never met a soul who didn’t unequivocally love it; and I don’t know if I would trust someone who didn’t! This cake looks so impressive and is perfect for feeding a crowd, something we are all doing more of this time of year. A few tips: Make sure you triple sift your flour — mildly tedious, I know, but deeply necessary; and don’t rush the whisking of the eggs — there is no raising agent in the cake, so we want to incorporate as much air into the sponge as possible so we have airy, cloud-like cakes. This cake requires four to six hours to set before serving, so you may want to start the night before.
Tiramisu layer cake
80g butter, melted and cooled
240g plain flour
220g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only
A pinch of sea salt
480ml strong coffee
50g caster sugar
45ml Amaretto liqueur (optional, but I highly recommend it!)
300g icing sugar
2 Tbsp ground coffee
1 tsp vanilla paste (extract will also work)
A pinch of sea salt
Cocoa powder, for dusting
1. Preheat your oven to 180C fan-bake and grease and line 3x20cm cake tins.
2. Triple-sift your flour and set aside.
3. Place your eggs, caster sugar, vanilla seeds and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk until thick and pale; we want it to triple in volume!
4. Sift your flour over the mixture in three batches, folding each batch in with a large metal spoon. Work slowly here so we don’t beat out any air.
5. Drizzle the melted butter over the batter and fold in gently.
6. Divide your batter among the cake tins; I would highly recommend weighing this so you can ensure even baking times and layers.
7. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the centre of the cake springs back when gently pressed.
8. Flip the cakes on to a tea towel, bottom side up, and allow to cool.
9. For the coffee soak: Combine the coffee and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once cooled, add your Amaretto if using.
10. For the mascarpone cream: Place all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk until thick and relatively stiff.
11. Use a fork to pierce all over the bottoms of your cake layers; this is so the coffee can really soak in, so be liberal with the piercing.
12. Place the first cake layer on to your serving plate, pierced side up, and soak with half a cup of the coffee. I find a pastry brush quite helpful here, but a large spoon will do the job!
13. Spread a generous amount of the mascarpone cream over the top, smoothing out with a palette knife.
14. Repeat this process with the next layer before topping with your third and final sponge.
15. Cover the whole cake with remaining mascarpone cream, and refrigerate for four to six hours to set.
16. Before serving, dust generously with cocoa powder.
Petra Galler is a self-taught pastry chef and cookbook author. She is a strong believer in bold baking, using different flavours and texture. Her delicious, bespoke creations are available to view and purchase on Instagram @butterbutternz.